Go for Green! Practical advice for your company’s sustainability team

Tuesday March 5, 2024

It’s no secret that bullfrogpowered businesses are sustainability leaders, with many of them having a dedicated green team that encourages emissions reductions, recycling, and much more. We asked our community to share their favourite environmental initiatives and their advice for other companies looking to start or level up their green team.

Start with a baseline

Muskoka Roastery Coffee Co. has a few key employees who captain their sustainability initiatives, from achieving B Corp certification to implementing a no-waste policy at their office and roasting facility. Thanks to the efforts of the entire team, Muskoka Roastery will achieve their zero-waste target by 2025 – driven largely by the conversion of all coffee bags to a recyclable alternative.

The Muskoka Roastery team stressed the importance of tracking key metrics, like waste, energy, and water, as a first step towards sustainability. Without a baseline, you won’t be able to measure and celebrate your progress.

Prioritize immediate impact

TAS notes that while distant net-zero goals are important, it’s equally important to look for everyday green opportunities. Their Impact team focuses on sustainability as well as social impact in the pursuit of developing mixed-income, low-carbon housing.

At TAS, they prioritize avoiding emissions from the beginning of the building development process, reducing the need for carbon offsets. At their flagship development in downtown Toronto, they diverted more than 92% of demolition waste. Two-thirds of that waste was repurposed on-site, reducing emissions from transportation, recycling, and new material production.

Start small and keep steady

Ecotrend Ecologics Ltd. considers their entire staff to be a green team working towards reducing unnecessary consumption. Over the past 13 years, they’ve meticulously tracked their energy use, waste, and transportation.

They’ve found that building sustainable habits can lead to big impacts. By identifying and implementing small changes, like replacing hand towels with efficient dryers or swapping paper for a sugar-based alternative, Ecotrend Ecologics has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 44% compared to their base year.

Find strength in numbers

Devour Catering doesn’t have a formal green team, but that doesn’t stop them from incorporating sustainability into their decision-making. They’re working to source more produce, meat, and beverages from local vendors to cut down on transportation-related emissions and invest in the local food economy.

As a small business, Devour Catering finds that partnering with sustainability-focused organizations is a great way to have an impact without overextending their resources. Bullfrogpowering their operations is a simple and effective way to get started. They also work with partners to upcycle their used fryer oil into biofuel and offer reusable food containers to customers.

Focus on the customer experience

Staples Canada aims to make sustainable choices easier for their associates and their customers, such as by offering bullfrogpowered marketing collateral and other print materials to their solutionshop customers.

In 2012, Staples Canada’s sustainability team initiated a partnership with TerraCycle that allows customers to recycle writing instruments in stores. They’re the only Canadian retailer to do so, and they’ve recycled more than six million writing instruments to date!

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the partnership, the sustainability team held an event where associates helped create an art piece made of upcycled markers. The artwork hangs in the Staples Canada head office as a reminder to integrate sustainability into their workplace culture.

Keep learning and experimenting

Your Neighbourhood Credit Union (YNCU) has a green team made up of a cross-functional group of members. This year, the team switched individual waste bins for central waste and recycling, stopping about 300 plastic bags from going to landfill each week.

The green team likes to get creative. Recently, they organized a Build-A-Bike Challenge in all YNCU offices and branches. Participants built 23 children’s bikes and donated them to local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapters. The green team’s advice is to commit to ongoing learning and look to other organizations for unique ideas to try.

YNCU is also collaborating with other credit unions to encourage green energy adoption. Their Bullfrog Power partnership includes a Good Neighbour Co-operative Pricing Model that gives referred credit unions access to discounted rates.