Sustainability in British Columbia

Wed, Nov 25, 2009

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The British Columbian government has introduced several initiatives to promote sustainability. Climate Smart offers scholarships for small businesses to attend workshops on the green economy. So far, 100 companies have taken advantage of the training. They’ve learned how to track their greenhouse gas emissions and develop personalized reduction plans.

The provincial government has also spent $3.5 million on pesticide reduction. At Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund opened cutting edge research labs to study alternatives to chemical pesticides. Government funding also supports the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture’s greenhouse, designed to study alternate clean energy sources.

Sustainable Tourism

Tourism is another sector where the government is trying to be more eco-conscious. The BC Partnership for Sustainable Tourism is a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, and private companies. Its goals include:

  • A certification program for green tourism operators
  • Carbon calculators for small and medium-sized tourism companies
  • Environmental outreach for travelers

What are companies doing?

The tourism industry is not the only one supporting a green economy. ArtiZen, a home renovation company, took part in the Climate Smart education program. They plan to offset 100% of their carbon footprint. ArtiZen is also encouraging its suppliers to be carbon neutral, ensuring the entire supply chain is sustainable.

Tinhorn Creek Winery has implemented several sustainable practices. The waste from grape harvests are composted and reapplied to the vineyards. Vineyards are protected from pests with fencing and sound repellent, not chemical pesticides. The eco-friendliness doesn’t stop at production. Tinhorn Creek wines are bottled in 35 to 50% recycled glass bottles that are produced within 500 kilometers of the winery.

Clark Wilson, a law firm, instated a Green Policy to make sure the firm’s actions are all conducted in an environmentally friendly way. They include:

  • Purchasing recycled and reusable office supplies
  • Paperless filing
  • Energy-saving office equipment, like light bulbs, photocopiers, and computer monitors
  • Carpool Connection, an online tool facilitating employee ride sharing

If you work at or own a foreign or U.S. company, we are very interested to learn what types of sustainable initiatives your company practices. Please share with us in the comments or write us at info@Padosa.com.

By Danielle Bullen. Danielle can be reached at DanielleBullen@comcast.net.

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