Social Responsibility

At The Bernard Group, we believe in making positive change by carefully sourcing the material we print on, continually integrating environmentally-conscious practices, and supporting our employees and local community.

Spearheaded by our leadership team and backed by employees who care, Corporate Social Responsibility is something baked into the very fabric of The Bernard Group’s day-to-day operations.

Environmental Stewardship & Business Operations

The Bernard Group is committed to environmental protection and stewardship. As our business continues to grow, we continually strive to improve the environmental performance of our business operations.

We have been carbon neutral since January 2020. In order to help us reach this necessary milestone and reduce our business’ eco impact, we’ve partnered with an environmental solutions provider to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and Carbon Offsets (COs).

  • We offset emissions made directly by our facilities and vehicles (Scope 1), as well as emissions generated by the electricity purchased from our energy partners (Scope 2).
  • We’re mapping out how to offset emissions made by our supply and distribution chain, employees commuting, business travel and waste disposal (Scope 3).
  • Since most companies with carbon offset programs usually offset only Scope 1, The Bernard Group is way ahead of the game!

As an organization, managing the waste we generate on a daily basis is our biggest investment in environmental effort. Throughout our production area, stations are equipped with various recycling and/or disposal bins.

  • Recycling is required even when it isn’t profitable. Scrap paper, cardboard, plastic and styrene are carefully sorted and recycled.
  • Packaging from suppliers’ production materials gets sorted and repurposed or recycled.
  • Our box crusher compacts waste boxes to create more density, which ensures they can be handled efficiently, as they make their way to be recycled (using less fuel, emissions and labor during transport).
  • Materials that can’t be recycled are often used for energy recovery.
  • We leverage software that maximizes the principle area on press sheets, thus using as many square inches as possible to reduce waste.

As a Minnesota-based company, The Bernard Group is especially conscious of protecting our waterways. Our printing processes are waterless, neither consuming freshwater nor producing wastewater.

  • All liquid waste is disposed of properly and shipped compliantly to be incinerated.
  • We do not discharge chemical waste or effluent into the environment or public water system.
  • We donate to Printing Industry Midwest’s annual surplus-paper drive, giving pallets of leftover paper to local school teachers for their print and art programs.
  • We give our employees a reusable silverware set to prevent single-use plastic from entering our waste stream.

As we are an industrial manufacturer, managing energy usage is critical to achieving our environmental goals. We conduct comprehensive energy audits annually to look for energy savings opportunities, resulting in new projects, methodology and technology applied on a continual basis.

  • Our energy-efficient print equipment is specified for high transmission efficiency 480V power wherever possible. LED curing is used on a wide variety of print assets.
  • Our facilities feature motion detection lights that automatically turn off in areas that aren’t in active use.
  • Electrical consumption is lowered through high-efficiency lighting, controls, programmable thermostats and HVAC retrofits.

Data drives all of our environmental action, so monitoring the performance of our waste, recycling, emissions and conservation programs is a major component of our operation.

Materials and Resources

The Bernard Group is committed to providing our clients with eco-friendly options. We’re constantly seeking the latest environmentally-conscious technology and materials. Learn more about our sustainable products and eco-friendly substrates.

  • We created a Sustainable Materials book that allows clients to touch and feel our eco alternatives and compare them to conventional, non-sustainable options.
  • To help our clients reduce their carbon footprint, we offer recycled paper and plant-based, sustainably-managed or reused material options.
  • TBG remains committed to providing our clients with eco-friendly build and packaging options.
    •  We vigorously research how performance, quality, process, scale, cost, availability and life cycle affect the success of your programs.
    • We have several resources for our customers to view our spectrum of options, including sample material books, a library of data sheets, and sourcing trackers.
    • We look for emerging materials and work to be the first in the industry to drive new material development and production.

Responsible Procurement

The Bernard Group sources its products from businesses that reflect our moral and ethical values. Our environmental policy states we are committed to leading the industry in minimizing the impact of our activities on the environment.

  • We aim to continually improve the sustainability level of our supply chain by incorporating environmental and social principles into our purchasing program.
  • We track and monitor our supply’s activities and progress toward environmental and social programs with the goal of demonstrating continuous year-over-year improvement.
  • This program provides our suppliers with a sustainability scorecard and benchmarking tools to improve their practices, working to increase transparency, encourage collaboration and facilitate ongoing improvement.

Community Involvement and Charitable Giving

We believe we’re inherently hardwired to work for something bigger than ourselves. We’re committed to creating positive social change by being intentional with our giving strategy, providing a variety of opportunities for our employees to give back to our community and partnering with local charities and national organizations.

Trees, Water & People
This nonprofit creates economic opportunities for local Indigenous people through reforestation and renewable energy projects across U.S. tribal lands and Central America. We partner with them to plant trees in South Dakota to combat climate change, assist in the restoration of critical riparian zones in Colorado and reforest fire-damaged landscapes in New Mexico.

Open Hands Foundation/Hope House
Hope House is an emergency shelter for youth ages 14-19 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the southwest Twin Cities metro. Our donations help Hope House turn young peoples’ lives around by nurturing self-sufficiency and independence, with a goal of reconciliation and family unification.

Haven Housing
We donate funds to this women’s homeless shelter that offers a safe environment where women can stabilize, heal and work to overcome histories of abuse, chemical dependency, homelessness and incarceration.

Feed My Starving Children
This organization accepts donations to fund meal ingredients which are hand-packed by volunteers (like The Bernard Group employees). Meals are then donated to food partners around the world, where kids are fed and lives are saved.

Operation Christmas Child/Samaritan’s Purse
Every year, our employees pack dozens of shoe boxes with items for children in impoverished countries. Since 1970, this organization has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease and famine.

Dress for Success
We donate professional attire to this charity that provides clothing and skills development to empower women and help them achieve career advancement and economic stability.

People Reaching Out to People (PROP)
This local food shelf’s mission is to compassionately provide food and comprehensive support to our neighbors in need, creating a path toward self-sufficiency. Our employees not only donate food items, but also fresh produce grown in our company garden.

Launch Ministry
Our donations help fund this youth crisis center that provides a safe space, tools and resources to launch people ages 18-29 into successful adulthood.

Kids In Need Foundation
TBG partners with KINF, a nationwide non-profit that provides school supplies to students and
teachers in under resourced communities. TBG hosted a backpack build event for our
employees. We packed 350 backpacks full of school supplies and donated them to a local
elementary school.

Neighbors Inc.
Our employees adopt families in need during the holiday season, purchasing and wrapping gifts for their children. Neighbors Inc. supports low income households by providing food, clothes and toiletry items.

Students Achieving Independent Life (SAIL)
We partner with a local school to provide work to people with disabilities. SAIL is a transitional work program that offers young people with special needs skill-building, career training and guidance.

Human Rights

We value the diversity and inclusion of the people we work with. We are committed to equal opportunity and are intolerant of discrimination and harassment.

  • We work to maintain workplaces that are free from discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, sex, color, national or social origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identification or expression, political opinion or any other status protected by applicable law.
  • At The Bernard Group, we consider a person’s qualifications, performance, skills and experience for recruitment, hiring, placement, development, training, compensation and advancement.
  • We do not tolerate disrespectful or inappropriate behavior, unfair treatment or retaliation of any kind. Harassment is not tolerated in the workplace or any work-related circumstance outside the workplace.

Partnerships and Certifications

We were named a Green Power Partner of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2021. The Green Power Partnership (GPP) encourages organizations to use green power voluntarily to protect the health of the planet and those who live on it. As a Partner, we’ve met several GPP requirements, including using eligible green power as a percentage of our total annual electricity use. By partnering with the EPA, we join other organizations that are leading the way toward a more sustainable energy future.

The Bernard Group received 14001 environmental certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Ensuring our policies and procedures align with standards set internationally, this certification helps us increase productivity while minimizing our operations’ environmental impacts. It also provides the framework and guidance for us to consistently implement eco-friendly initiatives within our online printing services.

In 2022, The Bernard Group achieved Platinum status with EcoVadis, an independent Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) evaluation company. We’ve held Gold status since 2019, but this new upgrade means we’re in the top 1% of all companies they evaluate in the printing services industry. EcoVadis helps us integrate CSR principles into our daily business initiatives so we can positively affect our communities and supply chain as an online printer.

As a signatory, we’ve aligned our operations and strategies with the UN’s 10 Principles and Sustainable Development Goals on the environment, business ethics and labor and human rights.

We partner with CDP for our environmental reporting to promote transparency and accountability with our stakeholders.

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