Vancouver Island Green
The Vancouver Island Green Business Collective (VIGBC) was built to support businesses that are looking for practical and affordable ways to reduce their environmental impact and contribute to our local communities. For businesses, VIGBC offers a guide to greening operations and educating staff. For consumers, it is a directory of local businesses that have a high standard for green practices. VIGBC members are raising the bar and make continuous improvements to their business every year.
Businesses that are keen to join the collective are taken through an in-depth questionnaire that assesses their water consumption, energy use, waste levels, social impact and much more. A VIGBC verifier will walk the business through the process and provide a preliminary score with recommendations on how the business can reduce their environmental impact and improve their final score.
Specific checklists have been developed for a variety of sectors including restaurant, retail, office, spa and salon, and fleet based businesses. Each business is certified to levels Silver, Gold or Green, with Green being the highest level based on the number of actions they have implemented.
In addition to the VIGBC ranking, businesses also have the opportunity to become an Ocean Friendly Business by completing all Surfrider Vancouver Island actions on the designated checklist. These actions focus on reducing single use plastics.
FED Urban Agriculture Society is a non-profit hosted by Synergy Foundation. FED works to address food security in southern Vancouver Island by promoting sustainable food systems and enhancing community engagement. They do this by creating garden spaces, delivering educational programs, and promoting urban agriculture within our community.
By partnering with growers, restaurants, community organizations, and beyond, they are transforming our cityscape into a vibrant foodscape.
Project Zero is an initiative focused on bringing circular economy concepts to the west coast. Currently only 9% of our world is circular, meaning that the remaining 91% of all goods are linear and destined for landfills, oceans, or pollution at the end of life.
The goal of this initiative is to use circular economy concepts to advance quality of life, economic equity through incubation, innovation, education, and advocacy. The program’s five focus areas are changing business as usual, creating a movement that inspires, partnerships, advocacy, and economic development.
Project Zero runs an annual incubator program which supports new business ideas and early star-ups who operate within the circular economy to launch their businesses and contribute to a low-carbon economic ecosystem.
The Ecostar Awards is an annual gala to recognize outstanding environmental achievements and leadership on Vancouver Island. The awards are presented to island-based businesses, non-profits, academia, governments, and individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in sustainability and in the community.
Award categories range from Environmental Stewardship to Greenest Office to Ecopreneur of the Year. To apply to the Ecostar Awards, businesses fill out an online application form and describe their sustainable initiatives that have been implemented within the past two years. Finalists and winners are determined by a third party panel made up of business and sustainability leaders who serve as judges.
The winners of the Ecostar Awards are announced at the awards gala. The gala provides green leaders on the island the opportunity to come together, connect, and celebrate each other’s successes and to learn and be inspired by local innovation.