Strathcona BIA Sustainability 3.0: Redefining Green

If you own or operate a business in downtown Vancouver or EastVan (Strathcona, Gastown, Hastings-Sunrise, Chinatown) or know anyone who does, please pass word on about the upcoming business sustainability expo being held by the Strathcona Business Improvement Association. AND if you know of any green companies interested in sponsoring this great event let them know too!

The Strathcona BIA will be hosting the small business sustainability expo on September 28, 2010 | 3-7pm | at the Japanese Language Hall (475 Alexander St.) and it is an excellent opportunity for you to promote your business and showcase the steps you are taking to be green- maybe learn a trick or two along the way!

Enhance the competitive advantage of your business and be part of the progressive sustainable business community in the Strathcona Green Zone.

For more information dowload Sustainability 3 0 Sponsorship Opportunities Updated or contact:

Sponsorship Inquiries: Purdy Jones
greenstrathcona@gmail.com
778-737-0229
Green Zone Inquiries: Sophie Agbonkhese
sustainabilitysbia@telus.net
604-258-2727

Advertisements

Share your ideas on the creation of a green community economic development commission

BOB Business and Social Enterprise Developer, Brian Smith,  has been asked to participate in the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Working Group on the Green Economy.   The Group is being convened by the Vancouver Economic Development Commission (VEDC).

At the first meeting of the group, there were six identified priority areas for which the group agreed to establish sub-committees.  Each sub-committee’s first objective was to prepare a short document on the priority area for the next meeting on July 14th. This draft document is to outline the main opportunity in the specific area, along with 3-5 actions that could lead to green job growth. The Working Group will then research these recommendations and incorporate them into a draft implementation plan for the Greenest City initiative, which will be open for further comment by the entire External Advisory Committee.

The sub-committee that Brian has proposed and is interested in helping to steer concerns Community Economic Development.  This applies directly to the inner-city and people who have barriers to employment, but has positive implications in other neighbourhoods too.

In Brian’s words:

…CED is applicable across the City and, in turn, could benefit a variety of neighbourhoods, small businesses, social enterprises, co-ops and people. Given the City’s apparent commitment to the Greenest City initiative, I feel there is a good opportunity to advance some CED in Vancouver.  BUT, I need your help! So, please reply to BOB with your respective interest and time availability in helping to shape a CED strategy that can be included in the Greenest City Implementation Plan.

Cheers,

Brian

Please read Brian’s overview of the CED Sub-committee below:

Community Economic Development (CED) for the Greenest City

CED is a holistic approach to economic development involving the mobilization of resources from various economic and non-economic sectors in the community with the intention of building local capacity and local solutions.  It is particularly relevant to the world’s greenest city as it uses local resources, which generally are lower in carbon intensity, to find local and more sustainable solutions to local problems.  Integrating CED into the green economy strategies for Vancouver’s Greenest City ambitions compliments the more traditional macro-economic development strategies by integrating localized approaches with broader global outreach strategies. The benefits of a CED approach include:  local employment, local investment, increased local capacity and commitment, local spending in the local economy, and appropriate sustainable solutions to local challenges.

Goal: Foster green business development and associated job creation for Vancouver’s marginalized inner-city residents

Action 1: Apply a CED Lens to all programs and policies of the City, where each department, program, grant, expenditure from parks and social development to legal services and planning would eventually be able to articulate the social, economic and environmental impact of their work/business/purchasing.

Action 1a: Establish a City of Vancouver funded Community Economic Development Commission that would:

  • work internally applying the CED Lens and externally facilitating CED on the ground;
  • develop and implement procurement policy that directly benefits co-operatives, social enterprises and small businesses that are committed to hiring people with barriers to employment; and,
  • educate community (NGOs, workers, and businesses) about realistic opportunities for green job and green business development

Action 1b: Institutionalize – as part of any development permit process, require  a Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) as a necessary component of all new developments (for local jobs, procurement, and/or training).

Action 2: Establish a green zone (may need an incentive attached) in the DTES for piloting green enterprise development projects.

Action 2a: Develop employment agreements with incentives for medium to large size green businesses to hire people with barriers to employment.

Action 2b: Establish and administer a green CED fund to facilitate green employment or business development projects in the inner-city;

Action 2c: By way of an immediate pilot project, establish, through the allocation of City-owned land, an Urban Farm Network that trains and hires people with barriers to employment

Action 3: Develop and direct education and training in green collar vocations to people with barriers to employment.

Please comment below or contact Brian directly at brian.smith@bobics.org to share your thoughts and ideas.

Gaining Ground Summit 2.0 Eco-Logical

BOB and members of the Green Inner-City Cluster are excited to participate once again in the Gaining Ground Summit taking place this October 4th to 7th here in Vancouver. The summit will explore the green economy, sustainability, building capacity, emerging theories of governance and industry collaboration, greentech/cleantech and other fascinating issues.

This year’s speakers include Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, Deputy City Manager for the City of Vancouver, Sadhu Johnston (who has contributed to leading sustainability policies in Chicago, Portland and now here) and Carol Sanford, an acclaimed speaker considered a leader of leaders. Her consulting clients include Fortune 500 businesses and emerging ventures such as Seventh Generation.

The Keynote speaker will be Jared Blumenfeld, currently the Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9.

About Jared Blumenfeld:

Jared Blumenfeld is the Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9—which includes California, much of the U.S. Southwest and Hawaii. With a background in international environmental law and an active career with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Jared was appointed in 2002 by San Francisco to build and lead its Department of Environment.

Under his leadership, San Francisco initiated landmark policy and laws, starting with precautionary principles and reaching into every area of urban practice. He believes that international and other broad-based frameworks are well-intentioned but produce limited on-the-ground results. During his tenure, San Francisco convened World Environment Day that brought 80 of the world’s largest cities together to define urban
sustainability and map strategies.

EPA Region 9 includes 47 million people, 4 of the 10 largest cities in the U.S., and 24 of the hundred largest.

Blumenfeld comes to Gaining Ground on Tuesday, October 4th to speak about the adoption of new technologies, measuring what’s happening, and the sweet spot where policy and stakeholder engagement merge. He will also lead a policy salon during the afternoon workshop portion of the program.

To register and for more information please visit: www.gaininggroundsummit.com

Van Jones on NPR

Through the magic of Google, we bring you an interview with one of the leaders of the Green Economy movement in the United States.  Special Advisor to the President on Green Jobs and author of “The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems” Van Jones weighs in on how the economic stimulus policy money earmarked for green jobs will be spent, the benefits of the green economy, and just what is a green collar job.

Another leader of the Green Jobs movement in the United States, Majora Carter was recently in Vancouver.  She was the keynote speaker at the Strathcona BIA’s Sustainability 2.0 Expo.  A lot of the greeningtheinnercity.ca team was involved in making that happen, thanks again to the Vancity Community Foundation for sponsoring Majora’s keynote.  While in Vancouver she met with Mayor Robertson, other city councilors as well as planning office and business leaders.  There was coverage in the blogosphere and main stream media.  Greeningtheinnercity.ca is working on getting the video coverage edited online and hopes to bring it to you in a week or so.  Thanks to Fearless/W2 and particular Mo Simpson for their effort and support.

Majora Carter and Mayor Robertson

What is a green job?

This question gets asked a lot.  Searching the internet will provide many definitions, and even a few variations on the name itself. Some proponents of the environmental justice movement prefer to use the term ‘green collar jobs’ to distinguish these jobs from other higher-tech green jobs such as engineers. The term ‘collar’ is meant to draw a parallel between it and traditional blue-collar jobs, as they can similarly be low-skill and often require less formal training.  However for the sake of inclusion, and an aversion to classifying job levels, we have chosen to go with the term ‘green jobs’.

Green jobs are about both equality and the environment. They provide a fair, living wage to the worker and seek to improve the environment and community.  Green jobs have varied skill level requirements, they support the local economy and environment, and they often exist in emerging sectors or areas of growth. Green jobs include such tasks as waste reduction or aversion, reducing or replacing energy consumption, or improving environmental quality for communities and ecosystems. (UNEP Green Economy Initiative)

Green jobs can sometimes be right under your nose: the recycling company, the used book store, and the backyard gardener are all examples of jobs that reduce waste, re-use materials, and support the local economy.  As our economy moves away from a reliance on fossil fuels, green jobs will play an ever-increasing role in our community by helping us use less, recycle more, and maintain a healthy environment.