Copernicus: Doing the work that matters – for the SDGs!

Copernicus Educational Products Inc., is a leader in producing classroom teaching aids that are designed to “make teaching a little easier.” A B Corp, with headquarters in Arthur, Ontario, the company has deep roots, started by a father and son team. Today the company has grown to over 50 employees, operating a 40,000 sq ft facility and manufacturing a wide range of educational products.

Students using a product from Copernicus’ line of Bamboo products, the Cozy Space.

Towards Sustainability 

Their sustainability journey began in 2009, when the company first looked into B Corp certification. However – progress was slow with a first and unsuccessful attempt at B Corp certification, the company dug in, committing to make progress and was eventually B Corp certified in 2018! Since then, social and environmental sustainability have been core values and driving factors in business decisions.  

Since 2021, Copernicus has aligned their social and environmental goals to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a valuable and internationally recognized standard. Across three recent impact reports (2021,2022 and 2023) Copernicus demonstrates progress towards eight of the 17 SDGs. 

Part of Copernicus’ sustainability journey is about setting ambitious goals and targets. However, part of the journey means sometimes falling short. For example, a goal to reduce 99.9% of plastic waste from their supply chain by 2022 has still yet to be achieved. Despite falling short in 2022 and again in 2023, the company continues to adopt initiatives to reduce plastic use like replacing plastic strapping with staples, and redesigning packaging systems to eliminate shrink wrap. In 2024, new initiatives like exploring more molded pulp packaging and designing their own cable ties will help them drive closer to their goal. Through this process a key learning was that plastic packaging is far reaching and with more sources within their own products and supply chains that need to be eliminated.

Commitment to Doing Business Differently

As a manufacturing business, Copernicus is committed to the triple bottom line: People, planet, profits. Their latest impact report describes how the company is making progress towards the SDGs – using the shared language to help communicate how the business is making meaningful contributions. 

Whether it is sustainable and responsible material sourcing or giving back to the community – supporting food security, educational initiatives and environmental conservation – Copernicus is setting an example of using business as a force for good. As part of their sustainability journey, Copernicus is closely tracking their Carbon Footprint looking at Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions. With this focus Copernicus is tracking and monitoring their progress to reaching carbon neutrality by 2025. 

Solar panels at the Copernicus manufacturing facility in Arthur, Ontario.

Trees for Schools is an example of how Copernicus is giving back and helping to make progress towards the SDGs (SDG 15 in particular). Since 2009 they have donated over 200,000 seedlings and 13,000 wildflower packets to support conservation. You can learn more about the program and how to you can be a part of the #TreesForSchools program here.  

Copernicus founder, Jim, and President, Kaylyn looking over the wetland on the company’s property in Arthur.

At Copernicus, the journey towards sustainability is ongoing. They are dedicated to setting ambitious goals and targets and constantly pushing themselves to do better – setting an example of how business can, and must, support progress towards the SDGs. 

Read the full SDG aligned impact report here!