The business case for sustainability has never been more important than it is right now, as businesses look to find ways of cutting operating expenses and increasing revenues, while they cautiously begin to open back up and plan their budgets for the rest of the year.
Many experts agree that a green economic recovery will help businesses save money while also meeting important environmental goals. The great news is that a number of programs are being delivered across the South Okanagan aimed to assist business owners on this path. The even better news is that participation in the programs outlined below is completely free! Please read on to learn more about these programs, and how you can get involved.
Complimentary Energy Assessments
FortisBC and BC Hydro are offering complimentary energy assessments to small and medium-sized businesses. These free energy assessments provide customized advice to participating businesses about ways to lower their energy consumption, including equipment upgrades that are eligible for rebates. The assessments typically take no more than 30 minutes, and focus on the following areas:
- Technical help to turn down a building if it’s closed or under decreased operating hours due to the current pandemic restrictions
- Low-to-no-cost tips for reducing energy usage and operating costs
- Information about rebates and incentives for upgrading to high-efficiency equipment
In partnership with the British Columbia Hotel Association and FortisBC, GreenStep is supporting their Go Green Program and delivering the innovative EcoFund Program. Through these programs hotels can receive an in-depth energy analysis of their operations to identify energy conservation and cost-cutting projects, and then generate an eco fund to cover the capital expenses of projects identified. This significantly cuts or eliminates project costs to the hotel, providing an immediate payback and return on investment.
Here’s how to sign up:
Complete this short survey and the Energy Analyst, Dylan Tomlin, will set up a time to review the program with you in more detail. You can also call Dylan at 604-443-4754 for more information.
Waste Reduction & Diversion
Working with the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, Greenstep has launched the Recycling Makeover Challenge. The goal of the challenge is to encourage participants to streamline their recycling practices and help businesses save money as they reduce the amount of garbage and recycling being sent to local landfills.
Through this program, businesses and multi-family residential managers can sign up to receive a free onsite Recycling Makeover and training with a recycling expert from GreenStep, or take on a guided DIY version to assess their current waste management practices, find areas for improvement, make meaningful, measurable change to divert more waste from the landfill, and become a Recycling Champion.
All participants who complete the challenge will receive recognition on the RDOS and Greenstep websites, and will be entered to win prizes!
Here’s how to join the Challenge:
Visit https://www.recyclingmakeover.com/ to sign up.
Sustainability Assessments for Tourism Businesses
On behalf of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA), and in partnership with FortisBC, the BC Hotel Association and others, GreenStep is delivering the Eco Efficiency Program to tourism businesses based within the Thompson Okanagan Region. The goal of this program is to support the tourism sector in achieving energy efficiency by identifying operational inefficiencies, providing tools to address them, and ultimately reducing utility bills.
The Program includes an onsite assessment of energy, water and waste practices, followed by a detailed report including the results and recommendations from the assessment, and access to GreenStep’s EcoBase carbon software to calculate the participants’ carbon footprint. Training and tools will also be provided to help participants implement recommendations and measure their carbon footprint.
Available to all of TOTA’s Biosphere Committed members, tourism-based businesses within the Thompson Okanagan Region are encouraged to reach out to TOTA’s Energy Analyst to discuss eligibility and alternatives for non-committed members.
Here’s how to sign up:
Visit totabc.org/eco-assessment to submit your expression of interest and someone will be in touch to discuss the next steps.