CLBC has made strong strides in reducing its carbon footprint even as our organization grows in the number of people we serve each year.
This is of high importance to staff personally and professionally, and part of efforts to support the climate action goals of the government. CLBC reports on our progress through our Carbon Neutral Action Report on our website each year.
CLBC has reduced its total emissions from 608 tonnes in 2013 when CLBC began reporting to 465 tonnes in 2018 – a reduction of about 24 per cent. This is tracked for each CLBC office through the government’s SMARTTool.
One way CLBC is reducing its ecological footprint is through the B.C. Government’s Leading Workplace Strategies (LWS) initiative, which CLBC adopted in 2014. LWS is described as a shift in approach to accommodating office work from traditional dedicated office space to work styles that reflect greater worker mobility and greater choice in work settings.
LWS strategies reduce the carbon footprint, decrease the real estate footprint, and provide more flexibility for staff.
“There is an initial cost to making improvements but, in the end, not having to expand or relocate offices will result in future cost avoidance,” says Aman Gill, CLBC’s manager of facilities and workplace solutions, who oversees the LWS initiative for CLBC. “Any time we can save money it puts money back towards the individuals we serve.”
LWS has been introduced to a number of local CLBC offices by converting existing space from offices to open concept, with drop-in workstations (where desks aren’t assigned to one staff person), privacy phone rooms/booths and collaborative work spaces. Victoria and Surrey each consolidated from two offices to one new location. The Port Moody office converted to LWS, creating more workspaces for staff within the existing footprint. Work is underway to convert the Abbotsford office to LWS, and LWS is being considered for more offices when their leases expire.
Aman has seen firsthand how well LWS can work as she herself has become more mobile, along with its results, including improved productivity, work-life balance and less commuting in a vehicle. She also notes it helps our organization do its part to protect the environment and combat climate change.
Other initiatives that have contributed to the GHG reductions include:
- CLBC’s Head Office and the Provincial Assessment Centre are both gold-certified in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This standard takes into account factors such as recycling, energy consumption and includes points for features such as a plug-in for electric vehicles.
- CLBC’s Parking and Transit Subsidy policy was updated in 2018, which resulted in 60 per cent more staff taking transit.
- CLBC has reduced paper use by moving from multiple printers to multi-function devices, which also merged fax machines, and which default to double-sided printing. More work still needs to be done in this area and CLBC is planning to eliminate all stand-alone printers this year.
Going forward, CLBC will continue to look for ways that the organization as a whole and each individual staff member can help reduce our carbon footprint to support the government’s climate action goals.