Local resources, incentive programs, and helpful web links that will help business owners implement energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly changes.
Calculate your business' carbon footprint
Consider registering for training with Climate Smart or GreenStep Carbon which integrates an online tool to calculate how much energy your organization consumes and understand how greener choices can reduce your business' carbon footprint.
Benchmark and Report your buildings energy footprint
Building Benchmark BC is a voluntary benchmarking and disclosure program that helps to shift towards increased building performance. And you can also learn more about how your building(s) are stacking up against the BC building stock.
Most Efficient Appliances and Electronics
Energy Star is the most recognized standard for consumers and businesses. Source and purchase the most efficient consumer electronics and computer products currently available by checking the Energy Star Most Efficient annual list.
Call2Recycle is the official battery stewardship program in British Columbia, and we accept used household batteries (weighing less than 5 kg each) at no charge. There are over 1,700 locations where you can recycle your batteries in BC.
Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)
EPEAT is a U.S.-based system to help purchasers in the public and private sectors evaluate, compare, and select desktop computers, notebooks, and monitors based on their environmental attributes.
Greenpeace International Electronics Companies Comparison
This guide ranks the 18 top manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, TVs, and game consoles, according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling, and climate change.
Industrial Energy-Efficient Equipment (Natural Resources Canada)
This site has excellent sections on ice makers, refrigerated vending machines, self-contained commercial refrigerators and freezers, and walk-in commercial refrigeration.
BC Hydro refrigeration tips & maintenance checklist
Maintenance information on commercial refrigeration from the BC Hydro Power Smart Refrigeration. Sample tip: Keep products below market load lines in freezers and coolers. Overloaded displays decrease product quality and increase energy use by as much as 10 to 20% per unit. Keep checking your fridge and freezer seals and replace them when they are broken.
How green is your takeaway container?
Did you know Vancouver is eliminating all plastic single-use containers? For more information see the Single-Use Items Reduction Strategy. Consider offering compostable containers when there is no other alternatives and check out emerging programs such as Reusables that creates a network of reusable takeaway containers or coffee cup share programs like Mugshare.
Message in a Bottle - David Suzuki on water bottles The David Suzuki Foundation published an article about problems with water bottles that highlights the environmental impact of bottled water and encourages their elimination. Check out the Oceanwise Plastics Lab for up-to-date information on tips for reducing micro-plastics such as laundry systems.
Recycling Council of BC - Zero Waste Program (Vancouver)
The Recycling Council of British Columbia's recycling hotline is a comprehensive, toll-free service that provides information on waste reduction, recycling, disposal, and pollution prevention throughout the entire province.
All About Water from Metro Vancouver
Vancouver has some of the best municipal water and this is thanks to a collective effort by all municipalities in Metro Vancouver It includes information about the drinking water management plan, filtration, water quality testing, and water conservation guidance.
Vancouver working to avoid Legionella outbreaks
The City of Vancouver is leading the way to reduce the chance of having deadly Legionella pneumophila outbreaks and now requires all facilities that have Cooling Towers, water features such as fountains and ponds or hot tubs have to sign up to the cooling tower registry and report the results of their monthly Legionella pneumophila testing. For more information see information on the annual water system operating permit.
Sustainable & Social Procurement
Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council & Buy Social Canada
Procurement is one important way to have an impact through your business whether it is selecting locally owned, women-owned, or owned by equity-seeking groups your directed procurement could have a big impact. Check out the Buy Social Canada certified social enterprise directory to help you make valuable connections in your community. The Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council has good resources for reducing Scope 3 carbon emissions through purchasing decisions and guidance for sustainable purchasing.
GreenBiz offers a topical, bottom-line perspective on the greening of business, including compelling news stories and updates on all aspects of going green. Check out the site's Greening your Business: A Primer for Small Businesses guide, along with the Small Business section and the Business Operations section, which focus on green solutions for larger companies.
Environment Canada's CCPIC guide for small and medium businesses
Environment Canada's Canadian Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse (CCPIC) website for small and medium business enterprises offers cost-effective tools, tips, and resources for small and medium-sized businesses. It also includes helpful waste minimization assessments for many different industries.
Mills Office Essentials
Mills is a Certified B-Corp that offers a large online selection of sustainable office supplies, and a reusable blue box program to ensure all products are delivered with minimal extra packaging waste. They have invested in an electric delivery fleet and also partner with Shift Delivery Coop which uses electric tricycles throughout the city to deliver goods and supplies.
Everything you need to know about Lighting
BC Hydro has a great collection of guidance on efficient lighting design choices and strategies that includes LEDs and other lighting technologies such as high-efficiency fluorescent systems.
Office energy efficiency
The New Buildings Institute is a Washington-based non-profit that promotes energy efficiency in new commercial building development. While many of their ideas are for new construction, the site offers interesting lighting design ideas and information.
ecoENERGY Retrofit Incentive
This Natural Resources Canada Office of Energy Efficiency program offers information for existing building retrofits.
BC Association of Farmers' Markets (B.C.)
Keeping your workplace healthy can include supporting local farmers. Farmers' Markets operate in every corner of B.C. Reflecting the communities they serve, markets vary in size and type, from large sheltered public markets to a few vendors clustered in a local park or on a parking lot. Buy local fresh produce and fruit, processed foods, and arts and crafts.
Farm Folk City Folk (Metro Vancouver)
Farm Folk City Folk is a community of B.C. food producers, businesses, and groups working together to promote eating locally in the Metro Vancouver area. Get Local offers education about the benefits of eating locally, a growing list of businesses that are producing and selling local food, and other resources to help you choose more local food. Their chart of what foods are in season each month is incredibly thorough.
Rethink2gether & PLEDGE Certification on Food Waste (B.C.)
Food service operators can complete food waste prevention training, implement tracking technology and with Rethink2gether and implement systems to reduce food waste and significantly reduce their food service carbon footprint. You can also certify your kitchen to the PLEDGE Certification on Food Waste. Get started with a free food waste savings calculator.
CFL recycling facilities (Southern B.C., Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island) Because CFLs contain some mercury, it is essential that you recycle spent bulbs. Find a recycler in your area.