Happy stok-iversary to all our partners! Wow—what a crazy year it’s been! Some might even say it was tremendous! Crystal Pepsi’s back on the shelves, the Chicago Cubs broke the ‘curse of the Billy goat’, and Cuban cigars are finally legal. Thanks Obama! Of course, the last year was not without sad moments like the untimely departures of David Bowie and both Prince and Princess Leia, and even more newsworthy events like Japan’s Frozen Fish Skating Rink and the Creepy Clown Scare.
Some of you may also remember that 2016 was the year in which Environmental Building Strategies (EBS) rebranded to stok with the ambitious purpose of ridding the industry of yet another acronym and of boldly catalyzing an environmentally restorative and socially equitable world. With all that’s transpired recently, we’ve really got our work cut out for us.
On our first stok-iversary, we reflect on our experience as a rebranded company, themes of the year, and some highlights from our partners and team members. By far the best part of our first year as stok has been the passionate people and organizations we’ve had the benefit of partnering with to build a better world. The refinement of our brand and purpose not only brought clarity and focus to our existing partnerships and the work we do, it also attracted changemakers and innovators seeking to join forces in achieving our audacious visions together.
Business for Good
One achievement of 2016 was becoming a member of the B Corp community, which has passed legislation worldwide to allow corporate actors like stok to maximize social and environmental impacts, in addition to maximizing financial profits. Participating in the B Corp Champions retreat in Philadelphia this past October, we strengthened our sense of community and were inspired by attendees from some of the 2000+ B Corps doing impactful work across 50 countries.
stok’s B Corp certification has opened the door for new partnerships in Colorado, where we recently opened our first satellite office. For example, stok strategist, and recovering banker, Jeremy Attema is now working with Denver-based B Corp Urban Green Development on sustainable design strategies for a multi-family housing project, as well as helping Boulder-based B Corp Conscience Bay Company track and manage energy efficiency across its entire real estate portfolio.
Additionally, our B Corp status has directly resulted in a partnership with auto retailer Subaru, who found stok through the B Corp registry while searching for a values-aligned real estate services firm. Not surprisingly, stok’s skilled strategist, and president of the Good-Vibe-Tribe, Devon Bertram has taken the relationship with our partners at Subaru to the next level of trust and respect by continuing to co-identify opportunities to enhance its retail facilities with sustainable design, as well as responsible construction and operations practices. Building upon Subaru’s impressive corporate initiatives, demonstrating the value and benefit of these sustainable retail opportunities can help Subaru fulfill its Love Promise to make the world a better place.
Subaru’s Peter Cook had this to say about our work together: “We partnered with stok because we found they had the depth of knowledge about sustainability we needed and were eager to understand our company, business, and challenges. We knew they could help us develop the sustainability efforts that would give us the best results, backed by a team with the depth of experience to draw on either now or in the future as we further develop our efforts.”
We’re inspired by Subaru’s environmental leadership and look forward to the impact and innovation to come from our continued work together.
Health and Wellness
Our mission to build a restorative and equitable world has also led to a deepened commitment to improving health and wellness aspects of our projects, integrating this as a primary lens through which we look at our projects, and thereby bringing greater value to our partners. stok’s resident Sustainable Design and Indoor Environmental Health specialist, and crafter of all things lagniappe, Kristen Magnuson became one of the International WELL Building Institute‘s (IWBI) few WELL APs and is now working on one of the largest WELL projects in the world with our partners at San Diego’s Chesnut Properties.
The WELL Standard is a streamlined, evidence-based system for incorporating, measuring, and monitoring building features or policies that have been shown to quantifiably impact the health and well-being of occupants. Kristen also worked with the real estate company Delos—the pioneer of “Wellness Real Estate” and the WELL Standard—to assess WELL feasibility for what would be the largest WELL multi-family residential project on the planet, Parkmerced. The development is a massive, pedestrian-friendly community with deep green sustainable features, such as its own urban forest.
Long-time stok friend and industry thought-leader Phil Williams of Delos had some pretty outstanding things to share about our work together: “In addition to their technical skill, the stok team’s ability to communicate with the client, provide a high level of expertise, and keep folks like myself engaged, really shows their high emotional quotient.”
stok is proud to stand alongside Delos, IWBI, Chesnut Properties, and Parkmerced in pushing the industry to rethink what it should expect out of its buildings. We love guiding teams through the creation of spaces that positively impact occupants’ mental, physical, and emotional health and promote healthy behaviors.
With all the craziness going on in the world today, the greatest comfort we have at stok is knowing that you, our partners and friends, are out there fighting the good fight with us. During our rebrand, we crafted a vision:
“When our partners are the world’s most impactful leaders in environmental and social justice, and our team members view work as play, we will have reached our destination.”
Thank you all for being who you are, inspiring us day in and day out, and giving us a reason to keep going. Without Princess Leia, the sustainability rebellion is going to need all hands on deck!