Mills Office Productivity is a B.C.-based dealer of business supplies, educational products and print services. This family company was established in 1949, and now has 11 locations across B.C. with offices/distribution centres in Vancouver, Kamloops, Penticton, Osoyoos, Kelowna, Trail, Powell River, Prince George, Terrace, Smithers and Fort St.John. Mills offers personalized service from their customer care team and account managers, local customer care with no call centres or automated voice answering system, and access to an in-house printing department that can print anything you need to run your business.
Mills is committed to using their business as a force for good by practicing sustainability, local procurement and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). By working closely with its family of customers, employees and suppliers, the company brings to life a vision of environmental responsibility and care that encourages and supports sustainable practices in office productivity. They have supported social hiring by employing those with barriers to traditional employment, and overseeing the development of Have Cafe, a social enterprise that provides food service training and employment opportunities in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Mills is a certified BCorp, has won many awards for its sustainable practices, and was selected as the office products supplier to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee.
How are you supporting other local businesses?
We work with ~75 vendors and are very proud that so many of them are Canadian. We strive to purchase local and green products, however most office supplies aren’t made in Canada, so we source from Canadian and B.C. distributors whenever we can. There are some things we source globally to stay competitive with other office supplier’s selection and with our customer demand for those products.
We purchase almost all of our services from B.C. businesses – our accounting, legal, waste management, transportation and other services are all from B.C. based businesses, and most of the rest are Canadian companies. We also support social enterprises through our purchasing.
What social practices are you proud of?
Our social hiring. We’ve hired workers with barriers to employment – some who have been with us for years. We care so much about social hiring that we even created a not for profit social enterprise in the Downtown Eastside (Have Cafe) to provide training and create many more jobs. We engage our employees to volunteer their time to support good causes. We have teams of employees and friends help out at the Vancouver Food Bank once a month. We’re also very proud to be a 2nd generation family business providing great local jobs, and we support many local causes through our community investment program.
What environmental practice are you most proud of?
We’re proud of our commitment to eco-friendly business practices, and for providing eco-friendly products to our clients. We are reducing our carbon footprint – we’re Climate Smart certified, have set reductions for our greenhouse gas emissions, signed the Vancouver Climate Pledge, have trained our drivers to reduce emissions, and made fleet improvements that include Canada’s first electric truck, converting fleet vehicles to propane, and delivery by trike when possible. Since 2012, Mills has achieved a 32% reduction in GHG emissions in spite of our continued growth. Currently 20% of our deliveries are made using carbon free delivery methods! We use blue bins, sourced from FrogBox, to deliver products and pick up recycling from our customers. Currently Mills has 13.44% of its customers on this program with over 224 447 blue boxes being delivered yearly, replacing 22 356 cardboard boxes. Through this program Mills has been able to support our local supplier FrogBox and Recycling Alternative by purchasing their products and services – the blue boxes from FrogBox and the recycling or upcycling services of Recycling Alternative to dispose or reuse or the products in an environmentally friendly way.