After a lot of hard work, we are proud to announce that last month we officially became Climate Smart certified. This was achieved through several training sessions, the creation of an exhaustive inventory of our greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and of a GHG reduction plan. For those of you considering doing the certification - and we encourage you to do so! -- the Climate Smart group, provides some very smart software for this purpose. Once you’ve collected all of your data and entered it to the system, it reveals not only an organization’s gross emissions for the year but an illuminating summary of where those emissions come from.
Our major source of emissions surprised me ...
As the person who handles most of the paper in the office, I thought paper consumption would figure larger. However, as a business that provides online services, we don’t really use much paper…it just seems that way to me. Our office is one block from a SkyTrain station and much of our staff take the train to work, so I hadn’t expected that staff commuting, and then air travel, would be the largest source of our emissions.
This knowledge provided us extra incentive to promote Vancouver Bike to Work month in June among our staff (learn more about Bike to Work's BC wide initiatives and events) , and also gives us another reason to feel good about our new Marketing Manager who works remotely, as well as the flexibility we provide our staff to work from home when they need to.
It hasn’t taken long to raise staff awareness - our organics recycling program has been such a success that I can’t remember the last time I found a banana peel in the garbage. And armed with the knowledge of where our emissions come from, we have the power to reduce them by taking specific actions and making strategic choices. GHG’s are one business metric we intend to bring down in 2017 ... and we'll report back about how we did on that front next year.