Announcing the finalists for the 2021 Business of Good Awards

Our second annual awards celebrate B.C. organizations that turn the principles of social responsibility into action.

Our second annual awards celebrate B.C. organizations that turn the principles of social responsibility into action

We thought launching the Business of Good Awards was going to be a tough ordeal. And sure, anytime you start an awards program, it comes with certain challenges.

But in the end, our first annual celebration of local organizations that raise the bar for social and environmental responsibility went off smoothly, resulting in a robust print issue and a March 4 event at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

That’s right, we got it in juuust before the world changed.

So of course, the second instalment of the competition has looked much different, given that many of the nominees scrambled to help their communities and staff in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once again, we turned to a panel of judges to choose the winners, whose stories we’ll share in our March issue and publish online soon afterward.

For now, here are the 20 finalists, listed alphabetically, in five categories: Community Involvement, Diversity and Inclusion, Environmental Sustainability, Thought Leadership and Workplace Wellness.


Arpa Investments


Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics, UBC Sauder School of Business 

East Side Games

Hedgehog Technologies

Invito Coffee

London Drugs


Natural Pod

Platinum Pro-Claim Restoration

SMC Communications

Telus Corp.  

Thomas FX

Thunderbird Entertainment

Tru Earth


Very Polite Agency

Veza Global 


The Judges

Darian Kovacs

Kovacs has 15 years’ experience in marketing, communications and public relations, and has been a founder and board member of various foundations and charitable organizations. Through his award-winning company, Jelly Marketing, he’s worked with local, national and global brands to build and execute their digital and PR strategies.

Carol Liao

Liao is director of the Centre for Business Law and associate professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, and the UBC Sauder Distinguished Scholar with the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics at UBC Sauder School of Business.

Matt O’Grady

The former BCBusiness editor-in-chief is an award-winning communications professional who has held senior leadership positions at regional and national media companies, including head of the Globe and Mail‘s B.C. bureau. Besides freelancing for a variety of outlets—he writes our It’s a Good Thing column—O’Grady teaches journalism at SFU and Langara College.

Mary Ellen Schaafsma

Director of the Social Purpose Institute at United Way of the Lower Mainland, Schaafsma works with companies throughout the region and beyond. She helps them experience the benefits of pivoting their business model to instil a social purpose at their core while creating tangible and meaningful community and societal impact.

Judges recused themselves when any conflicts arose through their personal or professional obligations