We believe that companies can, and should be, a force for good. To that end, in 2023 Chuckanut Builders become a certified B Corporation. As a B Corporation we strive to harness the power of our business to create a positive impact for employees, our community and the environment. We do that by hiring carefully and for the long run; by working in the heart of downtown, ensuring that we are connected to the Bellingham community; and by giving back to Whatcom County organizations that work to make the world a better place.
The process of being a certified B Corporation is an arduous one. The certification demonstrates a company’s high standards of social and environmental performance and requires that businesses make a legal commitment to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders. The process requires a high level of transparency on factors ranging from supply chain best practices to employee benefits to charitable giving.
When Eric Shew, of Shew Design, built our first website he told us,“You can’t just tell people what you do, you have to show them.” That statement stuck with us. Becoming a certified B Corp is a great way to do that. On a daily basis we consider social and environmental impact; we work as a force for good in Whatcom County; and we hope that we’re helping lead the way toward a more equitable, regenerative, and inclusive society.
We believe that work should be both fun and rewarding. Since founding the business we’ve worked hard to bring together a crew that is committed to sustainable building, who look forward to coming to work (at least most days!). We think it’s essential that our employees have the opportunity to grow professionally within the business while also having time to pursue personal endeavors. We are climbers, community activists, skiers, backpackers, gardeners, and kayakers and our passion for these endeavors carries over into our professional lives and the work environment we have created together.
Once a month we all gather for a crew meeting and Thirsty Thursday. One of the interesting aspects of our work is that we’re all rarely together. In the field, our crew works in small teams, of generally 2-4 individuals. This means that we don’t all see each other as much as we’d like. Thirsty Thursday is our answer to that dilemma. We gather, often with a beer in hand, to talk about work, family, and adventures to ensure that we know who we are working alongside in a more personal, meaningful way.
Buying local is a way of life at Chuckanut Builders. We are committed to supporting local businesses and working with local subcontractors and vendors.
More than 70% of our costs are within Whatcom and Skagit Counties, including materials, subcontractors and overhead expenses. Additionally, we are committed to less than 10% of spending with businesses whose headquarters are outside of Washington State. We are committed to maintaining that.
In early 2018 we moved into our forever home, at 1000 N. State St. The space was home to N. State Autobody before we remodeled it and moved in. We carefully considered all of the design elements in the space, which now feels like a perfect blend of industrial, curated and welcoming.
The location, in downtown Bellingham, was no mistake. We took our time finding the perfect spot. We joke that we wanted to be close to coffee shops and good pastries, but in truth, our location connects us to the community. We can see Bellingham Bay from our desks, walk to the Co-op for a snack, and wander across the street at the end of the day for a beer at Time & Materials. It’s pretty awesome.
Just as we carefully chose our shop location, we carefully consider the geographic boundaries that we work within. Working primarily within city limits means we are more deeply connected to the Bellingham community. We’re able to work for and with our neighbors, our favorite hardware store and lumber yard are never too far off and that means something to our crew.
In the spirit of living up to our tagline we try to give back as much as we can. Starting in 2020 we committed to donating 3% of profits to local organizations, prioritizing green building, climate change, housing, and the preservation of wild places.
Making that happen hasn’t been challenging as organizations that aspire to make the world a better place seem to truly flourish in Bellingham.
Chuckanut Builders is proud to be a member of the following professional organizations.