KELOWNA  – Business leaders in Kelowna will have an opportunity to send key staff for training to reduce their firms’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increase efficiency and save money, thanks to scholarships from the provincial government, Minister of State for Climate Action John Yap announced today.

The government of British Columbia, through LiveSmart BC, will support a total of 20 $1,500 scholarships to Climate Smart workshops across the province. The first contest winners will attend workshops in Kamloops and Kelowna this summer, with other locations to follow in the fall. The three half-day workshops are geared to help small and medium-sized businesses create their own emissions inventory and find ways to reduce emissions with a focus on cost savings and building brand awareness.

“We believe B.C. businesses want to reduce their carbon footprint and prepare for the opportunities of the emerging green economy,” said Yap. “These workshops will give firms the tools they need to become more competitive and demonstrate climate leadership in a low-carbon world.”

More than 100 enterprises have taken advantage of the hands-on Climate Smart training, online tool and technical support made possible through Ecotrust Canada and its partners. Partners for this contest and the current series of workshops include Timberline, Vancity, Whistler Sustainability Centre and the B.C. Partnership for Sustainable Tourism.

“Small business is a key economic driver in our province and has a major role to play in advancing the green economy,” said Iain Black, Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development. “These sessions will help businesses reduce their greenhouse gas emissions profitably, while increasing their standing as environmental stewards.”

Climate Smart is a for-profit subsidiary of Ecotrust Canada. Ecotrust Canada is a non-profit with a focus on building a conservation economy. Timberline Natural Resource Group, The BC Partnership for Sustainable Tourism, Vancity and the Whistler Centre for Sustainability, are Climate Smart hosts working to help market, recruit and deliver the training.

The $62-million LiveSmart BC program is a key element of B.C.’s Climate Action Plan; it provides incentives to help British Columbians fight climate change, including a wide range of rebates, tax exemptions and actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money.

Interested firms may submit contest entries online at www.livesmartbc.ca. The closing date for entry in the Kelowna and Kamloops workshops is July 6, 2009.

Contact:
Matt Gordon Communications Director Ministry of Environment 250 387-9973
For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.