Our Sustainable Suppliers: 2023 Update

  • Best Practices
  • Operations
  • Plank Initiatives

In 2022, we wrote a post about our impact in running a company that has a physical office, employees working from home across Canada and around the world, and buys technology/products and services to support us and our workspaces wherever we are.

It’s time to update and take stock for 2023.

Sustainable Tech Brands


Plank almost entirely relies on Apple laptops to get our work done. We have a significant spend with Apple each year as we continually update the tools our team uses.

Apple continues to be a carbon-neutral company with all their corporate operations running on 100% renewable energy. They are continuously reducing their environmental impact while keeping their suppliers responsible and accountable. They also have open and clear values, a deep commitment to accessibility, and deep ties to privacy as a human right.

In 2023, Apple announced significant advances to their environmental goals, including the launch of their first carbon-neutral product, the Apple Watch. We noticed that they also improved packaging, lowered power consumption, and removed unneeded extra accessories and power bricks from their lineup.

As of fall 2023, our whole team is using lower power Apple Silicon laptops. These laptops use the lowest amount of energy of any computers we’ve purchased for employees in our history. Apple has clear environmental impact reports on our most common variations of the 13″ MacBook Air M2 and 14″ MacBook Pro M2.

For 2024, we are investigating new options with the Apple Business team for leasing our Macs, recycling through Apple, buyback programs, and continuing allowing the purchase of older machines and accessories by staff to keep them out of landfills.


Plank continues to buy Logitech cameras and devices. In 2023, we purchased a half dozen new cameras of varying sizes. All Logitech devices we’ve bought are still being used today.

We’re enthused to see that Logitech has improved their sustainability reporting, with a FY23 Impact Report.


Belkin remains a leader in tech accessories including hubs, input devices, and cables.

In 2020, they received the Sustainability Leadership Award by aligning themselves with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and pledging support to the Paris Agreement. Belkin has not yet published a sustainability report for 2023, but the 2022 version is excellent, aligning with some of our B Corp goals.

We purchase our hubs and input devices from Belkin and are satisifed with their longevity and lower return/defect rate.


Our most used secondary screen at Plank remains the LG 27UN850-W 27” 4K. These monitors offer power consumption comparable to other screens (40W), a deep sleep mode that uses 0.5W, as well as a decent set of environmental options.

The most important fact is that we have never had one of these screens fail or had to recycle one. Every single one we’ve purchased is still in service, drastically improving our track record over the DELL screens we used years ago.

For 2023/24, we are purchasing slightly larger 32″ versions of these screens which use -15W more energy per day.

LG has updated their public statements on sustainability in the past year. LG reports that they are still on the path to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. They announced that their two newest factories in Korea and Tennessee have adopted eco-conscious manufacturing practices and “lighthouse factory” designations.

Elgato and CalDigit

We added two new companies to our preferred equipment list this year:

We use Elgato for microphones, mounting arms, and A/V equipment. As with many of our choices, Elgato makes high quality gear which we hope will outlast cheaper alternatives. We like that Elgato uses environmentally friendly packaging and that they publicly state improvements to the supply chain to reduce their cumulative carbon footprint.

CalDigit has been our supplier for excellent USB-C hubs for our workstations. We mention them as we have tried other brands, due to a shortage from CalDigit, and found nothing comparable to the quality. Unfortunately, those few other trials now sit unused, destined to be recycled or hopefully donated. CalDigit unfortunately offers almost no public statement on sustainability.

A New Brand Means New Things

We updated our logo and branding in 2023. This meant we needed to update our merchandise to match the new branding. One area we fell down on was related to previous mugs with the old logo — we had too many made and will avoid that issue for future gifts. The older mugs will be donated.

We had our local partner Paula Youwakim craft most of our new branded items. Paula helps find sustainable items, using local talent. It’s not always perfect but much better than some alternatives for company “schwag” we see at events and conferences.

We produce our stickers and smaller items via StickerMule. We continue to work with them even though they don’t have a public transparency statement or impact report. They offer very small production runs which avoids waste — which is one of our primary considerations.

Towards the end of our year, we ordered excellent quality Plank-branded travel mugs for our staff from another Certified B Corporation, Miir. We hope to use this supplier more in the future as they inspire us, communicating their sustainability and impact clearly and loudly. Their 2022 impact report is a fantastic model for companies wishing to transparently report on impact and sustainability, as well as other similar efforts.

Lastly, we’re moving to a more “on-demand” swag model for our team and our events. We’re now offering a QR code which can be scanned — people can view items not yet produced and can pick exact sizing, style, and other characteristics before requesting. This further avoids creating items which will be wasted.

Our Sustainable Workspaces


Fully was our preferred supplier of seated and standing desks, ergonomic aids, and screen suspension. They were a Certified B Corporation, but unfortunately, they were brought under the umbrella of Herman Miller, Inc. as a brand in 2023.

It’s unclear if Herman Miller, Inc. bought Fully or if Fully scaled down operations and now uses Herman Miller for sale, warranty, and service. While Herman Miller is a well-known producer of high quality products, they report very little about any sustainable activity they are involved in, only offering a Quality Mission Statement.

We will be searching for a new supplier in 2024.

Groceries and Office Snacks

Plank relies on Voila/IGA for grocery delivery. IGA, which in turn is owned by Sobeys. While far from a perfect company, they do offer paid delivery in recycled paper or reusable bags.

IGA also has a number of interesting initiatives covering many aspects of their business.

Eco-Friendly Office Cleaning

Plank works with an independent cleaning service, who we love. Gina is a one-woman show and we have gone out of our way to support her for many years. She is aware of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies and works with us to use these products wherever possible.

We continue to use some Attitude Living products but now also have purchased a large supply of dish and hand soap from another B Corp, The Unscented Company. This company is Woman-owned, offers plenty of options to eliminate single-use plastics, and strongly advocates for sustainable practices in the industry.


The update to our branding required new external signs for the office. A sustainable supplier in this area is hard to find so we fell back to a locally-owned business that we personally know. We asked them to reduce waste, working closely with them to ensure that only the required materials were produced and used low voltage LEDs where lighting was required.

Paperless Workflow

We continued to print less in 2023 than any year in Plank’s history. During our fiscal year, we ordered no paper printing products, simply using up what we had left.

Our General Contractor

Plank didn’t undertake any major office upgrades in 2023.

Challenges to Consider

As we spoke about last year, there are a lot of challenges in maintaining a sustainable office environment. As we rent our primary office space in Montréal, many things are outside of our control. It’s important to remember that positive change takes time and that any small step in the right direction is meaningful.

Here are some of the challenges we’ve experienced over the past year:

Amazon Dependence

We have not found many alternatives to Amazon and Amazon Prime. We will continue to try finding quick sustainable methods to purchase products. Amazon’s packaging is wasteful and it’s 2023 Impact Statements primarily focus on job creation.

Recycling and Food Waste

Montréal has a robust food composting program. Unfortunately, it doesn’t extend to offices in the downtown core. We have sent a message to mayor Valérie Plante asking for more information.

Facility Heating and Cooling

Nothing has changed. Plank’s facilities are located in an older building in downtown Montréal. The building has no smart systems or accurate energy usage measurements available. Any energy use we wish to track can only be estimated based on sq ft, internal/external temperature, smart outlets, and total devices. We have learned the building installed a water-cooled HVAC system on the rooftop that it will offer tenants once completed.

Internet Provider and Power Use

Plank’s facility internet provider is Beanfield. They currently have no public commitment to sustainability.