Acorn Sign Graphics

Sign Design and Construction

Richmond, Virginia

United States

www.acornsign.com

About Acorn Sign Graphics

Acorn Sign Graphics designs and fabricates custom architectural signage and graphics customers can depend on to be found, be seen, and be remembered. From award-winning design to sustainable sign and graphic solutions, eco-friendly sign manufacturing to long-lasting installations, Acorn Sign Graphics delivers comprehensive sign services to meet the needs of clients worldwide. 

Whether in a commercial setting or civic space, a health care complex or an academic campus, signs do more than identify and direct. They communicate an image and a brand. Signage at its best conveys a unique sense of place and enhances the ways people connect to the built environment and to one another. Acorn Sign Graphics helps achieve these goals…creatively, sustainably, collaboratively. 

By standing up to be counted among the B Corp ranks, we’re holding ourselves accountable for our own legacy and also supporting a movement inspiring business to leave the world a little bit better. Plus, we are able to provide our customers with a respected standard by which they may assess how well we “walk the talk” of social and environmental responsibility.

The Change We Seek®

The Acorn Sign Graphics story begins with 6 people, including two new owners: a husband and wife with gray hair, retirement in their resumes, and a bucket list item: the dream of building and working in a values-driven enterprise that generates enhanced quality of life for its Associates, its community, and those it touches.  He had been at the helm of a publicly held company, and became convinced that the siren call of Wall Street was eroding the souls of businesses and their prospects for long term success. She was lured by the challenge to apply lessons learned in her career as a management consultant and discover whether she could practice what she preached. Could they craft this vision making signs?

Fast forward ten years...The sales of the company have increased more than tenfold, and the Associate roster has grown to 40, despite the economic challenges of the past decade. Acorn attributes this success to its people and to the caring and creative learning organization culture they have built.

Acorn Sign Graphics has developed a specialty serving environmentally focused organizations and businesses who strive to be congruent in all they do, including their signage. Acorn Sign Graphics opens its sustainable design studio/resource center to anyone wishing to explore materials and processes available for interior and exterior signage. Their eco-friendly signage packages make it easier for owners, designers and architects to choose sustainable options. Acorn Sign Graphics is committed to the green building movement, provides signage for LEED building projects across the country, and is especially proud to have designed USGBC’s LEED credit iconography

Even clients not specifically seeking sustainable solutions are the beneficiaries of the sustainable design and manufacturing processes by which their signs are fabricated. Environmental consciousness permeates all aspects of company operations, and a Green Team champions continuous improvement in recycling, energy efficiencies, software and systems for waste reduction, sourcing more sustainable materials, substituting more sustainable manufacturing and shipping processes, and developing sustainable sign products. An advocate for more sustainable practices in the sign industry, Acorn Sign Graphics is the case study for the International Sign Association’s most popular educational video, “How to be a Green Sign Company.”

The Acorn culture is at heart a thriving corporate ecosystem that makes Acorn a great place to work. It starts with nurturing the basics--a safe and healthy work environment, generous benefits, training, Town Halls and inclusive, participatory management and communication, flex time, food and fun. And then seeks another level of engagement--unleashing imagination, creating a psychologically uplifting climate, a sense of partnership and pride in being associated with great quality and great service, excitement about growing  personally and professionally, and fulfillment in working to benefit others.  Acorn’s staff has designed and sustainably renovated their own workspaces with used office furnishings as well as furniture they have made themselves—some of which even incorporates reclaimed signs. Project performance and financial information is regularly shared, and every Associate participates in gain sharing. In one of their most vibrant community connections, Acorn provides internship placements for graphic design students from a one of the nation’s top art schools, perpetuating the learning organization loop. 

What makes us a better company?

B Impact Report

Certified since: 

August 2013
Summary:

Company Score

Median Score*

Environment

Environment

The Environment section of the Assessment evaluates a company's environmental performance through its facilities; materials, resource, and energy use; and emissions. Where applicable, it also considers a company's transportation/distribution channels and environmental impact of its supply chain. This section also measures whether a company's products or services are designed to solve an environmental issue, including products that aid in the provision of renewable energy, conserve resources, reduce waste, promote land/wildlife conservation, prevent toxic/hazardous substance or pollution, or educate, measure, or consult to solve environmental problems.

38
7
Workers

Workers

The Worker section of the survey assesses the company's relationship with its workforce. This section measures how the company treats its workers through compensation, benefits, training, and ownership opportunities provided to workers. It also focuses on the overall work environment within the company through management/worker communication, job flexibility and corporate culture, and worker health and safety practices.

27
18
Customers

Customers

The Customers section of the Assessment measures the impact a company has on its customers. The section focuses on whether a company sells products or services that promote public benefit, and if those products/services are targeted towards serving underserved populations. Questions in this section will measure whether a company's product or service is designed to solve a social or environmental issue (e.g. improves health, preserves environment or creates economic opportunity to individuals or communities, promotes the arts/sciences, or increases the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises).

N/A
N/A
Community

Community

The Community section of the survey assesses a company's impact on its community. The Community section evaluates a company's supplier relations, diversity, and involvement in the local community. The section also measures the company's practices and policies around community service and charitable giving. In addition, this section includes if a company's product or service is designed to solve a social issue, including access to basic services, health, education, economic opportunity, arts, and increasing the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises.

24
17
Governance

Governance

The Governance section of the Assessment evaluates a company's accountability and transparency. The section focuses on the company's mission, stakeholder engagement, and overall transparency of the company's practices and policies.

17
6
Overall B Score
106
55

80 out of 200 is eligible for certification

*Of all businesses that have completed the B Impact Assessment

*Median scores will not add up to overall

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Company Highlights: 

Governance: Employee training includes instruction about the environmental and social mission; environmental performance reviewed annually by board of directors; more than 75% of management evaluated in writing with regard to corporate environmental targets; employees represented on board of directors.

Employees: 100% of full-time employees received a bonus in the last fiscal year; 80-100% of individual health insurance premiums covered by the company; dental, life, and disability insurance offered to full-time employees, along with a critical illness policy; 5-24% of the company owned by non-founder employees; over 80% of employees reported being satisfied in the most recent employee satisfaction assessment; flex-time work schedules and telecommuting options available to employees. 

Community: Visited all significant suppliers; preference given to local and sustainable suppliers; average length of relationship with supplier lasts longer than five years; majority of revenues generated from local clients; written local purchasing policy in place; majority of the ownership located locally.

Environment: Share environmental audit results with the broader community; company is a member of an association that fosters environmentally sustainable business practices; office-wide recycling program for paper, cardboard, plastic, glass & metal; use non-toxic cleaning products and unbleached paper; use recycled office supplies, reclaimed office furniture, and reusable catering supplies; company has implemented written policies to reduce corporate travel; worked to implement energy efficiency and waste reduction programs with facilities landlord.

2014 Best for the World Environment