Vancouver – Reducing business air travel by using teleconferencing software turns out to be the most popular strategy for companies that are trying to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.
That is the finding from Climate Smart, a Vancouver-based high-tech startup that provides carbon tracking tools, training and technical support for over 172 small and medium-sized enterprises. Climate Smart was launched by Ecotrust Canada in 2009, and its online greenhouse gas management tool was rated No. 1 in North America by CarbonZero.
Climate Smart offers the following Top 10 most popular carbon reduction strategies among small and medium-sized businesses:
- Reducing business air travel by using teleconferencing software
- Reducing paper use by increasing electronic communication and using paper with higher recycled content
- Improving lighting efficiencies by switching to compact florescent lamps or LED lights, and turning off lights at night
- Introducing an employee carpool program and alternative transportation incentives
- Improving heating efficiencies from furnace upgrades, ceiling fans, new windows, weather stripping and other insulation
- Reducing waste through recycling and composting programs
- Optimizing routes for delivery vehicles or other transportation fleets
- Implementing anti-idling and top-speed reduction programs through driver education
- Consolidating shipments
- Putting “sleep mode” on office equipment and turning it off at night
“In the past three years, we’ve seen entrepreneurs grow increasingly savvy about ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions while improving their financial bottom line,” says Elizabeth Sheehan, President of Climate Smart. “Companies are realizing that a bit of research and creative thinking can go a long way in finding novel ways to green their operations. It’s a winning strategy for company profits and the planet.”
Climate Smart also singled out eight companies and organizations for introducing innovative strategies that cut both greenhouse gas emissions and business costs.
The honour roll of innovators include:
- Vancouver law firm Clark Wilson LLP for its employee engagement strategy
- West Coast Air for fleet management that cut 12 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions
- Sunrise Soya Foods for heating efficiency that saves $22,400 per year in natural gas
- Duncan manufacturer Gillingham Cabinets for waste reduction that will cut its emissions by more than 50 percent
- Jamie’s Whaling Station in Tofino for switching to more efficient boat propellers that saves $10,000 in fuel each year
- Tinhorn Creek Vineyards in Oliver for greening its bottles and thereby saving $28,000
- YWCA Hotel in Vancouver for dramatically improving its energy efficiency which will cut its carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2013
- The Resort Municipality of Whistler, Whistler Centre for Sustainability and Whistler Chamber of Commerce for their comprehensive community engagement strategy.