The City of Pitt Meadows and Metro Vancouver are paying local businesses up to $1,000 to take part in a program designed to help them reduce their carbon footprint.
Called Climate Smart, the program helps businesses monitor their carbon footprint as well as educating them about environmentally-friendly business options, streamlining practices, and lowering energy consumption.
In addition to helping the environment, there’s a financial incentive for going green as well.
“A construction company in Whistler was able to divert much of their waste to a recycling program, saving them about $65,000 every year in tipping costs,” said Climate Smart spokesperson Lloyd Lee.
“A retailer in the Valley managed to reduce their electricity bill by one-sixth just by shutting off all their lights for four hours a night.”
Metro Vancouver is offering 200 $500 grants for businesses to take part in the program. The City of Pitt Meadows is also offering an additional $500 grant for five local businesses.
The program costs between $1,250 and $2,000, depending on the size of the business, bringing the cost down to as little as $250 for local businesses who apply for the subsidy.
More than 400 businesses across the province have already taken part in the program, said Lee.
“What were finding is that for every ton of carbon emissions a business can reduce, they can see a savings of about $450,” he said.
The majority of savings come from reducing fuel and energy costs.
“Agricultural companies can often have quite a heavy carbon footprint because of transportation costs, but that mean there’s a real opportunity for savings there,” Lee said.
The program itself consists of three half-day training sessions with the business, as well as one year of access to computer software which helps calculate and monitor carbon emissions.
Businesses also receive one-on-one personal coaching through a hotline number should they encounter issues down the road.
Businesses that take part in the program are issued a Climate Smart seal, which can be used for marketing purposes.
• For more information, visit www.climatesmartbusiness.com/metrovancouver. The next sessions take place at the Climate Smart office in Gastown on Sept. 13, Oct. 11 and Nov. 10.