EcoStar Awards broaden their reach

Innovation in sustainability recognized with relaunch of program

The new Vancouver Island EcoStar Awards promise a celebration of local leaders in sustainability.

The event was inspired by the Capital Regional District’s EcoStar Awards, which ran from 2004 to 2013 and recognized action in water stewardship, greenhouse gas reduction, waste management and other categories. The 2015 EcoStar Awards, to be held Nov. 10 at the Inn at Laurel Point on Victoria’s harbour, will also highlight the efforts of businesses, organizations and individuals in the areas of Manufacturing Excellence, Leadership in Construction, Greenest Restaurant, Greenest Office and more. In total, there are 15 awards to be handed out.

Communities and businesses on the West Shore have been recognized for sustainability in the past: Royal Bay Bakery installed solar panels on its roof, Farley Martin Notaries Public built a green office in Langford and was certified by the Vancouver Island Green Business Program, as are Cascadia liquor stores, which gained the highest level of the certification program for their work to conserve energy, reduce waste and support the community.

Often, the leadership in our communities comes from local businesses, individuals and non-profits. The grassroots is where innovation starts and new ways of doing things develops.

Some local businesses, such as Cascadia, show that you can recycle or compost nearly all of your waste. Royal Bay Bakery has proven that solar energy actually does have a good return on investment, and Habitat for Humanity’s reSTORE is operating a business that both recycles construction waste and helps provide homes for those in need.

The EcoStar Awards recognizes and celebrates a proactive approach to protecting the natural environment and increasing the well being of our communities by changing the way we work and live.

You can learn more about the Vancouver Island EcoStar Awards or purchase tickets for the gala dinner (on from 6 to 9 p.m) at ecostarawards.com.

Jill Doucette is founding partner of Synergy Enterprises. She can be reached via email at jill@synergyenterprises.ca.

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