Photo of Ripple Farms shipping container farm at Evergreen Brickworks.

Helping Small and Medium Businesses Go Low-Carbon Competition

Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) make up 98.2% of businesses in Canada, and emit as much climate change-causing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year as Canada’s combined transportation sector, including every car, truck, train, plane, and ship.

We launched a competition on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Climate CoLab platform to solicit a broad range of possible solutions to help SMEs in Ontario reduce their direct and indirect GHG emissions while helping them thrive.

Many SMEs face barriers to lowering their emissions, from lacking the technical expertise to assess options for reducing emissions to not being able to afford the upfront costs of a low-carbon technology. However, once the right technologies or practices are implemented, the savings and other benefits to SMEs can be substantial.

During the application period, thirty proposals were submitted. Those proposals were voted on by the public, as well as assessed by a team of six judges for their desirability, feasibility, scalability, and impact.

Judge’s Choice Winner

The winner of the Judges’ Choice Award is Climate Smart’s project: Data drives smart decisions: Interactive BEEPs for Municipalities and Businesses. Climate Smart has built a reputation as one of Canada’s leading organizations helping SMEs reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a range of sources. Their report 200 million tons of opportunity documents the ways in which those reductions have been achieved. In their contest proposal, Climate Smart proposed Business Energy and Emissions Profiles (or a BEEP) as an innovative carbon mapping tool that unlocks SME business data to help cities and on-the-ground partners identify and prioritize opportunities to work strategically with their local businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop data-driven storytelling on climate action. To learn more about BEEPs and to see an interactive map of North American cities that have launched a BEEP, go to beep.eco.

People’s Choice Winner

The winner of the People’s Choice Award is Pitstop Connect’s Reduce Vehicle Emissions with Predictive Maintenance. Pitstop has developed a software platform that aggregates data and uses machine learning to predict vehicle issues before they happen. This means mitigating vehicle breakdowns, informing hazardous recalls and future vehicle designs, and making drivers aware of their emissions and environmental impact. To learn more about the app and how it can help drivers solve problems before they happen, go to pitstopconnect.com

“Every tonne of CO2 we emit causes at least $85 in damages, while on the other hand we know that meaningful climate action would add around $26 trillion to the global economy by 2030,” said CSI’s Director of Programs Barnabe Geis. “The proposals in this competition demonstrated a broad range of approaches and tools that SMEs and their supporters can use to build that more resilient, flourishing low-carbon economy of the future.”

The judges’ runners-up in the contest were Eco Business NetworkGrow Green and ioAirflow. The judges are listed on the contest page.

The winners will receive membership and workspace at Climate Ventures.

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