After two years, CN’s Carbon Reduction Project for Business has been deemed a success and CN has announced it will provide funding for 3 more years.
The project is a partnership between CN, the Prince George Chamber of Commerce, the PG Air Improvement Roundtable and UNBC.
It pairs students taking Carbon Management classes with local businesses to help determine how to reduce their carbon footprint. The students provide a free carbon footprint analysis, according to internationally recognized standards, and recommendations for the business to reduce its operational costs by using less energy.
“It means that the businesses and the students learn more about how to reduce their carbon footprints and reduce the use of fossil fuels,” says Barbara Otter, the project’s coordinator. “It gives the students a live case study. Most students, when they come out of an undergraduate degree, do not have that practical experience.”
Otter says they’ve had 14 students and 16 businesses participate so far.
“We’ve had some businesses with a sole proprietor and maybe two employees and we’ve had larger ones. Sometimes businesses don’t have a third party to look at them and say ‘Hey, this is what you can do to reduce your operational expenses and improve the air quality in the region.”
While the project is being hailed as a success, Otter says the program will likely stay fairly small. She says they’re hoping to have 10 participating businesses each year.
“We have to keep the class size down because if the number of students or the businesses get too big, the analysis is not as deep as we like it to be.”
To celebrate its success, the PG Chamber dedicated a pine tree and a new park bench in Duchess Park today.