by Ericka Colvin
Senior Associate / Director of Sustainable Practice

At Integrus, we believe in the power of accountability and transparency to support social justice and equity within our organization, and beyond. We are pleased to announce our achievement as a Just label participant in each of our three office locations in Spokane, Seattle & Portland. This marks a significant milestone validating our leadership supporting a multi-location workplace culture that prioritizes inclusivity and transparency, in our ongoing commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable world.  

About the Just label

The Just label program, from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), is a voluntary assessment and disclosure of operational metrics viewed through the lens of social justice and equity. The Just label is about people. Rigorous evaluation includes review of 22 key indicators spanning Diversity & Inclusion, Equity, Employee Health & Benefits, Stewardship, and Community Involvement. Now in its 10th year, over 250 companies participate in the Just label. Transparency is the program’s strength, with companies willing to outwardly share operational information; and while comparison is tempting, each company is measured against itself. This openness showcases organizational values and sets an aspirational pathway for future progress. 

Validating industry leadership, Integrus was the first Just label participant in Portland, Oregon (as YGH, in 2015), and is the first architecture firm to participate in Spokane, Washington (2024). Also adding Seattle, Washington (2024), makes Integrus one of only a few companies to participate in multiple locations among geographically and demographically diverse cities. Of note, the local and regional demographics of multiple locations make the baseline of comparison inherently different for each office. Measured against the local census, the goal is for organizations to have a workforce that is at least as diverse as the community in which it is located.  

Facing Facts

For Integrus, pursuing the Just label wasn’t about earning an accolade. We embraced the opportunity for honest reflection, recognizing that true progress stems from the ability to measure and improve upon existing practices. Delving into the process, we found ourselves both celebrating our successes and identifying areas where we can grow and evolve. For example, Integrus has a gender diversity ratio of 43% women to 57% men, and a closely matched leadership ratio of 48% women to 52% men. We have a female president, and three out of six principals are women. Just program methodology reinforced our ongoing goal to increase overall ethnic diversity, especially within our leadership, as an area for improvement. This is not unusual given the regional and local demographics of the cities where we operate.  The Just label program challenged us to raise the bar and set a new standard of excellence for ourselves and in our industry. Working toward the Just label has elevated our policies, procedures, and employee engagement, and we are committed to ongoing progress. 

Extending value of the Just label

The Just principles that drive our three offices extend beyond our practice to clients, project partners, and the communities we serve. Our design process centers on equity and usability for all, considering many factors including universal access, design justice, trauma-informed and healing-centered design. Integral to our process is our Equitable Specification Database that tracks products from manufacturers that positively impact their workers and the communities in which they operate, and we strive to specify products from businesses owned by women, minorities, LQBTQ, veterans, and other disadvantaged groups. We have also taken proactive steps to diversify our professional pipeline and recruitment efforts. Overall, our participation in the Just label program provides a unifying cultural accomplishment shared among our offices.

Realizing benefit

As we look to the future, we will build upon our Just label participation to enhance our policies, programs, and practices. We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion should be integral to our standard operating procedures. And we encourage other companies to join us on this journey to grow the collective community centering equity and inclusion in business operations. 

To learn more about the International Living Future Institute and the Just label program, please visit http://www.living-future.org/