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LiveSmart BC Community Feature
Saving two kinds of green
When Sandra Oldfield decided to attend the Climate Smart workshops, she worried it would be too expensive to implement sustainability initiatives at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards. In reality, the opposite was true.
“One of the most surprising things we learned when we went through the program was how it would translate into better cost efficiencies in our company’s bottom line,” said Oldfield, head of operations at the Oliver vineyards.
The winery was already beginning to operate with a sustainable mindset when executives recognized their goals coincided well with those of the Climate Smart program, which focuses on equipping businesses with the tools and knowledge to profitably reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
The workshops offer comprehensive, business case-based training, taking businesses through the process of creating an emissions inventory and developing reduction strategies with a focus on cost savings and brand lift. Online tools and technical assistance help measure and reduce carbon footprints.
Businesses enrolled in the program join a group of 10-15 enterprises for three, half-day workshops over 10 weeks run by climate change experts.
“It was very valuable to talk to employees from businesses so different from your own because they would mention ideas you wouldn’t even think of.”
Climate Smart workshops focus on three important steps:
- Measure: monitor your GHG emissions
- Reduce: make goals and choose strategies
- Leverage: work toward becoming carbon neutral and communicate initiatives
“The measuring exercise is cathartic and makes you look at everything more holistically,” said Oldfield. “You really start to recognize where the most energy is spent and you can begin to target the energy bottlenecks.”