Climate Leadership: Action, Commitment and Imagination
by Toby Barazzuol on Tuesday Dec 22, 2015
With the historic agreement reached at the COP21 Climate Change Conference in Paris recently, many of us are thinking about what more we can do to help our planet flourish. At Eclipse Awards, we pursue sustainability as part of our aspiration to be an awesome company and valuable partner to our clients. It's one of the reasons we were recognized as BC's Greenest Business. Over the years, we’ve made some big strides towards minimizing our footprint and fighting climate change. We’ve had breakthroughs and setbacks, tiny victories and ongoing frustrations. Most importantly though, through this ongoing journey and process, we have come to view sustainability not as a limitation, but rather as a source of inspiration, innovation and insight.
So as 2015 comes a close, we took a look at 5 things we’re doing at Eclipse Awards to fight climate change and create value for our clients:
This year we completed our 6th ClimateSmart certification since the program was first launched in 2010! If you don’t yet know about this program, be sure to check it out. What it offers is a new way to look at business, through a lense of energy consumption and operations. The certification process helps organizations understand and track their carbon footprint, plan for improvements, and identify both savings and new opportunities. We are grateful for what we have learned from the ClimateSmart community and we are more resilient because of it - it's hard to imagine an organization that wouldn't benefit from becoming ClimateSmart.
We are carbon neutral thanks to Brinkman Climate! Recently we retired 113 tons of carbon offsets via Brinkman Climate to offset the last 3 years of our operations and become “carbon neutral”. What this means in theory is that you don’t have to calculate the carbon implications of anything you buy from us, because we have already accounted for it as responsibly as possible, and then offset its effects. To accomplish this in 2015 we were attracted to the locality of the Cheakamus Community Forest Carbon Offsets and the dedicated climate work of Joseph Pallant, a carbon dynamo. By purchasing our carbon offsets through this program, we are honouring our forests and helping this beautiful BC bioregion to flourish.
Several years ago, we realized there weren’t any “green” awards in our industry. Crystal awards will always be elegant and timeless, however we couldn’t find anything designed specifically to recognize leadership in sustainability. So we set out on what has become an 8 year journey to design and produce the world’s greenest awards - exploring, testing, designing, collaborating and learning. This year we reached a milestone in that journey with the launch of our Vancouver Awards. These awards are not only green and sustainable, they are also admired by recipients. Said one: “Thank you so much for the amazingly beautiful award. It is growing and gorgeous. I cannot imagine a more beautiful award”. Our green awards are also now featured in Canada's first Zero Waste Design Portfolio. Salvaged locally, natural, organic, unique, personalized, beautiful and crafted by hand from a single material - these awards represent a pinnacle in our journey and play a large role in reducing both our clients’ and our own carbon footprint.
We aim to create as much beauty and value as possible, using the fewest resources possible. We have created a healthy and inspiring workspace that is flooded with natural light, so we only turn on the lights 4 months a year. We also have a greenroof and garden. As well, we have been Bullfrog Powered with 100% green energy since 2009. As a partner, Bullfrog feeds green energy into the grid on behalf of Eclipse Awards, another important step in minimizing the impacts of our energy consumption.
Ultimately, climate change leadership is about voluntarily holding ourselves to higher standards and setting an example. We have signed the Vancouver Climate Pledge and believe we can accomplish more together than alone. In the spirit of collaboration, we run our Community Partners Program and work closely with organizations we admire and respect, helping them to empower emerging leaders, strengthen relationships and increase their impact.
The years ahead are vital in terms of our planet’s climate. We will continue to minimize our footprint, while aspiring to create more value and beautiful things for our clients. We hope you’ll join us!