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Small Business Eco Challenge

Small Business Eco Challenge

Showcase your eco friendly business!

The Small Business Eco Challenge celebrates the environmental achievements of small businesses operating in Edmonton.

Award Criteria

Entries are judged within the six categories included in the City's environmental strategic plan The Way We Green:

  • Energy and Climate Change
  • Food Resiliency: protection of local food supply or agriculture
  • Solid Waste Reduction
  • Land Conservation and Biodiversity
  • Water Quality Protection and Conservation
  • Air Quality

Only for-profit enterprises within the city of Edmonton that have been in operation for year or more qualify for the challenge. Winners are selected on the basis of overall environmental performance.

Categories

  • 1-10 Employees
  • 11-50 Employees
  • 51-100 Employees

Prizes

All prizes include recognition on the City of Edmonton's Carbon Dioxide Reduction Edmonton web page and in media releases prepared at the time of winning, as well as:

  • First Prize: $500 Cash
  • Second Prize $300 Cash
  • Third Prize: $100 Cash

2013 Challenge Winners

Businesses with 1-10 employees

1st place: EccoAmmo
EccoAmmo provides sustainable building design and construction consulting as well as sustainable operations consulting and carbon monitoring and event tracking for other business.

Some of their environmental initiatives include: 
  • Integrating video commuting with out of town clients
  • Encouraging employees to walk & bike to work
  • Using the company’s Smart Car
  • Organizing company lunches and client lunches at local restaurants that focus on local and organic foods
  • Maintaining a garden that supplies the office with fresh vegetables
  • Clients averaging 39% energy reduction and 42% indoor water use reduction in the last six years

2nd place: Earth Legacy Inc.
Earth Legacy provides sustainable landscape design.

Their environmental initiatives include:
  • Including trees (to provide shade and to sequester carbon) in their designs
  • Creating edible landscapes that provide food for homeowners and resilience against pests and drought
  • Not planting lawns in landscapes designs, thus eliminating the need for electrical or gas powered mowers  
  • Using a company vehicle (a 150cc scooter) that gets about three litres per 100kms
  • Using existing soil and plant material as substrate and compost on construction projects
  • Finding ways to repurpose extra materials and construction leftovers. 
  • Removing or decommissioning irrigation systems, which are culprits to water loss
  • Never using any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides

3rd place: Carbon Environmental Boutique
Carbon Environmental Boutique is a retail operation that provides products that are non-toxic, sustainable, ethical and local.

Some of their environmental initiatives include:
  • Specifically sourcing Canadian products for sale in their store with an emphasis on Edmonton-based companies where possible, and finding products with zero volatile organic compounds. None of the products sold in the store contain any of the chemical compounds on a watch-list.
  • Sending out a monthly e-newsletter with tips on how to be more environmentally friendly
  • Placing orders in larger amounts instead of  smaller ones to decrease the overall amount of packaging and shipments required
  • Providing a 15% discount on all cleaning supplies to individuals living in the condos of their same building in order to encourage them to phase out toxic cleaners 
  • Encouraging employees to travel to work with active or public transportation
  • Being a Bullfrog Power customer

Businesses with 11-50 employees

1st place: Manasc Isaac Architects 
Manasc Isaac is a firm of architects, engineers and interior designers.  

Their environmental initiatives include: 
  • Designing the province’s first LEED® certified building as well as Edmonton’s first LEED® Silver building
  • Integrating sustainable features at every level of design
  • Installing solar panel sunshades on the south side of their own office building, which generates about 10% of building’s needed power. They saved approximately 12,500 pounds of carbon dioxide between July 2011 and September 2012.
  • Not using air conditioning in the office during summer months thanks to solar sun shades and operable windows that allow great air circulation throughout the building
  • Providing free bus passes to staff and incentives for employees who carpool to work
  • Allowing employees access to a Smart Car to run errands
  • Providing catering from local food suppliers
  • Maintaining a roof-deck garden that grows tomatoes, herbs, etc.

2nd place: The Organic Box
The Organic Box is a home produce delivery business with the mission to support organic farming, in order to promote a healthy, sustainable and vibrant food community.

Some of their environmental initiatives include: 
  • Measuring their energy usage with an online energy inventory program called Climate Smart, which tracks electricity, fuel and waste among other things.
  • Using the measurements to evaluate all possible ways to reduce emissions and waste in daily operations
  • During recent renovations, using second hand fixtures where possible, recycling flooring, and installing high efficiency lighting
  • Purchasing offsets to achieve their mandate of being a carbon neutral company goal
  • Delivering all products in reusable cardboard boxes made at a local manufacturing plant using 80% recycled material.
  • Planning delivery routes to be as efficient as possible 
  • Monitoring all delivery vehicles by fleet management for scheduled maintenance to ensure they are operating as efficiently as possible.

3rd place: Oil Country Engineering Services
Oil Country Engineering is a land-based drilling rig consulting firm that incorporates a number of green programs in the workplace:
 
Some of their environmental initiatives include: 
  • Designing an office with an open concept to allow for more natural light
  • Encouraging employees to list goods to borrow, buy or sell through an eBay-style page on the intranet
  • Providing a Green Credit Program where employees receive money back from the company when purchasing Green products
  • Stocking the staff lounge with pre-prepared frozen lunches supplied by “Eat Local”
  • Reducing organic waste by providing a vermicompost bin in the staff lounge 
  • Using only green products for cleaning office spaces

Businesses with 51-100 employees

Winner: B&B Demolition
B&B Demolition is a local demolition company specializing in recycling a full range of structural construction waste in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.  

Their environmental initiatives include: 
  • Achieving as high as 89% recycle rates when demolishing buildings
  • Installing scrubbers in all machinery, reducing the amount of particulates that are released into the air in diesel fumes
  • Using three battery-operated floor stripping machines
  • Purchasing Smart Cars for staff use
  • Shutting off lights and powering down computers at night 
  • Receiving regular “Organic Box" delivery of organic fruits and vegetables for office staff
  • Later this year, B&B Demolition will become LEED certified

For more information:

Telephone

311

Email sbecochallenge@edmonton.ca