Green Leadership Growing Among Canadian Businesses
Sustainability Bullfrog Power is leading the way in helping Canadian businesses, of all sizes, become more sustainable.
e’re in an era of unprecedented interest in renewable energy and green technology. Businesses and individuals alike are recognizing the significant obligation we have to the Earth and the future generations who will inhabit it. But change comes slowly, especially on such a large and infrastructural scale, and so the most important question becomes: What can we be doing today to accelerate the environmental change we want and need?
For businesses in Canada, Bullfrog Power has been providing an answer to that question for over a decade. Whenever a Bullfrog customer consumes electricity, Bullfrog injects an equivalent amount of clean power into the grid. For every unit of natural gas a customer draws, Bullfrog adds that much renewable natural gas, derived from organic sources, into the pipeline. And for every litre of gasoline burned by a company’s vehicles, or indirectly by their third-party providers, Bullfrog ensures just as much clean biodiesel is used on their behalf. “All of our projects are meant to actually displace the need for conventional fossil fuel based energy,” explains Bullfrog CEO Ron Seftel. “It’s a one-to-one relationship.”
This wide view on the company’s complete carbon footprint, especially the green fuel component, is increasingly important to companies with a strong environmental commitment — like TD Bank Group, a Bullfrog partner since 2008. “If you truly want to bring carbon emissions down, you really have to think beyond electricity,” says TD Chief Environment Officer Karen Clarke-Whistler. “That’s what led us to collaborate with Bullfrog Power on a first-of-its-kind green energy solution that provides a model for addressing 100 percent of one’s energy footprint — in this case, accounting for the entire energy footprint of our Vancouver branches and a portion of our business-related travel in Vancouver.”
Going green is good for the bottom line
A healthy economy is good for every business, but especially so for a large North American bank like TD. So it’s easy for them to make the connection between what’s good for Canada and what’s good for business. “It’s very clear that a strong environment equates to a strong economy,” says Clarke-Whistler. “The two are very closely linked. We also know that the low-carbon economy is a global economic megatrend.”
For smaller businesses, finding the business case for going green can require looking a little more closely, but the most forward thinking companies are doing just that. Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company is a very successful Ontario craft brewery that has fully embraced the green mindset. “We were the first brewery in Canada to switch to Bullfrog for green natural gas,” says Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne. “We look to them for 100 percent of our electricity, and we’re choosing their green fuel for about 13 percent of our fleet as well. That works out to about 20,000 litres of green fuel per year.”
And Beauchesne firmly believes this commitment to environmental responsibility, combined with the many other ways the company works hard at being a compassionate member of the community, is worth well more than its weight in good advertising. “Doing the right thing allows us to save money in other parts of our business. You can’t always draw a direct line to how doing good drives sales, but we’ve consistently been growing, significantly faster than the industry average,” says Beauchesne. “And I’ve always felt that beer just tastes better when you can feel good about drinking it.”
If you ask Ron Seftel, he’ll tell you that Beau’s is far from the only company benefiting from going green. “Consumers are getting more savvy and they are asking more questions,” he says. “They want to know where the product is being made, whether the employees are making a living wage, and whether the whole operation is environmentally responsible. People are becoming suspicious of companies that aren’t telling their story. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but consumers want to hear what is being done.”