Cambridge Chamber of Commerce - Home
Follow us:   twitter pinterest LinkedIn YouTube Vimeo Facebook

5 Minutes for Business: Sometimes Sustainability Is Just another Word for Common Sense

A few years ago, BC Comfort Air Conditioning, a B.C.-based company with over 45 years experience in mechanical HVAC services, noted employees were leaving the doors wide open in the chilly season for convenience.


One simple change—asking workers to keep that bay door closed—helped cut natural gas use by 65%, saving the company $7,000 a year and reducing carbon emissions by the same amount as planting 500 trees.


The company appears as one of 12 case studies in a new report, 200 Million Tonnes of Opportunity: How small and medium-sized businesses are driving Canadian clean growth, a report from Climate Smart Businesses. 200 Million Tonnes features stories from 800 SMEs in 13 sectors Climate Smart has worked with, offering real-world examples on how to cut costs by reducing emissions through actions like route optimization, paperless operations, heat recovery, employee engagement and more.


In another example, a company saved $65,000 in hauling costs by diverting 35% of its waste from the local landfill, reducing emissions by an amount equivalent to three tanker trucks of gasoline. A hotel chain in the Yukon was able to save


$180,000 a year by upgrading its incandescent light bulbs to LEDs. Sometimes the company’s return on investment was not in savings but in happier employees or improved reputation.


Many small businesses, however, are short on resources but long on to-dos. When it comes to considering the sustainability of business operations, it can be intimidating to figure out that first step.


Luckily, there are tools to help. The World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet @Work program provides a list of activities and programs people can use to start the conversation in their workplaces. The WWF’s Smart Office Challenge focuses on IT, which as a part of almost every business and a significant energy consumer, is a natural starting point for sustainability newbies. The tool offers a check list of simple actions that can have a big impact. For example, cutting energy consumption from PCs by half can be as simple as getting employees to turn them off at night. More information is available in this interview with the Canadian Chamber.

 


The Canadian Chamber is also partnering with Climate Smart to help share its training program across the chamber network. The Victoria Chamber of Commerce and the Mississauga and St. John’s boards of trade will pilot the outreach program, offering their members a $1,000 discount. SMEs that belong to other member chamber of commerce are also able to access the discount on a first come-first served basis.

 


Contact Christine VanDerwill to learn more.


Flashy new innovations or clean technology start ups are exciting stories that make headlines and it can sometimes seem that is what sustainability is all about, but much of the time, going green can simply mean finding ways to use resources more efficiently.


When a business reduces its environmental impact by making better choices about how it uses energy and materials, some call it sustainability, but the practice has an older name: common sense.


For more information, please contact:  policy@chamber.ca.

 

 

add a comment
Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

Contributors

Canadian Chamber of Commerce
17
April 16, 2018
show Canadian Chamber's posts
Greg Durocher
39
September 25, 2017
show Greg's posts

Latest Posts

Show All Recent Posts

Archive

Tags

Everything Manufacturing Cambridge Events Spectrum New Members Taxes Region of Waterloo The Chamber Property Taxes Government Waste Cambridge Chamber of Commerce Networking Success Di Pietro Brian Butcher Greg Durocher Scott Bridger Food Blog Canada Ontario Cambridge Memorial Hospital Business After Hours Discounts Member Benefits Affinity Program Web Development Visa, MasterCard, Debit Big Bold Ideas Politics Elections Municipal Provincial NDP Liberals PC Vote Majority Christmas Homeless Leadership Oil Sands Environment Rail Pipelines Keystone Canadian Oil Canadian Chamber of Commerce Small Business Next Generation Cyber Security Millennials Energy Trump Washington Polls US Congress Bresiteers Trade NAFTA Europe Economy Growth Export Minimum Wage 15 dollars Bill 148 Cost Burdens Loss of Jobs Investing Finance Canada Capital Gains Exemption Tax Proposal MIddle Class Member of Parliment Unfair Changes Small Business Tax Fairness
 
Cambridge Chamber of Commerce
Accredited Chamber of Commerce 2014-2016
HOME THE CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP EVENTS PROGRAMS COMMUNITY INFORMATION CONTACT

© Copyright 2018 Cambridge Chamber of Commerce.
All Rights Reserved. Web Design and Content Management by REM Web Solutions.
Follow Us
twitter pinterest LinkedIn
YouTube Vimeo Facebook