Most of us are starting to change some habits around the house
as we become more aware of the damage we can unintentionally do to the
environment. What about our places of work, our offices, plants and factories?
A client of mine, who is passionate about his company’s impact
on the environment, commissioned me to research the sustainability of every
product his company buys from other producers. It didn’t take me long to
understand there are circles within circles within circles. Where does the wood
come from? Is it sustainably harvested? Is the logging company a responsible
employer? Is the sawmill run sustainably?
I am sure there are many business owners who run their company
in an environmentally conscious way (and I would love to hear about them) but
one that grabs my attention is the way the owners of Grouse Mountain Resort in
North Vancouver are committed to be great stewards of their piece of paradise.
You can check their commitment out yourself on their website at
but let me give you a taste. They call their mission, their commitment to
sustainability, Blue Grouse.
"The idea behind Blue Grouse is simple. Blue Grouse is
about balance and responsibility, both in ecological and economic terms. We
recognize that what is good for the environment can be equally good for
business. Our mission is equally clear. We are committed to embedding the
principles of sustainability into every aspect of our life."
The alpine fleet runs on biodiesel. All public faucets and soap
dispensers are hands-free to save on water. The food and beverage operation,
which is sizable, uses eco-friendly cleaning products and biodegradable trash
The restaurant venues are certified Ocean Wise, which means
they only use sustainable seafood. All the restaurants at the resort work with
responsible local growers to reduce transporting food long distances. The resort
offers a battery recycling program to all employees. And the list goes on.
Coming soon, and this is the best news of all, they are working
with the requirements set out by the District of North Vancouver to install a
wind turbine on the top of the mountain. The exciting project, when completed,
would be the first viable wind energy solution.
When employers set out a policy of sustainability, miracles can
happen. But the responsibility rests with us all. We need to push the envelope
and start talking to our work colleagues to get them on board, then approach
our employers with a plan of action.
I work alone in my home office, as do an increasing number of
you, with no one looking over our shoulder to make sure we are doing the right
thing… I’m in, are you?