A green recovery is possible – meet our new members
April 7, 2021
Like most businesses, this year our Green Economy London members were faced with many challenges throughout this pandemic, and had to pivot their businesses in many ways. Many having to close during lockdowns, and shift to curbside and delivery services. Even with these obstacles thrown their way, members are committed to prioritizing sustainability within their businesses. We recognize the commitment these members have taken towards improving their environmental impact, and their membership this year will be supported by TD subsidies.
We had four new members join us over the past three months which was made possible because of TD. This demonstrates a need and a desire in the business community to weave sustainability into their operations. Recognizing the significant challenges Covid-19 has had on businesses, Green Recovery Membership Subsidies, supported by TD, were established to support the membership fees of small and medium-sized organizations across the Green Economy Canada network to continue building back better. We look forward to helping our new and current members to achieve their sustainability goals.
The four new members to join in the past three months include, The Church Key, Tepperman’s, New Leaf Food Truck and Museum London.
The Church Key Bistro and Pub is a locally owned restaurant that follows the British tradition of the gastro pub by specializing in traditional food done with a gourmet flair. They offer fine dining and their head chef uses seasonal, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. With the lockdown restrictions causing their focus to shift to takeout for several months, they recognized the growing waste output. They currently use only recyclable and biodegradable take out containers, and are looking into piloting a reusable takeout container program at their restaurant. Additionally, we are excited to help them look for opportunities to reduce energy usage and assist them with applying for funding to support those projects.
Tepperman’s is one of the largest independent home furnishings stores in Canada. They have taken several actions already to work towards their sustainability goals. You can read more about those here, “To us, sustainability is a promise and a commitment we make to create a healthier environmental future.” This year they are currently working on developing a plan to incorporate onsite renewable energy projects at their locations, and are hoping to do a solar panel installation in the future. We are excited to support them with this process, along with helping them set their baselines and communicate their goals and reduction targets.
New Leaf is an all plant-based food truck that operates in London, On. Pulling people into the sustainable food systems movement, one delicious plant–based meal at a time, New Leaf cares deeply about nurturing the bond between people, plants, and the planet. New Leaf’s mission is to contribute to a food industry that supports people’s mindful consumption of healthy plants. They are passionate about gathering communities around food and work to better understand and share information with the public about the impact of our food choices. By partnering with local farmers, bakers and using non–toxic, biodegradable take–out containers, New Leaf sees itself as both a literal and metaphorical vehicle that can support the existing community working to create a more sustainable and thoughtful food system. Their sustainability goals this year are to reduce waste and focus on environmental stewardship. We are excited to work together with New Leaf to set and achieve these targets and goals.
Museum London is Southwestern Ontario’s leading establishment for the collection and presentation of visual art and material culture. Through public and educational programming, special events and exhibitions, Museum London strives to promote the knowledge and enjoyment of regional art, culture and history. Museum London is keen to reduce its environmental impact and save on energy costs through a variety of sustainability projects. “We also believe we can play an educational role when it comes to environmental issues in London through our exhibitions and programs and as a setting where environmental issues can be discussed and debated by the community.” Green Economy London is currently working together with the Museum to develop an action plan to reduce energy usage, water consumption, and waste diversion!
5 of our current members will also be receiving the TD subsidies towards their membership this year. Those members include:
The Western Fair District is a multi-faceted, not for profit, Agricultural Society, based in the heart of London, Ontario. Through its programming and facilities it is a leading year-round agriculture, entertainment, commercial, sports and recreation destination for residents of the city of London and far beyond, anchored by its signature event, the annual Western Fair. They plan to focus on all areas of sustainability, but particularly this year they are working to expand their waste diversion program. They currently have a vermicomposting system they call The Wormery, and in 2020 they were able to divert 30 tonnes of organic waste through it. Green Economy London is helping them further their waste diversion and reduction targets by conducting a third party waste audit, as well as supporting the expansion of The Wormery through our 2020 Green Project Grant to fund materials needed to increase capacity.
Chippewas of the Thames First Nation is a forward thinking nation with a strong grasp of their traditional values. Through culture, heritage and continued education they are working towards a better future and towards being a self-governing First Nation. They faced many challenges throughout this pandemic, and have been working constantly to ensure the health and safety of their community. They have also continued to prioritize sustainability, and were able to implement a community composting program during the pandemic. To support their community gardening programs they identified the need for a larger composting unit within their community garden and partnered with other leaders in the community to bring this project to life. Green Economy London partnered with them on this project to identify other collaborators to support the project and assist with the building of the community composting system. We are also currently working with them to support research into energy projects such as solar panels and heat pumps for their community as well as continue to support them with waste reduction goals and projects.
London Brewing Co-op was founded in 2014 in London’s Old East Village with the motto “From Plough to Pint”. Owned by its workers, it has committed to sustainable operations from the beginning; designing their operations around the use of local sustainable ingredients, and offering the largest selection of craft beers in the province. London Brewing is one of two breweries in Ontario who are certified to brew organic beer . They have had to pivot their business throughout the pandemic to offer delivery and curbside service of their products. They are currently participating in Green Economy Canada’s SME Net-Zero Pathways: Manufacturing pilot project study, and we are providing them a third party waste audit this year to help with waste diversion at their facility. They also received one of our 2020 Green Project Grants to install low flow water fixtures within their washrooms to help achieve their water reduction target.
Heeman’s is a family owned and operated business which aims to be your preferred destination for all gardening and berry needs. They worked incredibly hard to pivot this year, and have done an extremely good job at prioritizing their employee and customer’s health, providing a safe and pleasant in person shopping experience when restrictions allowed them to open, shifted to provide services like curbside pick up and delivery, while also working on some major sustainability projects throughout. They are also currently participating in Green Economy Canada’s SME Net-Zero Pathways: Manufacturing pilot project study, and are very committed to reducing their carbon footprint as much as possible. Through Green Economy London, they will receive a third party waste audit this year to help with their waste reduction and diversion goals. Heeman’s is also currently in the process of implementing a major solar panel installation that will greatly reduce their carbon footprint from electricity usage. We look forward to continuing to assist Heeman’s with their sustainability goals this year, and are excited to share their carbon footprint reductions and impacts from those project when they are completed.
Pillar Nonprofit Network strengthens individuals, organizations and enterprises invested in positive community impact. Their building Innovation Works, is a coworking space that prioritizes sharing resources, exchanging knowledge and creating meaningful connections across the three pillars of nonprofit, business and government. Their organization recognizes the importance of sustainability, and that their building can be used as an educational tool to all their tenants and guests. They have been working hard all year to provide a safe space for their tenants to work, while also focusing on connecting people working from home virtually, to continue to build a collaborative work experience. This year they are looking at energy reduction projects, as well as water conservation methods. Last year we supported them by funding a Blue Roof study, and this year we will continue to assist with looking for funding and opportunities to implement the water conservation projects suggested in that report. This year we are are also helping them with the installation of an energy efficient hand dryer to reduce paper towel waste.
Thank you to Green Economy Canada and TD for allowing us to support our members this year as they work so hard to achieve their sustainability goals throughout this challenging time.
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