By Tessa Vanderkop
2014 was a fantastic year for the BBOT’s sustainable community. Not only has the number of businesses pledging to become sustainable increased in the last year, but our pledge members both large and small continue to improve their environmental foot print.
In 2014, as part of our commitment to help our members become more sustainable, we partnered with Vancity to offer our members $1000 bursaries to become Climate Smart certified. Pledge members False Creek Collision Eco, Reid’s Automotive Recycling, Sorin Group (and the BBOT) took the plunge in learning how to measure, manage and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (energy and waste). Based on feedback it is clear that both waste and energy are areas of opportunity where businesses continue to seek improvement as they green their operations. Pacific Blue Cross (in a daring move) removed all garbage bins from workstations resulting in a 2/3 waste to landfill reduction. Concord Security (also Climate Smart alum) installed multi material, recycling and compost bins in their kitchen areas and a small recycling, garbage and compost bin at each desk. In doing so, they reduced waste from 936.27 pounds to 117 pounds in the last fiscal year. Ricoh Canada, a recognized industry leader in sustainability, is the 2015 national sponsor of the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up. During the last week of September and the first week of October, 2014 Ricoh Canada had 14 offices and 191 employees in cities across Canada participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up. The results of the national clean-up were impressive with employees collecting approximately 884 pounds of garbage – a weight representing 104 garbage bags and 26 recycling bags full of litter.
In the energy category, improvements continued with retrofits, purchase of renewable energy, installation of solar panels and LED lighting – Hemlock Printers (Climate Smart alum) replaced plant lighting with LED and is looking for further opportunities to reduce GHG emissions. They are currently tracking an approximately 20% reduction from their 2007 baseline. Down Syndrome Research Society replaced all their lights with LED (responsibly disposing of old lighting) and Grand Villa Casino made its greatest impact in energy by implementing retrofits to lower natural gas and electricity consumption, and by organizing education campaigns to foster behavior change. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (Climate Smart alum) has purchased renewable natural gas with the aim to further demonstrate their commitment to reduce carbon footprint for the coming year and TELUS installed a 9 kilowatt solar energy solution at one of their plants in West Edmonton that should produce nearly 14,000 kWh annually and reduce carbon emissions by 12 tonnes per year. Although this solution will provide only about 3 per cent of the overall energy required for this building, the project gives them an opportunity to learn on a number of fronts.
Last but not least are those Pledge members who in the last year have been recognized for their environmental excellence; Pacific Blue Cross, Gateway Casino and Alpha Technology were all winners of the City of Burnaby’s Environmental Awards. Shape Properties (Brentwood), Vancity, and Grand Villa Casino were shortlisted for the Environmental Sustainability award, won by SFU (SFU Ancillory Services) at the Burnaby Business Excellence Awards.
All businesses are welcome to join the Burnaby Board of Trade’s Pledge for a Sustainable Community. It’s a free resource for businesses to find sustainability tips and information and to share their environmental actions and initiatives. Visit bbotpledge.ca.
We reduced NATURAL GAS consumption by lowering the thermostat.
IMPLEMENTED ORGANICS program throughout Burnaby yard (previously implemented only in the office).
Replaced bathroom air fresheners with a non-aerosol, all-natural product.
Promoted Bike-to-Work Day.
BC Technology for Learning Society
We continue to work toward being a ZERO WASTE organization. It is the one area where we have the most control on our behavior and that directly affects our environmental performance. REUSING packing materials found in the warehouse directly links to our REDUCTION in purchasing. We also haven’t bought any paper in over a year! People donate printers to us and don’t take the paper out of the tray first!
Last year we also distributed 10869 pieces of used tech. This SAVED OVER 5000 gallons of water 73,000 barrels of oil and over 3 million gallons of hazardous waste from being produced in the mining, manufacture and shipment of computer equipment. It is also the reuse equivalent of 29,000 metric tons of C02 emissions, or 10,000 cars off the road.
Burnaby Board of Trade- Waste and Energy
This year we completed CLIMATE SMART CERTIFICATION and through this were able to identify transportation as one of our greatest areas of impact. Our goal is to reduce our GHG emissions by 5% by July 2015. We also switched paper to 100% RECYCLED content and bought kitchenware for use in our kitchen.
We have been a CLIMATE SMART business since 2012 and one of our goals for this year was to REDUCE OUR GARBAGE. Our Property Managers, Ivanhoe Cambridge, offered tenants different options for waste and recycling. We took them up on this offer and installed multi material, recycling and compost bins in our kitchen areas and a small recycling, garbage and compost bin for each desk. In doing this, we were able to REDUCE our waste from 936.27 POUNDS to 117 POUNDS in our last fiscal year.
100% of downtown business trips are now taken by PUBLIC TRANSIT
Down’s Syndrome Research Foundation
In 2014 DSRF’s GREATEST CHANGE was in energy consumption: we replaced 54 halogen bulbs with LED bulbs. These new bulbs are expected to not only save electricity but also last 10 years, reducing our waste. And, of course, the halogens were disposed of correctly.
Electronic Arts Waste and Energy
AUTOMATED paper towel dispensers – we have CUT OUR USAGE BY 50%
Installed 4 EV charging stations
Further LED lighting retrofits
Replacement of two of our RTU’s (roof top air conditioning units) with units that are 20% MORE EFFICIENT.
False Creek Collision Eco
We are purchasing a new compressor – the energy savings will help finance the new one. We expect that the electrical bill will be lowered by more than 20% JUST BY THIS MEASURE.
We are also taking advantage of the Vancity bursary to become CLIMATE SMART CERTIFIED. This will help us to develop strategies to reduce waste and energy in the coming year.
Grand Villa Casino
As a proud member of the Pledge Community, this year Grand Villa Casino made its greatest impact in Energy by implementing retrofits to lower natural gas and electricity consumption, and by organizing EDUCATION campaigns to foster BEHAVIOUR CHANGE and community engagement to raise awareness for the energy efficient business.
Our greatest two impacts are (1) paper procurement and (2) Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Paper Procurement: Improving the environmental performance of our paper procurement is a never-ending process and WE STRIVE TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS EACH YEAR. This past year, we introduced a new paper grade to our customers (unique to Hemlock) that is 100% post-consumer fiber, with multiple certifications (FSC, Green-e and our very own Zero Carbon Neutral). We have launched this paper with paper manufacturer Neenah Papers (http://blog.hemlock.com/2014/09/hemlock-introduces-coronado-sst-100/)
Our goal is to print on only FSC certified papers by 2020 – we’re at 78% as of 2013. We are also promoting a wheat-based paper that has been recently brought to the market place called StepForward Paper.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions For GHG, we work with ClimateSmart and are tracking an approx 20% REDUCTION FROM OUR 2007 baseline. Combining all related GHG emissions (including staff commuting, air, our deliveries) there is a lot of room for improvement. We are in the process of changing out our lighting within our plant to LED which will reduce our underway which reduces energy consumption in the plant – there is another initiative our electricity use of unused equipment and electronics throughout the plant.
GHG and Paper are definitely the biggest areas of impacts for us with lots of room left for improvement in the months/years ahead.
My Father’s Garden – Transportation – Energy!
We have been DILIGENT IN ALL THESE AREAS for many years, including planning my car trips for errands to group all my trips to locations in the same area rather than going back and forth thereby saving energy and pollution.
Pacific Blue Cross
We continued our zero waste campaign efforts by taking away all ‘garbage bins’ at people’s work stations. This resulted in DECREASING our WASTE going to landfills by 2/3. We also reduced our paper consumption by 1,500,000 sheets and lastly we are continuing to lower or Green House Gas emissions (waste and energy) through our commitment to Climate Smart re-certification. We also received a Communitas GREEN INITIATIVES AWARD for environmental responsibility as well as City of Burnaby – 2014 Environmental Award in the category of Business Stewardship.
Reid’s Automotive Recycling
We are continuing our commitment to sustainability by becoming Climate Smart certified.
Our biggest direct impact in the area of waste with the launch of our first NATIONAL GREAT SHORELINE CLEAN UP.
During the last week of September and the first week of October, 2014 Ricoh Canada had 14 offices and 191 employees in cities across Canada participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up. The results of the national clean-up were impressive with employees collecting approximately 884 POUNDS OF GARBAGE – a weight representing 104 garbage bags and 26 recycling bags full of litter! We began official sponsors and partners with the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up this month and hope to grow these numbers in 2015.
Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers –Waste and Energy Reductions!
In 2014, we continued our Green Target to REDUCE WASTE DISPOSED by 5% as compared to levels in 2013.
In January 2015, our global head office and recycling supplier launched the first of a series of company-wide RECYCLING WEEKS. This service provides employees an opportunity to properly recycle environmentally unfriendly materials from the household including e-waste, styrofoam, batteries and fluorescent light bulbs.
Ritchie Brothers has purchased renewable natural gas with the aim to further demonstrate our commitment to reduce carbon footprint for the coming year.
In Burnaby we are completing interior/exterior lighting retrofits to LED at Brentwood and Lougheed Town Center SAVING 276,373 kWh annually.
Sorin Group Canada
We took advantage of the Vancity bursary to become CLIMATE SMART certified
In the spring of this year, TELUS’ sustainability team submitted a progress report on greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and the risks and opportunities from climate change to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). We are proud to report that our disclosure score increased to 92 this year from 76 in 2013.
that are WORKING TOGETHER ACROSS TELUS to reduce our energy use and greenhouse gas emission.This significant improvement in our performance is due to the number of teams
INVESTMENT IN RENEWABLE ENERGY This month (December 2014) we installed a 9 kilowatt solar energy solution at one of our plant buildings in West Edmonton that should produce nearly 14,000 kWh annually and reduce our carbon emissions by 12 tonnes per year. Although this solution will provide only about 3 per cent of the overall energy required for this building, the project gives us an opportunity to learn on a number of fronts.