Prince George, April 11, 2016 – As post-secondary students across the province wrap up their academic year this month, some UNBC students aren’t taking exams. Instead, students in UNBC’s “Carbon Management: Sustainable Business in a Carbon-Constrained World” are getting schooled in the business of real life. Students from this particular class are busy putting the final touches on their internationally recognized carbon footprint analysis for participating local businesses. Benchmark Automotive, Central BC Railway and Forestry Museum, Joey’s Only, Nancy O’s, Shiraz Café and Restaurant, Staples, Two Rivers Gallery, and Zaffron Cuisine received formal live presentations from the students on their findings.
This partnership between the Prince George Chamber of Commerce and the University of Northern British Columbia continues to help local businesses better understand their carbon footprint and how they can reduce them. The primary sponsor is CN, one of the largest employers in the Prince George area.
Since 2014 the Chamber has encouraged businesses to become more energy efficient, help improve local air quality, increase recycling, and reduce waste. This is the second year that a UNBC class has been facilitated through the Chamber to directly assist local companies and organizations to reduce their carbon footprint. These Chamber businesses will receive analyses of their carbon emission sources at no cost to them. These reports will also include recommendations on how to reduce emissions, consumption rates and energy expenses.
Another project sponsor is UNBC’s Undergraduate Experiential Service Learning (UESL) where funding support is provided from unrestricted donations to UNBC. The students truly benefit from this project as they learn from real and current case studies with the voluntary businesses. This partnership is unique in that it is typically quite rare for university students to directly interact with local businesses as part of coursework. But interactions resulting from this particular program are a winning scenario for the businesses and students as both parties learn during this collaborative process.
Kyrke Gaudreau, the course instructor, enjoys teaching the course as it promotes sustainable business in Prince George and provides opportunity for UNBC’s Green Centre to become a hub for community based teaching and research. “The businesses, along with the students, learn how to prepare for the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change,” he said. “The class also develops a professional skill, climate footprint analyses, which will be increasingly in demand as the world starts to tackle climate change.”
UNBC and the Chamber of Commerce look forward to this continuing partnership as it furthers local education and the practicality of carbon reduction in the Prince George community. The Chamber will have a summer student intern assist these participating local businesses to implement the carbon footprint analysis recommendations and further reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.
Kyrke Gaudreau (UNBC, Course Instructor), Mojegan Sadeghian (Zaffron Cuisine, Owner/Manager), Lindsey Wells (UNBC, Student) and Justin Serpa (UNBC, Student)
Note: Follow-up interviews with the students can be arranged.
Barbara Otter, Prince George Chamber of Commerce – Project Coordinator
250-562-2454 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Johnson, UNBC – Communications Officer
250-960-5402 | email@example.com@unbc.ca