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How Climate Smart Are You?

How Businesses Can Cut Their Carbon Pollution and get 20% off the Training

iPhone Diary, November, 2014

“They’re all doing it - you should too.”

“Doing what?”

“Cutting their carbon!”

“Their what?”

“Their carbon pollution - the stuff that makes the climate crisis worse.”

“Crisis - is it a crisis? I thought it was just change.”

“Oh, fuggedit. Am I hired or fired?”

“Can we make money from it?”

"Van Houtte Coffee Services is saving $8,000 a year following the lighting retrofit they did. 74% of the companies are reporting financial benefits, as well as new customers and increased productivity.

"The average company cut its operational costs by $3,600 in the first year, double that in year two.

"The Ethical Bean company is projecting an up to 80% reduction in natural gas and associated costs by upgrading to a smart roaster.

"And Tinhorn Creek, the Okanagan vineyard, cut its costs by $28,000 by changing to a lighter bottle. It’s all reported in the Climate Smart log books, sir.”

“And they’re also cutting their carbon pollution, whatever you called it?”

“Yes. The River Market at Westminster Quay has cut its carbon pollution by almost 24%. Van Houtte Coffee has cut its annual emissions by 18%.

“When you say ‘they’re all doing it,’ how many are we talking about?”

“Nearly eight hundred.”

“And we can join them, just like that?”

“Yes, once you’ve sent a couple of people to the training.”

“I see. So when is it, and what’s it going to cost me?”

Next Climate Smart Training Day: Nov 19th

“The next two Climate Smart trainings are on November 19th and December 10th, in Vancouver. It costs between $1,375 and $2,750 to send two people, depending on how many employees you have, and there’s a 20% discount if you’re a member of the BCSEA.”

“20%, eh? I’d better get my secretary to check if we’re a member. So what about you? What do you want? You’re uncle says you’re quite the smart cookie.”

“If you hire me I’ll help you turn your business into one of the greenest in Canada, and with the lowest carbon footprint.”

“And that’s supposed to be good?”

“How many people under thirty do you have among your customers?”

“I haven’t a clue. Does it matter?”

“Well it does if they’re having sleepless nights worrying about the climate crisis, and they want to support a business that’s doing something about it, rather than ignoring it.”

“So you’re saying our reputation could get a boost if we start doing it, as you put it?”

“Maybe. It depends how far you go with it.”

“Okay, okay. Tell your uncle you’re hired. And I’m sending you on that training, to represent the company.

“Thank you, sir! You won’t regret it. Who will you be sending with me?”

“You mean one’s not enough?”

“No, sir. Climate Smart recommends sending two: preferably your accountant and one other. Then he or she will be able to tell you how much you might need to invest, how much you’ll be able to reduce your carbon pollution, and how much you might save financially.”

“Okay, I’ll send you and Jessica, our accountant. She’s very pretty and very sharp-witted, mind you, so don’t you go falling in love or anything.”

 

TEN YEARS PASS....

I-Glass Diary, November 2024

“So what’s up, Matt? I gather you want to leave us.”

“Yes—Jessica and I are having our second child, and we want to move to one of the new ecovillages that are being built on Vancouver Island.”

“I knew I should never have sent you to that training. So Jessica’s leaving us too? She’s our best accountant.”

“No, she’s staying on. She’s felt really indebted to you ever since you allowed her time off to start the Global Association of Carbon Accountants, and she has no intention of leaving.”

“But can’t you continue to work from over there, as she will presumably? It was you who persuaded me to invest in our electronic-meeting room, after all. It must have saved us thousands in air-fares, not to mention all the stress and bother.”

“$201,500, and 800 tonnes.”

“What’s that?”

“The money and the carbon emissions we’ve saved by not flying.”

“That’s what I mean. You’re smart, like your uncle said you were. How much have we reduced our emissions since you joined us, and since you persuaded me to send you to the Climate Smart program?”

A 90% Reduction...

“Ninety percent. 20% by going to zero waste, 30% by switching our fleet to electric vehicles, 25% by retrofitting our buildings for far greater efficiency and joining the city’s district heat system, and 15% by reduced business travel, and because you persuaded almost all of our staff to go zero-carbon in the way they commute.”

“That’s pretty impressive, I must admit. How much do you reckon you’ve saved us?”

“Around half a million dollars a year. But it’s not me who should take the credit—it’s our relationship with Climate Smart.”

“Yea, yea. So why are you leaving—what’s the real reason? You got a better offer?”

I blushed—though I don’t like to admit it.

“Yes. The Cowichan Valley Regional District has hired me to head up its New Economy Initiative, to see if we can get the entire district to zero emissions by 2030—businesses, homes, farms, forests, transportation, heat, waste—the works. It was too good an offer to refuse. I’ll be taking a pay cut, but it’s the challenge I like. Climate Smart has agreed to form a partnership with the Regional District, and we’re planning to have every business in the region attend a training series in the first two years. It’s very exciting.”

“Well, I must say, I’m sorry to lose you. This climate thing—do you think it’ll blow over if every business could reduce its carbon pollution the way we have, and if every community does what it you’re about to do over there on the Island?”

“I’m afraid not. The climate scientists say it will take at least a hundred years before we get back to the pre-industrial level of carbon in the atmosphere, assuming the whole world goes zero-carbon, and every farm and forest changes the way it does things, so that they start absorbing carbon instead of producing it. But if everything goes to plan, we’ll be able to avoid the worst predictions. It’s still going to be an awfully turbulent ride for the rest of the century.”

“Well, we do what we can. Did I tell you that I’m going to take your advice and turn the company into a certified Benefit Corporation? It looks as if we’ll sail through the certification process, thanks to all the work you had us do.”

“I’m glad you’re happy. And it’s thanks to you that I’m married to Jessica—so I’m grateful too!”

“Well, off you go, young scamp. And make sure you invite me to your new baby ceremony, or whatever you’re planning!”

- Guy Dauncey

 

Climate Smart Resources

Climate Smart is based at 90-425 Carrall Street, Vancouver. You can find them here, and at 604-254-6283 or 1-888-688-6283.

Climate Smart is offering a 20% discount to BCSEA members for its next two training sessions, beginning November 19 or December 10th. See the schedule here.

Accountants (CPAs, CGAs) who participate in Climate Smart may receive Certified Professional Development (12 credit hours) towards designations. Details here.

You can view the recent BCSEA Climate Smart Webinar: Solar Sauce and Zero-Carbon Coffee - BC's Food and Beverage Industry Can Save Money & Reduce Its Climate Impact? with Christine Van DerWill here.