A newly released study shows Sudbury’s small business community can have a big impact on our community’s carbon footprint. Green Economy North, Sudbury’s sustainability program for business, released the city’s first Business Energy and Emissions Profile at a briefing Tuesday.
“No one has quantified, until now, the carbon footprint of Sudbury’s small and medium-sized businesses,” said Richard Eberhardt, Program Manager of Green Economy North. “This new data shows that businesses of all sizes can play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and at the same time, make major operational savings.”
Focusing on the energy use and emissions of 3,000 of Sudbury’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the report studies businesses which are not required to report under the provincial Cap and Trade legislations.
These business, employing over 51,000 Sudburians, have a combined total emissions of 254,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Depending on the industrial sector, the emissions come from a combination of space heating, vehicle use, electricity consumption, and waste disposal.
Green Economy North works with organizations of all sizes to reduce annual emissions while increasing competitive advantage.
“By setting a target of 20% or more, we can have a huge impact on the overall sustainability of the city - and it’s possible.” says Eberhardt “This report breaks down both the business case and the most effective strategies for smaller businesses to make real changes.”
Green Economy North has calculated that reducing Sudbury’s emissions from SMEs by 20% would save 50,800 tonnes of CO2 per year, an amount equivalent to:
• the energy needed to power 5,400 homes,
• OR taking 10,700 cars off the road.
The second of its kind in Ontario, the report was produced with the expertise of Climate Smart BC, which has released similar documents in Victoria, Vancouver, and York Region.
“Businesses measure what matters, and increasingly carbon footprint matters,” says Rebecca Danard, Executive Director of reThink Green. “Small businesses are essential to our economy, and we will continue to work with them to help them think long-term when it comes to environmental sustainability.”
The Business Energy and Emissions Profile is available as both an interactive dashboard and a comprehensive report, and can be accessed at: www.greeneconomynorth.ca/beep