Across Canada and around the world, businesses have become increasingly aware of the growing need to take steps in response to climate change. While large corporations push forward to develop strategies that both protect the environment and leverage climate-smart opportunities, small and medium-sized enterprises are being left behind.
“Small businesses can find it more challenging to implement sustainability initiatives due to limited knowledge, resources, and capacity,” says Natalie Stephenson, coordinator of the region’s newest business network, Green Economy Peterborough. “We are here to help with that. Green Economy Peterborough supports businesses to overcome the barriers to becoming more efficient and environmentally sustainable.”
Green Economy Peterborough works with member organizations to measure, set, and achieve reduction targets in emissions, water use, and waste.
“Although action plans can vary from business to business,” says Stephenson. “The end result is the same: real, tangible results; results that members can be proud of, results that have an impact.”
“There’s a lot of research that points to the benefits of becoming more sustainable,” says Stephenson. “There’s the obvious savings associated with reducing operational costs, but there are a lot of other benefits too. Businesses can become more resilient, enhance their brand image, increase customer and client loyalty, expand their customer base, and improve employee pride.”
Once a business becomes a Green Economy Peterborough member, they receive one-to-one coaching, and access to training sessions, and measurement and tracking tools. Their activities and successes are celebrated and promoted publicly by the hub. Importantly, upon joining, members become part a vibrant local network that shares knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm.
The need for this service in our region is evident. “We’re definitely filling a gap,” states Stephenson. “We are very pleased with the reception to our program so far. We already have a number of committed high profile organizations signed up to be founding members.”
Green Economy Peterborough is guided by experts on many levels. Locally, the network is supported by an Advisory Committee made up of business and community leaders, including Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, the Peterborough DBIA, Curve Lake First Nation, Trent University, the County of Peterborough, and the City of Peterborough.
Green Economy Peterborough is hosted by GreenUP, a local, award-winning, non-profit organization with over 25 years of experience delivering programming and services that provide practical, community-based environmental solutions.
At the national level, Green Economy Peterborough is tapped into a national network of hubs supported by the umbrella organization, Green Economy Canada. Through this relationship, local business members have access to the experience and knowledge of over 300 member organizations associated with eight hubs operating in communities across the country.
The official launch of Green Economy Peterborough will take place on Earth Day, April 22 from 3 – 4:30. This celebration will feature guest speaker corporate sustainability expert and author, Bob Willard, of Sustainability Advantage, along with an overview of the hub by local business leaders and founding members.
To find out more about Green Economy Peterborough membership, visit www.greeneconomypeterborough.ca or contact Natalie Stephenson at firstname.lastname@example.org Membership fees are based on the size of your business. Subsidies may be available.