National Tree Day Wraps It Up
The Chamber was delighted with the Wrap-Up Celebration for its “Carbon Footprint Reduction in the Prince George Business Community” project that took place on Wednesday, 23 September – National Tree Day. Fortunately, this initiative will continue with the primary funding recommitted by CN for 2016.
We are pleased to have combined forces with:
· City of Prince George
· Fraser Basin Council
· Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions
· PG Air Improvement Roundtable
This project helped eight businesses reduce their carbon footprint and one business, JFT Secure Ltd., became carbon neutral through this initiative. Students from UNBC also benefited from direct interactions with participating local business. In exchange for providing real case study material to the students, each business received an internationally recognized carbon footprint analysis for FREE. We employed a particularly creative summer intern who not only helped businesses reduce their use of carbon but who also designed a beautiful educational plaque. The plaque, installed at Duchess Community Park, will continue to educate the public on the carbon cycle for years to come. This City breathes a “little” better with the planting of a Crimson King Maple tree, next to the plaque, in honour of the first business to become carbon neutral through this initiative.
Many thanks to the dedicated supporters of this project.
Picture One: Summer Intern Natalie Alteen unveiling the educational plaque “Trees and the Environment”
Picture Two: Celebrative Tree Planters from left to right: Jason Thompson (JFT Secure), Garth Frizzell (City of Prince George), David Brogliatto (CN), Dr Daniel Weeks (UNBC), Cindi Pohl (The Prince George Chamber of Commerce)
2015 Carbon Footprint Reduction in the Prince George Community
Wrap Up Celebration
Please join us as we celebrate another Chamber success. Thanks to an amazing sponsorship opportunity through CN, the Chamber finished Phases Two and Three of this inaugural project. Please meet us 10:00 at the Duchess Community Park on Wednesday, 23 September 2015. There will be a reception following with light refreshments at the Chamber office at approximately 10:30.
Phase Two became a win-win situation for participating businesses that gave their energy data to a UNBC class that relished in the chance to meet with the businesses and do “live” case studies. As a result eight local businesses were given the tools they need to potentially lower energy bills, gain business impact information, increase their green business marketability, and acknowledge leadership in carbon management – a field that is expected to grow in the future. Simultaneously, UNBC students solved problems and applied job skills learned in the classroom to the business world.
Phase Three allowed for businesses to start actualizing energy reduction initiatives primarily through further reports, developed by these UNBC students, and consulting with a UBC summer student intern. Funds were received from UNBC`s Undergraduate Experiential / Service Learning program to assist these students.
To celebrate Canada`s “National Tree Day,” we will plant a tree to honour JFT Secure as it became the first carbon neutral business through this project. Also we wish to unveil an educational plaque, “Trees and the Environment.” This plaque was designed by Natalie Alteen, who received a summer internship through the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS).
RSVP to this event through the Events Calendar webpage. We look forward to seeing you there.
Phase 3 – Overview
The Prince George Chamber of Commerce is pleased that Phase Three of the Carbon Footprint Reduction in the Prince George Business Community will take place between 1 May to 31 August 2015. The main focus of Phase Three is to help those interested businesses, from Phase Two, implement any carbon reduction strategies that are economically appealing and begin the path to becoming a lower carbon company.
We are fortunate to be able to extend further the CN funding due to the financial support of Pacific Institute for Climate Solution (PICS). PICS funded a full time summer internship in 2015 which will work with participating businesses to not only work on carbon reductions for each business but perhaps initiate the process of carbon neutrality as well.
We look forward to working with this intern, Natalie Alteen, as she will start in early May. Natalie, a UBC student, brings a background in resource development and industrial operations within northern British Columbia to this project.
Also, UNBC’s Undergraduate Experiential / Service Learning program (UESL) has funded six student stipends to facilitate those students who took UNBC’s Winter 2015 “Carbon Management: The Intersection of Business and Environmentalism” course to complete additional, business-specific reports on “How to Achieve Carbon Neutrality.” These extensive reports will provide information on why other organizations are reducing their carbon emissions and will detail the process and cost of going carbon neutral for each locally participating business.
These Prince George based businesses, from Phase 2, will be informed of why other companies are going carbon neutral and the motivations behind it. In addition, based on their carbon footprint and business operations, local companies will be provided 1) a suggested timeframe for implementing carbon reductions, 2) a cost range for achieving carbon neutrality through the purchase of carbon offsets, and 3) an option of suitable carbon offsets that would complement their business operations.
This project started, merely as a conversation, a year ago. Now, we look forward to where funding, local needs, local resources, ingenuity, and networking further take the concept of carbon footprint reduction into our Prince George community. The Chamber is pleased to support this initiative as it continues to connect, engage and enhance local business.
Phase 2 – Project Summary
The Prince George Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the successful completion of the Carbon Footprint Reduction in the Prince George Business Community – Phase Two project in April 2015. Carbon footprint analysis is relatively new and a leading topic in environmental awareness. We had thirteen businesses involved at various points, with eight of those businesses completing the project. The businesses that received final reports were: Chilako River Ranch, Environmental Dynamics Inc., Glenbirnam Farm, Handsome Cabin Boy Tattoo, Home Sweet Home, JFT Secure Ltd., Nest Egg Ostrich Ranch, and P.S. Piano Service.
UNBC’s Winter 2015 offering of “Carbon Management: The Intersection of Business and Environmentalism” course needed local businesses to provide “real and current” data for the students. As part of the class requirements, the students completed a full, internationally-recognized carbon footprint analysis for each business. The analysis determined each company’s sources of carbon emissions. These reports also included recommendations on how the businesses could reduce those emissions.
The students became familiar with the industry standards regarding greenhouse gas emissions and how best to measure them for each participating business. The businesses often provided utility invoices, fuel invoices, on-site visits and completed employee commute surveys. The students also took into account the amount of paper used, types of lighting and heating, transport methods and electricity use. Emissions sources varied depending on the business, but motorized transportation, space heating, and emissions from livestock were some of the largest sources of emissions from participating organizations.
CN (corporate sponsor), The Prince George Chamber of Commerce, and UNBC are very pleased with the high caliber of results and professionalism that the six students displayed despite a number of unforeseen circumstances. These dedicated students were integral to the success of this inaugural project, and we salute them.
During Phase Three, each student from Phase Two, will earn a stipend offered through UNBC’s Undergraduate Experiential / Service Learning (UESL) program as they provide partner businesses with an extra report on “The Benefits of Carbon Reductions to Business and How to Achieve Carbon Neutrality.” UESL has already committed to fund ISO 14064 guidelines, meeting expenses, student fee waivers and supplies for the Winter 2016 course offering. We look forward to building on this year’s success in 2016 as this project continues to benefit the Prince George community.
Should you know of any business that would be a willing participant in the Winter 2016 term (January to April), please have them contact Barbara Otter at the Prince George Chamber of Commerce at 250-562-2454 or Barbara.Otter@pgchamber.bc.ca.
What is a carbon footprint? ● Is it profitable for a business to address it? ● What is the carbon footprint of a business? ● What can a company do about it? ● What does it take to reduce a carbon footprint? ● Why should carbon footprints be reduced? ● What is the cost? ● What are the benefits? ● How can greenhouse gas emissions be reduced?
Project Video Links
Reducing the Community Carbon Footprint – Phase 1: Community Carbon Footprint
Reducing the Community Carbon Footprint – Phase 2: Prince George Chamber of Commerce Joins forces with UNBC
Reducing the Community Carbon Footprint – Phase 3: Wrap Up Celebration
Links to Other Institutions
BC Government – Environment & Climate Change
Are Small-to-Mid Sized Businesses the Catalyst to a Low Carbon Economy in BC? (April 2013) Elizabeth Sheehan, Jens Ourom, Lloyd Lee, Climate Smart Businesses Inc.
Carbon Emissions – Canada Reduces Pollution as Emerging Countries Add