Washington State Social Purpose Corporation: 2017 Annual Report
Homegrown Trailers is a Washington State Social Purpose Corporation (S.P.C.) that manufactures, rents and sells travel trailers or “mobile dwellings” produced from locally and responsibly-sourced materials. Per the requirements of the State of Washington, as a corporation, we operate in a manner intended to promote positive short-term and long-term effects of, or minimize adverse short-term or long-term effects of, the corporation’s activities upon our employees, suppliers and customers while seeking to take actions that provide a positive benefit to the local, state, national and world community. Our business also strives to protect the integrity of the natural environment by using natural resources responsibly.
This report is intended to inform our shareholders, advisors, employees, vendors, and the public about the actions Homegrown Trailers S.P.C. took in 2017 to achieve our greater purpose, while informing stakeholders about actions we will take in the future to continue adhering to our greater purpose.
Short-term and long-term social purpose objectives:
o Locate business, retail and production facilities in areas that encourage employees to use mass transit, carpooling, or allow them to safely bike and walk to work.
o Utilize renewable energy sources for both business operations and production, whenever possible.
o Maintain comprehensive recycling and composting programs that send less than 10% of total waste produced to a landfill
o Implement purchasing parameters that prioritize working with local vendors, direct purchasing from local manufacturers, and/or products containing recycled and post-consumer content materials.
o Provide employees with a thriving workplace that includes flexible medical, dental, vision coverage and paid time off for sick, vacation or personal days
o Support purpose and brand aligned community and non-profit organizations
o Design each Homegrown Trailer to be lightweight and aerodynamic to promote fuel efficiency while allowing for towing with the next generation of electric vehicles
o Select locally-sourced (ideally within 500 miles of our production facility) and responsibility-harvested materials whenever possible
o Utilize energy efficient (e.g. ENERGY STAR rated) technology and appliances inside of each Homegrown Trailer
o Develop and implement renewable energy systems that allow Homegrown Trailers to produce all necessary operating energy
o Utilize water conserving or Water Sense certified technology and fixtures
o Promote waste reduction for the end-user of each Homegrown Trailer
o Allow end-users to monitor their energy and water performance
Material actions taken during the fiscal year 2017 to achieve social purposes:
· Site – selected and moved to a new centrally located business and production facility situated on a major bus line with an adjacent biking, running, and walking path. This path is used by employees for both exercise and commuting, reducing total vehicle miles traveled by our team. More than 50% of our team choses to commute by bike and/or bus on a regular basis
· Energy consumption - utilized Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power Program to provide the electrical needs for business offices and production facilities. In 2017 we purchased 12,139 kWh of green power reducing our carbon footprint by 13,743 lbs. this is equivalent to 217 trees growing for 10 years or reducing vehicle miles by 20,700. Along with charging our new and rental trailers via solar whenever possible; the majority of our renters opted to stay in “off-the-grid” locations and generate their own power via solar. In 2017 we purchased 7.4 kW of solar panels for installation on new Homegrown Trailers.
· Purchasing - made dramatic improvements to our supply chain and purchasing protocols to prioritize locally sourced raw materials and manufacturers, primarily from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia.
· Waste diversion - recycled more than 90% of our waste stream through a comprehensive waste management program, production processes, employee education, and coordination with vendors and property manager. As part of this program, we sent less than 30 yards of waste to the landfill in 2017.
· Rental program - allowed our trailers to be enjoyed by more individuals than just offering the opportunity to purchase a Homegrown Trailer. We partnered with local truck rental companies to allow dozens of families and individuals to enjoy a Homegrown Trailer without the need for a large fuel inefficient vehicle as a daily driver. Rentals vs. purchases also allows individuals of all socio-economic levels to enjoy traveling in a Homegrown Trailer and experience nature in a responsible manner. Homegrown Trailers were rented more than 300 nights in 2017 and represented more than 8% of total revenue.
· Community support – provided Seattle area non-profit organizations with fundraiser “glamping” packages that grossed more than $5,000 in non-profit income and allowed multiple families to support non-profits and experience the great outdoors.
· Employees - Provide employees with a thriving workplace that includes flexible medical, dental, vision coverage and paid time off for sick, vacation or personal days. Our employees regularly report that Homegrown Trailers is the best place they have ever worked!
Material actions Homegrown Trailers S.P.C. expects to take in the future
· Site – while we expect to maintain our current business and production footprint through 2018, we will be meeting our growth demands through working with local manufacturers to progressively outsource more of the production process.
· Energy consumption – we will continue to blaze the path toward net zero energy mobile dwellings and in 2018 we expect to purchase at least 30 kW of solar panels to be utilized on our trailers. We are also exploring the option of allowing excess power from the trailer’s solar panels to charge an electric vehicle, allowing travelers to move toward a true “net zero energy” travel experience.
· Purchasing – purchasing decisions will have the most profound ability to impact both our company’s carbon footprint and contribution to a thriving local economy. With the support of our vendors, we will constantly seek hyper local and responsibly sourced products as we refine our supply chain.
· Waste diversion – as our production capacity increases, we are beginning to see trends in what can and cannot be recycled or composted. We will be making both purchasing decisions and production processes decisions to continually reduce our waste stream. We will also work with our outsourcing partners to ensure our internal commitment to waste diversion extends to their operations.
· Rental program – in 2018 we will be making a transition away from our “hitch and go” program to a more accessible program we call “drive and stay”. The drive and stay program will focus on working with numerous sites across the western US (national parks, state parks, wineries, event/concert venues) to install units that will be available for short and longer-term stays. These units will be seasonally or permanently installed in both on-the-grid and completely off-the-grid locations, allowing guests to experience truly unique sites that would traditionally be unavailable for lodging outside of a traditional tent camping site. This will allow for a broader range of individuals to stay in a Homegrown Trailer (e.g. those not comfortable towing, those without a vehicle capable of towing, those who prefer to bike or travel without a vehicle). Finally, this new company focus will allow us to support our customers in reducing their carbon footprint. Once we have a large network of units “hosted” in unique locations, individuals can travel without the additional need to tow a trailer, reducing fuel consumption. When travelling via bike, foot, or electric vehicle charged with renewable energy, guests can eliminate their fuel consumption all together.
· Community support – we will continue to support both local and regional non-profit and community-based groups that align with our social purpose. In 2018, we are exploring relationships with disaster relief organizations that can benefit from both our knowledge for “off-the-grid” dwellings and our future inventory of hosted units that could be mobilized for disaster relief efforts.
· Employees – ensure that every employee of Homegrown Trailers is provided with Paid Time Off to be used for sick, vacation, and personal leave. Full-time employees will also be provided with flexible medical, dental, and vision coverage. Continue to build a company culture where employees regularly report that Homegrown Trailers is the most enjoyable place they have worked!
Financial, operating or other measures used during fiscal year for evaluating performance of achieving these goals
1. Meet our growth demands by outsourcing aspects of the production process to predominantly local vendors located within 500 miles of our facility.
2. Ensure that more than 50% of our vendors produce their materials within 500 miles of our facility.
3. Consume less than 15,000 kWh of green power from Puget Sound Energy, to account for seasonal fluctuations and heating or cooling needs. Transition production area natural gas heating to a mix of electric and natural gas heating to further reduce our carbon footprint and promote green power.
4. Reduce our waste stream to less than 25 yards annually or the equivalent of one 96 gallon waste bin each week.
5. Produce at least 25% of our units for unique lodging experiences, that will accommodate at least 90 nights of occupancy annually.
This annual Social Purpose Corporation report will be published at www.homegrowntrailers.com through December 31, 2018.
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