By Lani Edghill, Green Business Barbados Coordinator, Future Centre Trust
In 2010 several businesses stepped out of the box to explore how they could improve their operations through the Green Business Barbados programme. The British High Commission got things going with their 8,000 gallon capacity rain water harvesting system at the High Commissioner’s Residence at BenMar used to irrigate the grounds.
The second green business for the year came from our offshore sector in an attempt to improve their social and environmental corporate responsibility and identity. Shell Western Supply & Trading and its Green Team Coordinator Lyn-Marie Sealy successfully implemented an internal recycling system that soon became so popular within the office they had to upgrade to a larger system shortly thereafter.
The Nation Publishing Co. was the first large organisation with over 200 employees to invest in a new Go Green Initiative. Through the Nation Newspaper and other media, The Nation has been able to reach out to the Barbadian community through their green Habitat section in the newspaper and internal publication and to their employees during their green month. The Nation will also be the first large scale commercial entity to upgrade to a full systems recycling programme to improve the recoverability of waste materials such as paper, cardboard, newspapers, plastics, glass, metals and e-waste.
Next up for the award was Verdun House a local non-profit organization focused on rehabilitating males within our community with substance abuse addictions. Verdun was very keen to have a green Strategy and Action Plan for their organization that reflected their commitment to sustainable operations including investment in renewable energy.
In addition the office was able to put into place many measures to reduce overall energy use and paper consumption as well as update their recycling system adding e-waste and cardboard to their recoverable waste streams. Verdun, however, was already ahead of the game before the programme was initiated proven by their investment in rain water harvesting systems and the use of biofuels within their company vehicles.
Studio Blue Architects was the first small business and architectural firm to invest in the programme. Their practise has been for many years, focused on green building options and their investment in the Green Business Barbados programme provided them with an opportunity to fully transfer that interest to their operations and practise.
Harris Paints, still in their final stages of reassessment and training, implemented a progressive initiative to reduce waste by initiating a Troweltex pail return programme. This plan was part of a much larger call to reduce waste within their plant and to work with recycling companies to recycle and/or reuse much of their out- puts. During the programme Harris Paints also upgraded their water system to improve efficiency and installed a rain water harvesting system for use within the plant. Harris Paints also launched an internal Greening Initiative to educate employees and customers on measures they could put in place to reduce their carbon footprint by designing and posting signage about the programme and its benefits.
Some organisations still working to achieve the standards include Rostrevor Hotel in the Gap, which was the first Intimate Hotel to request the programme for their site, and Royal Bank of Canada International Wealth Management.
Future Centre Trust: www.futurecentretrust.org
Future Centre Trust Newsletter: January 2010 (pdf)