Project Helps Businesses Reduce Carbon Emissions

May 19, 2015
UNBC students and Natalie Alteen (far left) and Krystal Devauld (far right) are helping Prince George business become more environmental conscious through the Carbon Footprint Reduction Project in conjunction with the Prince George Chamber of Commerce. Environmental Dynamics Inc. Managing Partner Cathy Mackay (centre left) and P.S. Piano Service owner Peter Stevenson represent two of the participating businesses. Download high-resolution image

Eight Prince George businesses know more about their sources of carbon emissions and how to reduce them thanks to a partnership between the Prince George Chamber of Commerce and UNBC.

Phase Two of the Carbon Footprint Reduction Project ran this past winter, and Phase Three is now underway. The project is sponsored by CN, one of the largest employers in the Prince George area. Students in UNBC’s winter 2015 offering of the “Carbon Management: The Intersection of Business and Environmentalism” course completed internationally-recognized carbon footprint analysis for each participating business.

Eight local businesses signed up for this inaugural project: Chilako River Ranch, EDI Environmental Dynamics Inc., Glenbirnam Farm, Home Sweet Home, JFT Secure Ltd., Nest Egg Ostrich Ranch, and P.S. Piano Service. The businesses received an analysis of their sources of carbon emissions at no cost to them. The reports also included recommendations on how the businesses could reduce emissions, the rate of consumption, and energy expenses.

“P.S. Piano Service has always worked diligently to run our business with as small a carbon footprint as possible. This program was an opportunity for us to have our emissions quantified so that we can see both how we are doing, and how far we still need to go,” says P.S. Piano Service owner Peter Stevenson, “In today’s world, businesses must be socially, environmentally and financially responsible. Successful businesses are those that show leadership, and Canadians are looking for climate change leadership.”

The businesses also welcomed the opportunity to support the collaboration between UNBC, the Chamber, and the community. “EDI has a number of UNBC alumni who wanted to be involved, as they want to support the students directly,” says EDI Prince George Branch Manager Cathy Mackay, “We appreciated the opportunity to work with both the Chamber and UNBC on this innovative project.”

The students benefitted from learning from real and current case studies.

“It made an enormous difference being able to work with actual businesses. Even with a great instructor, strong resources, and a great group of classmates, nothing can compare with that real-world experience,” says UNBC Environmental Planning student Danielle Patterson, “When you learn something in class, you can only imagine or guess at what real-world hiccups or issues may arise in calculations for something like carbon emission equivalencies. Then you meet with a local business person and learn about the details of how their operations work, and it gives you a whole new perspective on how to calculate data.”

Students also received funding from UNBC’s Undergraduate Experiential Service Learning (UESL) program to continue to work with the businesses once their classes were complete. The UESL program is made possible by unrestricted charitable donations to UNBC.

“The Carbon Footprint Reduction Program showcases the benefits of a great partnership between UNBC and the Prince George community,” says UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks. “Students are able to work collaboratively with local business owners and provide leadership in finding practical ways to reduce emissions.”

Phase Three of the project will run from May to August 2015.The focus will be on helping those interested businesses implement any carbon reduction strategies that are economically appealing, and work towards becoming a lower carbon company. The Chamber has hired a summer intern, Natalie Alteen, who will work with the participating companies on lowering their emissions. This position is funded by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

The Chamber of Commerce and UNBC look forward to this continued collaboration that will see the benefits of carbon reduction brought further to the Prince George community.

Contact Information

Marissa Kellett

Communications Coordinator, Prince George Chamber of Commerce
250-552-2911   |    communications@pgchamber.bc.ca

Peter James

Communications Officer, UNBC
250-960-5420   |   peter.james@unbc.ca

Kyle Aben

Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions Program Coordinator, UNBC
250-960-6378   |   abenk@unbc.ca

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