VICTORIA - Small businesses throughout B.C. are 'staying out of the red' by going green, said Environment Minister Terry Lake to wrap up October as small business month.
For example, three B.C. companies are turning their green ideas into greenbacks:
Van Houtte Coffee Services, B.C. is leading by example and influencing others. Starting in 2009, Van Houtte reduced their energy use, cut waste and converted a large part of their fleet to dual fuel trucks, hybrid cars and an experimental EV. Through efficiency programs, they have saved $100,000 and reduced emissions by over 202 tonnes annually. The lessons they have learned are shared with other business partners to help them find ways to use better, greener business strategies.
Glacier Creek Pacific Contracting is a Whistler-based construction company that builds energy efficient residences and buildings. Construction waste wasn't just undermining their bottom line, it was also contradicting their corporate philosophy of being good environmental stewards. Through strategic efforts that began in 2009, Glacier Creek reduced construction waste shipments to landfills by 35 per cent, which also cut CO2e emissions by 226 tonnes. Less waste in landfills saved them $64,500 in hauling fees.
Pemberton Valley Lodge takes its commitment to green leadership very seriously with an award-winning approach that is based on a savvy business strategy. From recycling the soap in their hotel rooms, to cutting waste by 75 per cent, Pemberton Valley Lodge has made many changes with big results. One of these results is becoming one of only 56 hotels in North America to receive the coveted Five Green Key rating. Pemberton Valley Lodge understands that delivering green options for their customers translates into cost savings for their business.
Environment Minister Terry Lake -
"These companies are an inspiration to all British Columbians and proof that going green is good for business and great for the planet. By reducing energy, waste and emissions, while running competitive businesses, they are truly great examples for all of us."
Minister of State for Small Business Naomi Yamamoto -
"Small business is a huge economic driver in this province, employing over one million people. In fact, 98 per cent of all businesses in B.C. are small businesses. It's important that we recognize the courage, determination and dedication of each and every small business owner in this province and utilizing green ideas is definitely the way forward."
David MacKenzie, general manager Pemberton Valley Lodge -
"Our commitment to following green practices is fundamental to our business strategy. It's also about being responsible members of our community through environmental leadership."
Don Coggins, Glacier Creek Contracting -
"Our strategy is about more than looking for ways to save money and find efficiencies - it's about a mindset that is fundamental to our business. We specialize in building energy efficient buildings and know that saving energy and reducing waste today will have a positive impact on the future."
Morten Schroder, V.P. operations Van Houtte Coffee Services B.C. -
"Our strategy began as a way to find efficiencies in our business operations and has now grown to a corporate culture of environmental stewardship. We believe that sharing our best practices to reduce our waste and energy with our partners is just another way to build good relationships".
Quick facts about small business in B.C.:
- Small business is a key economic driver in our province. It employs over one million people and contributes 29 per cent of the province's GDP.
- British Columbia ranks first in Canada for the number of small businesses per capita, with 84.2 per 1,000 people.
- 8400 small businesses have participated in the LiveSmart BC energy efficiency program for small business. (Making Progress on B.C.'s Climate Action Plan - June 2012)
- 2012 KPMG BC Clean Technology Report Card had 96 per cent of their respondents from small - and medium - sized enterprises - 79 per cent were small business.
Green businesses in B.C.: https://climatesmartbusiness.com/
Van Houtte Coffee Services: www.committedtocaring.ca
Glacier Creek Pacific Contracting: www.glaciercreek.com
Pemberton Valley Lodge: www.pembertonvalleylodge.com
Helping B.C. businesses make green choices: www.livesmartbc.ca
Ministry of Environment