Ottawa Green Business Challenge

What is the OGB Challenge? 

Welcome to the first annual Ottawa Green Business Challenge! It is a series of weekly employee engagement challenges focused around the themes of Energy, Waste, Water and Transportation. It starts on May 3 and runs until May 31. At the end, a grand prize will be awarded to the organization with the most points. Join in for fun, community, and the right to brag about being the most sustainable organization in the Ottawa Region! 

How does it work? 

Nominate a Challenge Champion for your organization by completing our sign-up form here. The focus of the Challenge is on employee engagement; we have created challenges for staff to complete on a weekly basis that educate and promote the corresponding theme for that week. We will send an email to your organization’s Champion outlining each challenge, providing instructions, resources, and a submission form.  

How to earn points: 

Any workplace that registers for the challenge can earn points! The Champion for each workplace must submit employee challenge results on behalf of their workplace in order to be awarded points. Employees can earn points by completing individual challenges, and participating in or organizing group challenges. The organizations with the most cumulative points at the end of the Challenge will be announced in a newsletter and on social media, and presented with an award at our Day of Recognition held on May 25. 

Lead up: 

Leading up to the Challenge, make sure to increase general awareness about the activities ahead so that people get excited about participating! Start off strong by emailing employees about the Challenge, and chat with colleagues throughout to make it a fun team-building opportunity! 

Submission guidelines: 

For some challenges, there will be an option to upload photos into the submission form. We encourage you to also share photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Make sure to use the hashtag #OttGreenBiz. 


Challenge Week Calendar

Energy Week

May 3-7

Waste Week

May 10 – 14

Water Week

May 17 – 21

Transportation Week

May 24 – 28


Why Waste, Water, Energy and Transportation? 

Energy: The transition to clean energy is an essential part of fighting climate change and meeting global, federal, and local net-zero targets. Traditional energy production from fossil fuel consumption not only produces CO2 emissions, but it also impacts the health of natural ecosystems and wildlife, air and water quality, and human health. Buildings are responsible for 45% of local carbon emissions, mostly through heating and cooling. One of the best ways to help usher us into a more sustainable energy future is to use our current energy supply more efficiently and to reduce consumption whenever possible. Energy week’s activities are intended to raise awareness around energy conservation and to provide tips on how employees can be more energy efficient both at home and in the office. 

Waste: “The world generates 2.01 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste annually, with at least 33 percent of that—extremely conservatively—not managed in an environmentally safe manner. Worldwide, waste generated per person per day averages 0.74 kilogram but ranges widely, from 0.11 to 4.54 kilograms. Though they only account for 16 percent of the world’s population, high-income countries generate about 34 percent, or 683 million tonnes, of the world’s waste,” (The World Bank) with the average Canadian producing 673 kilograms of waste per year. But there are so many ways to reduce the waste we produce, improve diversion, and keep valuable resources in use! Waste week’s activities are focused on becoming a consciousness consumer, working to reduce waste, and increase diversion rates through education and lifestyle changes. This is your chance to refresh your memory on proper waste sorting practices, and clear your office and homes of items that you no longer use (but could be used by someone else)! 

Water: Canada holds 20% of the world’s freshwater supply, but only 7% of that is renewable with the majority being contained in lakes, underground aquifers, and glaciers. While this is more than sufficient for Canada’s 30 million people, it is unavailable to 85% of the population as more than half of the water drains northward into the Arctic Ocean and Hudson Bay. The result is that much our water supply that is currently in use is being heavily exploited and under tremendous stress. Water treatment, processing, and monitoring activities are happening 24/7 and produce methane and carbon dioxide as a result of the energy and resources required. Water week’s challenges focus on using water efficiently, protecting local water sources, and increasing environmental awareness on a variety of water related issues. 

Transportation: Here in Ottawa, transportation is responsible for 44% of local carbon emissions. That means there is a huge opportunity to reduce the carbon impact of transportation, through reduction and efficiency measures. These reductions from the transportation sector are required in order for us to meet our emissions reductions targets over the next several years. Transportation week’s challenges focus on getting people and products around effectively and efficiently in order to reduce carbon emissions. Learn about how you can make choices to support and improve low-carbon transportation options! 

Additional Resources

Energy

Waste 

Water 

Transportation 

Special thanks to Sustainable Waterloo Region for allowing us to use their ideas and materials in the creation of this challenge. 

Weekly Tips

Maximize Natural Lighting

Did you know that taking advantage of natural light can lead to significant health and wellness benefits while lowering your energy consumption?

Be strategic in how you set up your home office, desk, or workspace to maximize natural light coming in. Placing your desk near a window or installing a well placed mirror can amplify natural light.

You can adjust your workspace or even your working hours seasonally to maximize the benefits and minimize your carbon footprint!

Learn more here!

Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk is a great way to cut carbon by reducing packaging (embodied carbon and waste) and reducing shipping emissions. Plus, one trip is better than ten. 

Bonus: it will likely reduce waste as staff and management begin to keep a close eye on purchasing cycles.

Learn more here!

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