March 16, 2016, Victoria, BC – After eight years, carbon-neutral coffee roaster Oughtred Coffee & Tea has reduced their carbon emissions by half and increased their business by eight per cent through the support of Synergy Enterprises, a Victoria, BC-based sustainable management company.
By integrating sustainability into everyday operations and high level decision making, Oughtred’s most recent annual assessment, completed by Synergy Enterprises, shows a 50 per cent reduction in the company’s carbon footprint. Consistent efforts and small changes over time have prevented the emission of 978 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) from entering the atmosphere, an equivalent to keeping 257 cars off the road for one year.
“Every business can reduce emissions through small changes over time that continually reduce impact while shifting operations to be leaner on energy consumption and waste production,” says Michael Oughtred, co-owner of Oughtred Coffee & Tea. “From a small business point of view, it’s about surviving energy price hikes, carbon taxation, and resource shortage. We all need to do more with less.”
The greatest reductions in Oughtred’s carbon footprint have come from changes in shipping practices, recycling and composting programs, energy efficiency and, most notably, the installation of two high-efficiency Loring Roasters. These cutting-edge roasters have reduced Oughtred’s natural gas consumption at the roastery by 75 per cent and in the first eight months after being installed reduced Oughtred emissions by 78 tCO2e, the same as keeping 20 cars off the road for one year.
Oughtred Coffee & Tea has been working towards reducing their emissions since 2008, and their results exemplify the potential of businesses as they quickly adapt and change to a new climate reality. In BC, 98 per cent of businesses are small (less than 50 employees) and account for 54 per cent (over one million) of jobs. Mobilizing small and medium sized businesses will allow BC to act swiftly and effectively reduce emissions.
Nations, cities, and large corporations around the world are setting goals to reduce emissions by 2020 in order to heed global warming and retain within two degrees average temperature increase by 2100. The focus on the big players leaves the story and role of the small and medium business largely unknown.