On September 10th, the Surrey Board of Trade hosted the 9th annual Environment and Business Awards Luncheon. The lunch also featured a panel dialogue on the importance of businesses developing resiliency in their operations to meet upcoming climate change challenges, more on the panel discussion below.
The awards were presented to Surrey Board of Trade members or Surrey-based businesses that have demonstrated exceptional dedication to environmental leadership and/or issues. The award recipients are guided by a sense of respect for the environment and demonstrate this initiative consistently. Presenting the awards was Jay Rao of Levelton Consultants, awards sponsor.
This year’s winners are:
Small Business – TBF Environmental Technology Inc.
TBF Environmental’s sole business focus is the development and marketing of environmentally friendly solvents to displace toxic and polluting solvents in common use worldwide. The company’s green solvents work in many industrial applications and meet all volatile organic compound (VOC) regulations, exceeding the performance of solvents developed by the large multinational chemical companies.
Medium Business – Executive Mat Service & Janitorial Supply
Executive Mat Service & Janitorial Supply is the only laundry in Canada to offer ISO 14001 certified (a worldwide environment management system) industrial towel cleaning service. Their first initiative was a closed loop system where the volatiles are extracted from the towels with heat. The vapour is then cooled, turning it back into a liquid, which is then used as the fuel source in the boiler. In their quest to recycle, reuse and become energy self sufficient, the company has taken the next step and have installed a gasification chamber, allowing them to turn discarded materials into thermal energy that heats the water used in the washing process.
Large Business – Emterra Environmental
Within the waste management sector, Emterra Environmental stands unique amongst the crowd because the core business is in recycling. Some examples of Emterra’s environmental innovation and success are: inventing the “blue bag” recycling system; ownership of four large scale single stream recycling plants; state of the art facilities and recycling technology; and recycling of unique waste streams, such as scrap tires and liquid waste.
Business and Climate Change Panel Dialogue
The 9th Annual Environment and Business Awards, sponsored by Levelton Consultants, took place in a full room at Eaglequest on September 10th. Surrey’s business leaders received some sage advice from Climate Change panel members:City of Surrey’s Councillor Mike Starchuk; Jas Johal, Director of Communications for LNG Alliance; Nancy Oleweiler, Director of SFU School of Public Policy; and Merran Smith, Executive Director of Clean Energy Canada.
The panelist’s provided informative and at times somewhat different perspectives with respect to their various disciplines. Councillor Starchuk provided an overview of the excellent progress that the City of Surrey has made in both developing and implementing the policies within the Sustainability Charter and announced the imminent launching of Sustainability Charter 2.0.
Jas Johal stressed the potential economic benefits of developing a BC’s natural gas sector emphasizing that electricity generation using natural gas produced less than half the GHGs that are produced by current black coal generating plants. He noted that the BC government would be the recipient of significant royalty revenues and plant construction and infrastructure upgrades would result in many construction jobs and a lesser number of permanent positions.
Nancy Oliweiler concentrated her remarks to on how the South Fraser was particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change that the business sector is connected to climate change in at least two important ways. The first being the significant risks and challenges to operations and the second being the economic opportunities presented as policies are developed to reduce the CO2 footprint and to adapt to the changing climate. She emphasized that many impacts are now irreversible in the medium term and will increasingly challenge those failing to adapt and prepare for the changing climate. Climate hazards risks particular to the region include increased frequency of storms, storm surges, landslides and floods and of these flooding is seen as the most widespread and serious threat. Actions are required if we are not to risk our vibrant economy and maintain our overall prosperity.
Merran Smith closed the panelist presentations by pointing out the many opportunities available to dynamic businesses that choose to create solutions that address the climate change disruption and the foster greater efficiencies.
There was much celebrate in the work done by environmental awards recipients and also much to reflect on from the excellent presentations from our panelists.
Peter Holt of PraxisPoint Consulting is a member of the Surrey Board of Trade’s Environment Advocacy Team. Climate change, zero waste, circular economic strategies, green tech and other subjects are discussed at the monthly meetings to ensure businesses are ready for the future. To find out more or to join, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.