Carts and Tools Supply, Inc. (CTS) is proud to be an Oregon Benefit Company.
As an Oregon Benefit Company we adhere to the triple-bottom line approach to our business, placing equal emphasis on people, planet, and profit. Our values are incorporated into our by-laws and clearly stated below.
CTS adheres to the philosophy of the Slow Money movement which has spawned Slow Food and more recently Slow Tools. The company embraces the consumer trend towards purchasing local, sustainable food and the resurgence of the small farm movement. CTS intends to become a partner in creating localized food resources by providing tools and equipment to the farmers operating in these ecosystems.
The company has elected to organize as a benefit corporation to commit itself to providing greater transparency about its social and environmental performance through third-party assessment standards. As a benefit corporation, the corporation’s officers and directors are required by law and by these Bylaws to operate the business in a manner that creates value not only for the corporation’s shareholders, but also its customers, employees, suppliers, community, and the environment.
By expressly defining the corporation’s core values in the bylaws, the corporation establishes a permanent code of conduct that guides the company’s employees and makes clear to our stakeholders what can be expected from the company. The following list of core values reflects what is truly important to us as an organization. These are not values that change from time to time, situation to situation or person to person, but rather they are the underpinning of our company culture. People feel Carts and Tools Supply is an exciting company to be a part of and a very special place to work. These core values are the primary reasons for this feeling, and they transcend our size and our growth rate. By maintaining these core values, regardless of how large a company Carts and Tools Supply becomes, we can preserve what has always been special about our company. These core values are the soul of our company.
- Help small farms thrive!
- Create a high quality, high value product.
- Become an active partner in local food ecosystem.
- Communicate the values of small, local, sustainable.
- Listen to the values of our stakeholders so we create ongoing win-win partnerships.
- Balance the needs of the entire community of stakeholders, and not make decisions based solely on the financial interests of investors.
- Adopt governance structures where our stakeholders have a voice, and guide the development of the business within their community.
- Demonstrate our caring for our community and our environment.
We strive to do the right thing in every situation: for each other, for our customers, and for all of our stakeholders. We make ethics, fairness, honesty, and integrity the cornerstones of our business.
We strive to create a safe environment, both internally and externally, based on mutual respect for each other, our customers, and all of our stakeholders. We treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves, and we treat the environment with reverence and respect.
We are committed to excellence in the results we achieve for our customers, we are continually growing and improving our business, and we strive to attract, develop, and inspire the best people. We encourage our customers and ourselves to strive to be the best we can be, and we will satisfy and delight our customers.
Teamwork and Limitation on Executive Compensation
We understand working together to achieve common goals is the foundation of our success. We will support team member happiness and excellence, and will develop a Results Oriented Work Environment (ROWE). In furtherance of these objectives, the cash salary of any employee shall not be greater than 20 times the average salary of all company employees, except as otherwise determined by a 75% vote of the Board of Directors.
We are generous with our time and resources not only to support the personal growth and the professional development of our team members but also to support nonprofit organizations that build sustainable communities and support education and the small farm movement.
We strive to be a sustainable business that (i) does not use renewable resources faster than they can regenerate, (ii) does not emit pollution and waste faster than natural processes can render them harmless, and (iii) does not use nonrenewable resources faster than renewable substitutes can be introduced. Further, we strive to be a carbon neutral company, meaning we will take all reasonable measures to offset our carbon footprint, including purchasing carbon offsets from third party providers as needed, to achieve our goal of being a 100% carbon neutral company.
Non-Discrimination and Gender
We do not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, or disability. We maintain a performance-based environment, and we are committed to hiring and promoting based on merit. However, we also recognize that although women make-up roughly 50% of the population, they generally have much lower representation on Boards of Directors and executive teams. We therefore strive to develop and maintain strong relationships with skilled women professionals, so that we may achieve a gender balance on our executive team and Board of Directors that is more reflective of society at large.
The term stakeholder shall be broadly constructed and shall include, without limitation, the corporation’s employees, stockholders, vendors and suppliers, strategic partners, creditors, the communities in which the corporation does business, customers, nonprofits, the environment, the commons, and the general business ecosystem in which the corporation does business.
The business was developed based on the following beliefs:
- The vitality and health of all communities are dependent upon keeping dollars that are spent in the community re-circulating within the community for as long as possible.
- Businesses have an obligation to support clean energy and climate protection.
- The economic benefits of a local food supply and diversity is a fact and not a philosophical conversation.
- That the cost of barriers to entry for new farmers need to be reduced. This includes capital, land acquisition, equipment, education, and support.
- That technology, when possible should be open source to provide the greatest benefit to the greatest amount of people.
- Everyone is mutually dependent on each other when it comes to the local, national and world economies, so we strongly value collaboration to meet each party’s needs whenever possible.
- Transparency and Accountability
Each year, the Board of Directors and an independent third party shall assess how well the corporation is meeting its obligations, and the results of the assessment shall be provided to the shareholders and the Secretary of State in an annual report. The report shall include, among other things, the following information:
- The process and rationale for selecting a third-party standard used to prepare the benefit reports;
- An assessment of the corporation’s overall social and environmental performance in pursuing its general public benefit and any specific public benefit;
- A statement from the Board of Directors indicating whether, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, the corporation failed to pursue its general, and any specific, public benefit purposes in all material respects during the prior year;
- A description of the ways in which the benefit corporation pursued its specified benefits;
- Any circumstances that have hindered the creation of the benefits;
- The name of each person who owns 5 percent or more of the outstanding shares of the benefit corporation, either beneficially, to the extent known to the corporation without independent investigation, or of record; and
- A statement of any connection between the entity that established the third-party standard, or its directors, officers, or material owners, and the corporation, or its directors, officers, or material owners, including any financial or governance relationship that might materially affect the credibility of the objective assessment of the third-party standard.
Third Party Standard
The third-party standard is a comprehensive assessment of the impact of the business and the business’s operations that is developed by an entity that has no material financial relationship with the benefit corporation or any of its subsidiaries, uses a balanced multi-stakeholder approach, has necessary and appropriate expertise to assess overall corporate social and environmental performance, and satisfies all other requirements of Corporations Code section 14600(g). The following information concerning the standard shall be publicly available:
- The criteria considered when measuring the overall social and environmental performance of a business;
- The relative weightings assigned to the criteria;
- The identity of the directors, officers, any material owners, and the governing body of the entity that developed, and controls revisions to, the standard;
- The process by which revisions to the standard and changes to the membership of the governing body of the entity that developed the standard are made; and
- An accounting of the sources of financial support for the entity, with sufficient detail to disclose any relationships that could reasonably be considered to present a potential conflict of interest.