What is a Regional Carbon Initiative?

If energy efficiency is considered our fifth fuel (after carbon, nuclear, wind and solar) and our single most important future source of energy, then Regional Carbon Initiatives can help us move towards a low carbon future in our cities and towns.

A Regional Carbon Initiative is a partnership of city leaders, businesses, education and community partners who have a common ‘sustainable vision’ of establishing voluntary energy conservation and emissions reduction goals for industry, facilities and mobility, and taking steps to achieving them.

Such an initiative could be set up to work with existing energy and sustainability programs within communities by taking a collaborative approach to ensure that:

  • Local businesses have access to resources and tools to help them implement low-cost carbon management programs.
  • A standardized framework is used and best practices can be developed and shared among the participants.
  • Carbon inventory methodologies are consistent and allow for benchmarking and regional comparisons.
  • Recognition programs are transparent and address regional requirements and goals already established by local leaders.

Case in point – since May of 2009, Sustainable Waterloo, a non-profit in Ontario, Canada, has focused on advancing energy efficiency and environmental sustainability through collaboration among businesses in their region. It’s member businesses or ‘Pledging Partners’ have access to an easy-to-use Carbon Accounting Tool from  e3 Solutions, Inc, a leading carbon management software provider, to help them quantify their GHG emissions and monitor their reduction commitments. Because of the program’s success, a similar carbon reduction initiative called the Niagara Sustainability Initiative was launched in the neighboring province.

For a Regional Carbon Initiative to be successful in any community, it would be imperative for the sponsors and participating organizations to have easy access to:

  • Carbon accounting processes with reporting tools and templates
  • Support and materials for educational forums and technical workshops
  • Documentation for carbon emission calculations and protocol definition
  • Training for the sponsoring partner’s team and pledging partners
  • Industry specific metrics and key performance indicator

With the support of local partners, comprehensive programs like these can be set up with tools and techniques to help local organizations achieve their carbon reduction targets at little or no cost to them. Because these programs makes it convenient for small to mid-sized entities to participate, they would engender a sense of inclusion and draw broad support from the community at large. Furthermore, they would complement the efforts of other groups in the area already committed to being at the forefront of business, energy and environmental leadership.

VerdantIS can help set up these kinds of initiatives.

On November 6th, 2013, posted in: Latest News by Vinay Loganadan
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