Tag Archives: sustainability

Pledge for a Sustainable Community – Changing the world one business, one community at a time

This is a project I oversee, manage and helped to develop. It was recently shortlisted as a finalist in the category of CSR at the World Chamber Competition in Turin. This week we are off to present the project to an international audience and fingers crossed – we might win. Either way, it’s an honour.

Here’s a little bit about the program:

The Burnaby Board of Trade’s Pledge for a Sustainable Community program has been selected as a finalist in the category of “Best Corporate Social Responsibility Project” at the 2015 World Chambers Competition.

The Pledge program, which is a comprehensive online resource and planning tool with the goal of helping businesses large and small reduce their carbon footprint, was one of only four entries selected as a finalist out of a record number of submissions from across 39 countries. Finalists will present their projects to a panel of judges at the 9th World Chamber Congress in Torino, Italy in June.

Read more here!

Wish us luck:) Changing the world is possible. Believe it.

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Crazy Dancing Guy and the First Follower – We have one right here!

I actually created this post for another blog where I write or report on sustainability issues. This post came as a result of a bunch of folks at the office being shy, reticent, uncomfortable, un-eager to change one small behaviour in order to reduce waste. Until of course….our hero appeared! I’m so thrilled to see one small example of social change that I’m re-posting here! There’s HOPE FOR HUMANITY!

Perhaps some of you have seen this video – the first brave dancing guy who goes out and dances like a wild man who is then followed by the first lone follower and the two of them are  followed by a multitude of crazy dancers because the first two have paved the way for the others! Well at the BBOT we have our own First Crazy Dancer and are currently looking for the BBOT’s Lone Follower.

We decided we wanted to reduce styrofoam waste and to do this we would bring our own containers from home to take to Crystal Mall. But as it turned out most of us were a bit shy. Except for Eugene Chang who said “l’ll do it. I have no problem with this. I have a container with me today. Let’s go. ” So off we went to Crystal Mall and to document this historic moment I went along for the ride and took pictures of our intrepid Account Executive. Here for your viewing pleasure is the BBOT’s very own social change agent Eugene Chang:

Eugene – Ready to Make the Trek to Crystal Mall with his container.On his way Eugene

Awesome Malaysian RestaurantAwesome Malaysian  Restaurant

Nice container full of delicious Bami Goreng.

Full Container

Eugene on the way back to the office carrying his lunch in a recyclable bag!

Eugene Carrying his lunch back to the office

Eugene back at the office enjoying  his lunch! Happy Eugene, happy planet:) Now who is our next lone intrepid follower?

Happy Full Eugene

About styrofoam containers:

Where to recycle styrofoam containers

What is styrofoam?

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June 19, 2013 · 5:11 pm

What you don’t know about food, water and energy – The National Geographic Quizz

So we’re running out of water, even if in Vancouver we feel like we have more than enough to spare for the next hundred years. So I found it interesting to find out how LITTLE I knew. Not your fault National Geographic. I know you didn’t set out to make me feel stupid. You too can test your water knowledge and prove just how smart you are!  Take the quizz right here.

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Local Organic Produce Delivered to Your Door – Spud.ca

ImageI’m excited! As part of my sustainability course I took last semester I had to draft a Personal Social Responsibility Plan. Sound serious? Not really. It’s just a way to look at your life to identify areas that you could lower your footprint and put an actionable plan in place to do it. I like to buy local and organic produce but because of where we live I’m usually driving all over the place to do it. So part of my plan was to get our groceries delivered by Spud.

I had been meaning to do it in the fall but it just got to busy. But last week I placed my first order.  Yesterday when I got home my big beautiful container of fresh veggies awaited me. I was completely impressed with the quality of the produce –  It’s a full service grocery store that gives you the added bonus of counting GHG saved by shopping online. So in one fell swoop I’ve fulfilled one of my New Year’s resolutions to eat more than just tomatoes for veggies and to lower my carbon footprint. What’s next? Cycling to work – brrrrrr

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Take the Sustainability Pledge: It’s Good For Business – It’s Great For Your Community

Long time no talk.That’s mostly because of the aforementioned busy-ness I am currently experiencing as a result of choices I’ve made in my life. This is one reason for my busy-ness but certainly worthy of taking up time.

The Pledge
is a resource tool for businesses interested in taking action to lower their footprint. There are five key resource sections and an online form that is as simple as counting from 1 to 3 to fill out (seriously it is). The work, of course goes into thinking and deciding on what actions you want to take. It can be as simple as deciding to power down your computer every night or placing reminders to turn off the lights to showing how you embed sustainability into every aspect of your business thinking to drive efficiency and innovation (congratulations Vancity, Interface, Van Houtte to name a few:) Sharing business success is a great way to inspire other businesses to take the plunge and pledge to lower their footprint.

For those interested in learning tools to baseline, manage, and reduce their GHG emissions, the Pledge showcases Climate Smart – a very cool social enterprise that gives businesses the tools to run their businesses more efficiently and also reduce their footprint.

A big thanks to Clare Matheson and City Change the BCIT student group who helped to develop this resource. Check it out and pass it on.

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My Ecological Footprint: EEK I Need 3 More Earths!

I started a course called Introduction to Sustainability: From Origin to Application at UBC. One of my assignments is to measure my ecological footprint and put a plan in place to set achievable objectives to lower it. According to the ecological footprint quizz I took this afternoon we would require 3.05 earths to sustain our current lifestyle. Yikes. Clearly my car is putting me at least 3 earths away from sustainable living. The natural capital available to the human population to sustain our current lifestyle is running at a deficit and we are contributing to it. According to an article I read called “State of the World 2010 – The Rise and Fall of Consumer Cultures by the World Watch Institute the average European uses 43 kg of resources daily and the average American (let’s just say North American) 88 kg a day and I am a part of the problem.

Truthfully I have no idea how I am supposed to solve this but it’s an excellent puzzle. Does the largeness of it all stop me from having my party table in the recycling room so I can properly sort all the miscreants in my building. No. But my calculator gave me a simple equation. I use too much. I’m going to put some kind of plan in place that will involve a bike, locally grown food and farmers’ markets, and some kind of light bulb. I’m on it.

You can check out what your footprint is right here:
Ecological Footprint Quiz by Redefining Progress

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David Suzuki: What’s so radical about caring for the earth and opposing Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline?

Here’s an excellent editorial piece by David Suzuki and communications specialist Ian Hannington in this week’s Georgia Straight about our government and the proposed development of the two pipelines. Very well done.

By David Suzuki, January 17, 2012

Caring about the air, water, and land that give us life. Exploring ways to ensure Canada’s natural resources serve the national interest. Knowing that sacrificing our environment to a corporate-controlled economy is suicide. If those qualities make us radicals, as federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver recently claimed in an open letter, then I and many others will wear the label proudly.

But is it radical to care for our country, our world, our children and grandchildren, our future? It seems more radical for a government to come out swinging in favour of an industrial project in advance of public hearings into that project. It seems especially radical when the government paints everyone who opposes the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project as American-funded traitors with a radical ideological agenda “to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth.”

It’s bad enough when our government and its “ethical oil” and media supporters don’t tell the truth, but it’s worse when they don’t even offer rational arguments. Their increasing attacks on charitable organizations and Canadians from all walks of life show that if they can’t win with facts, they’ll do everything they can to silence their critics. And we thought conservative-minded people valued free speech!

The proposed Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipeline projects and the massive, mostly foreign-controlled expansion of the tar sands are not about finding the best way to serve Canada’s national interests. If we truly wanted to create jobs, we would refine the oil in Canada and use it to reduce our reliance on imported oil, much of which comes from countries that government supporters say are “unethical”. If we really cared about using resources for the national interest, we would slow development in the tar sands, improve environmental standards, increase royalties and put some of the money away or use it to switch to cleaner energy, eliminate subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, and encourage Canadian companies to develop the resource.

Instead, we are called radicals for daring to even question the wisdom of selling entire tar sands operations to China’s state-owned oil companies and building a pipeline so that the repressive government of China, rather than Canadians, can reap most of the benefits from the refining jobs, profits, and the resource itself. We are radical because we are concerned about the real dangers of oil-filled supertankers moving through narrow fiords with unpredictable weather conditions and through some of the last pristine ecosystems on Earth. We are condemned by our own government because we question the safety of two pipelines crossing more than 1,000 streams and rivers through priceless wilderness—a reasonable concern, in light of the more than 800 pipeline spills that Enbridge, the company in charge of the Northern Gateway, has had since 1999.

And so here we are, a country with a government that boasts of our “energy superpower” status but doesn’t even have a national energy plan. A country willing to sacrifice its manufacturing industry, its opportunities in the green-energy economy, its future, and the health of its people for the sake of short-term profits. A country hell-bent on selling its industry and resources wholesale to any country that wants them, without regard for the ethics or activities of those countries. Continue reading

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