Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) make up 98.2% of businesses in Canada and emit as much climate change-causing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year as Canada’s combined transportation sector, including every car, truck, train, plane, and ship. Reducing their emissions can benefit SMEs by helping them grow while also building healthier communities.
The Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto, Canada has launched a Climate CoLab contest to solicit a broad range of possible solutions to help SMEs in the Canadian province of Ontario reduce their direct and indirect GHG emissions while helping them thrive.
“Recent research from the University of Waterloo shows us that the vast majority of SMEs believe that sustainability is important,” said Barnabe Geis, Director of Programs at the Centre for Social Innovation. “We want to support the implementation of solutions – whether technologies, programs or services – that help SMEs meet their sustainability goals as a powerful way to both strengthen our economy and improve the health and well-being of our communities.”
Many SMEs face barriers to lowering their emissions, from lacking the technical expertise to assess options for reducing emissions to not being able to afford the upfront costs of a low-carbon technology. However, once the right technologies or practices are implemented, the savings and other benefits to SMEs can be substantial. This contest will offer support to demonstrate the value and scalability of solutions in order to make the path towards sustainability more accessible to SMEs across the province of Ontario.
The Helping Small & Medium Businesses Go Low Carbon contest is seeking proposals that suggest ways that the Canadian province of Ontario’s small and medium-sized businesses can reduce their direct and indirect GHG emissions, while helping them thrive (e.g., by growing, increasing profitability, employee retention, etc.). A panel of Judges will select 3-5 winning proposals based on their desirability, feasibility, scalability and impact to potentially be piloted in Ontario.
*Note: Due to recent political events, Province of Ontario’s cap & trade program was ended— the proceeds of which went to funding these kinds of emissions reduction programs. As a result, the Centre for Social Innovation will likely no longer be able to provide financial support to the winners, but putting a spotlight on these solutions and supporting them in other ways has become all the more important. The winning solutions will be promoted and celebrated widely, and receive free one-year memberships at Climate Ventures, the Centre for Social Innovation’s climate solutions incubator in Toronto. Read the contest’s details page for more information.
The global community is invited to submit proposals until July 11, 2018 for the opportunity to receive feedback from expert Judges, before the final proposal deadline of August 3, 2018.