VANCOUVER – Scholarships from the provincial government will help train business leaders from Vancouver and Whistler to reduce their firms’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,increase efficiency and save money, Minister of State for Climate Action John Yap announced today in a BC Government news release.

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 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 are a good starting point for businesses to be leaders in that economy and save themselves money at the same time.”

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.

“I’m very pleased to see businesses from Whistler, which has a strong environmental reputation, being given the opportunity to benefit from these Climate Smart workshops,” said West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Joan McIntyre.

“Our business community is eager to support environmental initiatives and the fact that they can increase efficiency and save money is a tremendous bonus.”

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 Whistler workshops is August 12, 2009 and for the Vancouver workshop is September 8, 2009.

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Contact:

Matt Gordon
Communications Director
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.