Sustainability 2.0 - the Evolution of Green
by Toby Barazzuol on Monday Mar 30, 2009

As a client of Eclipse Awards, you probably know that we are committed to excellence, reliability and service.  What you might not be aware of is that we are also committed to sustainability and that I commit roughly 20% of my time to community building in Strathcona and the Downtown Eastside where our office is located.  

What does this mean exactly?  It means that we make great efforts to reduce our environmental footprint by reducing our energy consumption and committing to green power on the way to becoming the world's first carbon neutral awards company, we’ve built 2 green roofs and invested in creating a healthy and inspiring workplace for our staff, we’re exploring new ways to create beauty and value out of reclaimed materials, and we are helping to build a community in Strathcona that celebrates sustainable thinking, the arts and diversity.

I currently serve as vice-chair of the Strathcona Business Improvement Association and chair of its sustainability committee.  The committee is based on the idea that understanding sustainability is the single greatest investment that a business or organization can make towards its future success.  The Sustainability Committee's mission statement is:

to educate members about the business case for environmental and social sustainability;  provide them with the tools and resources to implement sustainability as it relates to their organization;  and develop the broader community that will both support and attract green businesses.

We have been working towards holding Vancouver’s second small business expo called Sustainability 2.0 – the Evolution of Green which takes place this April 2nd at ChapelArts.

The event will feature a panel of green business people exploring the leading edge of sustainable thought in business…why are companies doing it?  Are they still doing it in this current economy?  How has it helped strengthen their businesses, if at all?  The panel will feature Saul Brown from Saul Good Gifts, Danielle Carrie from Frogfile, Peter Joe from Sunrise Soya, Clay Braziler from Eco-Industrial Solutions, and me, Toby Barazzuol from Eclipse Awards.  We hope to explore the idea of collaboration and how businesses can work together to achieve the next level of sustainability.  

There is only so much that a single business can do on its own in terms of greening, so sustainability ultimately boils down to community and culture and working together through collaboration.  What kinds of things do we value, prioritize and celebrate as a community?

Sustainability 2.0 will also feature Majora Carter who has done amazing work around “greening the ghetto” as director of Sustainable South Bronx.  She is considered by some to be New York’s most influential environmental and social activist.
To learn more about Majora, here is a quick 30 second clip or her more in-depth TED talk on "greening the ghetto".
Majora has also received a McArthur Genius Grant as well as funding from the Clinton Global Initiative.


This Thursday she will be doing a walking tour of Strathcona, possibly joined by Vancouver’s Mayor Gregor Robertson.  The tour will end at ChapelArts in time to start Sustainability 2.0.

All in all, we hope that this will be a defining event around sustainability and community in the Downtown Eastside.  It’s free to attend and we hope that you do, you can preregister here.

Strathcona receives a lot of negative press which is unfortunate as there are a lot of positive things going on here.  Our vision is to build on the positive, and focus our resources on developing the diverse, creative and inclusive community that we’d like to see.

At Eclipse Awards, we are committed to creating beautiful awards and delivering them on time.  We are also committed to developing a strong community and believe that small businesses can ultimately become the engines that heal the environment, support arts and culture, and build stronger, healthier communities.  So when you choose to partner with Eclipse Awards, you’re not only getting world class service and awards, you’re also helping to make the world a better place.



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