Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Business (82)

This Canadian site lets anyone be a cleantech investor

FastCompany / Ben Schiller / 13 June 2017

On CoPower, an investment platform for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, you don’t have to make concessions between decent financial returns and decent environmental impact (as is often the case elsewhere). If you’re willing to put up at least $5,000, you’re promised 5% a year over five years, and your money goes to solar farms, geothermal installations, and building retrofits.

The only catch: Currently, you need to be a Canadian citizen to access the site.

For everyday investors wanting to put their money into social and environmentally themed projects, Canada offers better options than the U.S. does at the moment (along with universal healthcare, a lower drinking age, and soon, legal marijuana). Since it relaxed its financial regulations last year, Canada allows ordinary “non-accredited investors” to make direct investments online in private projects.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Zero Carbon Building Standard

Canada Green Building Council / May 2017

The Canadian green building sector has been active – for decades – in finding ways to limit harmful impacts from the built environment. While many of these efforts have been voluntary, an increasing number of governments across the country have recognized the potential of the building sector to fight climate change and have set more specific targets. To meet the COP21 goal of keeping global average temperature increases well below 2ºC, green building organizations around the world are supporting the objective of eliminating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the operation of new buildings by 2030, and eliminating the GHG emissions from all buildings by 2050.

To meet those targets, bold new approaches are required to drive innovation. For its part, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has created a new zero carbon standard for assessing the carbon performance of commercial, institutional, and multi-family buildings in Canada. The CaGBC Zero Carbon Building Standard is a unique, made-in-Canada solution to achieving our climate change commitments, providing a path for both new and existing buildings to reach zero carbon.

[ EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ]

Port’s progress boosting regional economy

Recorder & Times / Sabrina Bedford / 12 June 2017

The benefits to the regional economy of of having a local port on the international seaway are evident throughout the area, [Robert Dalley, the port’s general manager] said.

“The port processes and transports over 1.2 million metric tons of goods each year used by local businesses, farms and municipalities but it also creates jobs, attracts inward investment and contributes significantly to the environmental stability of our region.”

Last year, the port also spent $2.2 million on more grain storage and automating equipment in the grain elevator, he said. The new grain bins were immediately filled with non-GMO corn from Ingredion Canada Corporation to manufacture products at its Cardinal plant.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

The economic case for retrofitting buildings

Globe & Mail / Toon Dreessen / 17 February 2017

A study of Bentall Kennedy’s North American real estate portfolio of more than 300 buildings found that environmentally friendly office properties net 3.7 per cent higher rents. In their Canadian holdings, occupancy rates in environmentally certified buildings were 18.7 per cent higher than non-certified.

The study, conducted by University of Guelph professor Avis Devine and co-author Nils Kok of Maastricht University in The Netherlands, calls tenants in green buildings “stickier” and “happier.” Tenants stay put in their space, she says, and reduce landlord leasing costs associated with turnover.

Plus, as governments move to increase the costs of carbon, which have now been benchmarked at $50 per tonne by 2022, there will be a strong incentive for building owners to reduce operational costs related to emissions and energy use.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

How pig power helped restore a local farm

NCPR / Todd Moe / 03 April 2017

Healthy food is the mantra at Funny Duck Farm, just north of Brockville in Ontario. When Samantha Klinck and her husband, Aaron, bought their 96-acre property in 2001, it hadn’t been farmed since the 1970s. Samantha said its pastures were “almost visible” in spite of the trees, brush and rubble left behind by the previous owner.

Unable to afford expensive, heavy equipment, Samantha and Aaron relied on their foraging livestock – mostly pigs – to help clear the land. It’s a long process, but it fits their “all organic” CSA philosophy. Samantha’s sister, Jen, manages a second farm nearby. Shares include a bit of everything grown on the two farms: beef, pork, chicken, duck, lamb, eggs, honey, maple syrup, and veggies.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Return of traditional skills is boosting Italy’s economy

The Guardian / Angela Giuffrida / 01 April 2017

Italy has one of the most sluggish economies in the European Union, with the overall unemployment rate standing at 11.7% in January, figures from Istat, the national statistics agency, showed.

But there are some signs of recovery among small artisanal businesses, with hiring among them rising 2.3% in 2016, according to data from CNA, the national confederation of artisans and small businesses.

Claudio Giovine, a chief economist at CNA, said this is partly due to the economy in general performing mildly better and firms having more flexibility with work contracts.

There has been a trend among school leavers veering towards traditional trades, but also among graduates striking out alone, he added.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

What the Transition movement does incredibly well is small-scale experiments which are practical, which resonate with local people, which look as if they’re doable, and that can engage people at a practical and meaningful level. It connects up the big issues and the local issues and shows you that change can happen at a local level.

— Julian Dobson, 21 Stories of Transition
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