October 2, 2006

Green business guide offers SMEs practical advice for reducing GHGs

A new guide developed for Manitoba businesses guide gives local companies practical advice and ideas for reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) and cutting their energy costs. The Bottom Line on Climate Change: A Manitoba Business Guide, a 33-page resource for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), was developed by Manitoba's Climate Change Connection in partnership with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.

"This guide demonstrates there are low-cost solutions to tackling climate change, many of which take little time to implement," said Susan Lindsay, Climate Change Connection's public education and outreach co-ordinator. "The benefits of reducing emissions and increasing efficiency are clear, and this guide offers businesses guidance on affordable strategies that work."

The business guide is directly targeted toward SMEs, acknowledging that most of these companies do not have environmental specialists on staff and that small business owners often have limited time. It presents a plain-language overview of what climate change is and the challenge it poses for SMEs. The guide provides accessible summaries of cost-saving steps businesses can implement at little expense and includes a chapter on developing a climate change action plan for businesses looking to take significant steps toward reducing emissions and enhancing energy savings.

More than 90% of Manitoba businesses have fewer than 90 employees and account for more than 50% per cent of employment in the province.

"Manitoba businesses recognize that taking action on climate change can result in significant cost savings and increased competitiveness," said Graham Starmer, chair of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. "Business owners will benefit from the common-sense approach this guide offers."

The Climate Change Connection is funded by the federal and Manitoba governments and Manitoba Hydro and is hosted by the non-profit organization Manitoba Eco-Network. The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce is distributing copies of the guide to its members. Additional copies may be requested from the Climate Change Connection, 204/943-4836 Web site www.climatechangeconnection.org/.

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