Van Belle Nursery was recently recognized by the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce for its business excellence in corporate social responsibility. The award, along with other local business award recipients for various categories, was presented during the 24th annual Abbotsford Business Excellence Awards gala.
Dave Van Belle, the company’s CEO, says that he and the company were nominated for the inaugural award, which was established to honor businesses that serve as an aspirational example for how business could be run better in a variety of ways.
For example, Van Belle Nurseries employs innovative environmentally-friendly processes that reduce waste. They are the only ones in their industry to ship their starter plants without plastic pots, for instance. The plants need to have high-quality roots to be able to ship well, and they ship in waterproof, yet recyclable boxes, which can be stacked in cubes inside a truck much more densely than traditional shipping methods. Those techniques, “save our customers, and us, thousands of dollars per shipment, with no waste except recycle-able cardboard,” says Van Belle.
As proud as Van Belle is of those process improvements he and his team have made, the awards committee may have been more impressed by how the company engages its employees through open-book management and playing the Great Game of Business. “In a time of increasing economic illiteracy and rising approval of socialism,” says Van Belle, “the Great Game is needed more than ever.”