News: Changing Behaviour and Saving Money Key Messages at Environmental Sustainability Forum for Business
The event, which was presented by BC Hydro and Encorp Pacific offered attendees a fantastic opportunity to discuss the business case for sustainability through informal reception-style networking including a panel presentation and Q&A session.
This year’s panel was comprised of a four speakers representing small and large business, education and social enterprise. They included James Tansey from UBC’s Sauder School of Business and CEO of Offsetters; Elizabeth Sheehan from Climate Smart; TransLink’s Director of Corporate Sustainability, Trish Webb; and Damien Kettlewell, President of JAK Group (including Burnaby’s Great Bear Pub and Liquor Store). Facilitating the discussion was Coro Strandberg, Principal of Strandberg Consulting, and member of the Burnaby Board of Trade’s Environmental Sustainability Committee.
Throughout the evening each of the panel members delivered an inspiring overview of their corporate objectives and positive results. Sheehan noted that one of Climate Smarts clients managed to save $17,000 simply by turning off the lights at night. At Translink, heavy investment in hybrid electric/diesel buses and an electric trolley system has had a great impact on lowering the company’s carbon footprint, according to Webb.
Probably one on the most interesting moments of the discussion was Kettlewell’s description of how small sustainable changes have influenced his business. In addition to the cost savings afforded by LED lighting and refrigeration timers, he noted the value of being seen as a responsible business for attracting new customers. “We wanted to attract a younger demographic, and we’ve had some success doing that,” said Kettlewell. “It’s also been good for staff retention. In our recruitment efforts a lot of people have expressed interest in our sustainable commitments when asked why they want to work for us.”
Businesses interested in reducing their environmental impact while saving money should look out for the BBOT’s new Environmental Pledge program expected to be launched in the coming months.