Posted by: greencrusader
April 28, 2013
On April 21st, Green Crusader, That Solar Place, Tiny Labs, Ballet Mexico Lindo of Alberta and other organizations had the opportunity to profile eco-friendly products and services to shoppers at West Edmonton Mall as part of Earth Day 2013 celebration. On April 30th, Green Crusader will move from the shopping mall to the classroom to give CDI College Oil and Gas students a dose of going green – Green School Program, Earth Day Special.
Going through over 200 feedback forms from students involved in Green School Program, one question jumps out, ‘What do you think was left out of the Green School presentation?’ ‘Different ways of going green’, some students responded. From my conversations with over 50 HR and marketing reps from predominantly construction and oil and gas industries at the April 2013 Edmonton Journal Employment Supershow, the question I had for them was; ‘do you have a sustainability plan or do you know of any action your company has taken to go green’. Since going green is a collective effort and involves contribution from every employee in a company, from CEO to front desk staff, it was surprising that 90% of the reps did not know about their company’s sustainability plan or actions. Some said it does not apply to them because their business is in construction. Others said it only applies to those at the corporate level. ‘We recycle’, ‘We switch off’, ‘We compost’….Others responded.
It has become apparent that some people seek some suggestions of green actions which they can take; others copy from what they see or hear from the media. Well that is fine…but, I try not to tell students or clients what to do to go green. I however help them come up with a green action keeping in mind 6 key objectives. These include:
1. aligned with their core values, vision and aspirations,
2. set achievable targets
3. can measure their progress,
4. fit within their sustainability budget,
5. acceptable within their organization and
6. can be sustained and improved over time.
This implies, for an organization to select an action or implement a green program, it needs a simplified sustainability plan or green action plan in place which can be summarized as:
I won’t go into details of a simplified green action plan in this article as you can learn more in Green Crusader’s Green Business Program.
Drawing a green action plan helps an organization (big or small) to make good decision on what green action to take and what not to. However, Green Crusader has a collection of over 100 green success stories from across the world on its Green Library page to inspire organizations.
Most of the times, organizations pick green actions based on what others do or what is popular, or what we hear from the media. This is what I often described as ‘checklist’ method of going green with no action plan in place. Action plan is like a road map (green road map), without it, it will be difficult to get to our desired green destination. That is; hard to know if you are making progress, difficult to quantify results, hard to know if you are not ‘greenwashing’ the public, and may not be possible to measure progress to share green successes that will stand the test of time. Are you guilty of using the ‘checklist’ method? If yes, relax, you are not alone. In fact, every municipality has taken one or more green actions, but, The Federation of Canadian Municipalities stated that of the 34% of municipalities who have developed an action plan, only 12% have implemented their plan. Every organization starts by taking green actions here and there before getting organized and drawing a plan. It is the process of evolution in going green, where you start with a ‘checklist’ and grow to a green action plan. So now take your green journey to the next level and evolve to an action plan if you do not have one.
In 2010, Alberta Energy reported that oil sands operations contribute to 38.2% of all industrial greenhouse gas emissions in Alberta. There is no better place to go educate our young people about going green than a classroom of oil and gas students. This green School Program presentation will help bring oil and gas students into the “green discuss” and conclude with students in small groups coming up with simple, practical and cost-effective steps to go green and share with interested organizations who will accept the student for internship.
Frankline Agbor is Chief Green Officer for Green Crusader, Edmonton, with a M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering, a trained Oxfam School Speaker and Graduate of the Kids at Hope University, committed to the success of all children and youth, no exceptions. Green Crusader has worked yearly with NAIT Entrepreneurship intern students for the past 3 years and look forward to more.
Frankline describe himself as a “green marketer working to build sustainable communities”, author of the column Green Business for Edmonton Business Talk WeBA Magazine, eBook, 7 Steps to Going Green – How to Build Green Claims That Lead to Effective Marketing, and several educational, inspiring and exciting articles to help businesses and communities “go green”. He is the designer and Producer of Green Shopper Expo hosted in some of the largest malls such as West Edmonton Mall, profiled on Edmonton Breakfast Television, reported in Edmonton Sun, and The Grove Examiner as well as designer and instructor for Green School Program.
Frankline focuses his energy on building sustainable communities as a member of the Planning Committee for Environment Week Edmonton, judge for Canadian Scotiabank & SIFE Go Green Challenge for colleges and universities, and producer of the glossy print Afro-Canadian Magazine. Frankline is also active in promoting sustainability policies and plans of municipalities in Alberta.
His most recent project is Edmonton Solar Centre, designed to enable businesses and municipalities reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, produce emissions-free energy to power our homes and businesses, create “green” jobs, give solar educational and recreational tours, and contribute to build sustainable communities.