GeneraCycle - Collaboration is king

November 1, 2013 - 09:22

Teaming up with other individuals and organizations can unleash amazing potential. Putting people of varying disciplines, opinions, experiences and approaches together is often a good thing. That might be why we’re so excited about a new pilot program collaboration that we’re participating in.

Recently, we were approached by GeneraCycle, a new GTA-based company with lofty goals; not only do they want to remove human reliance on landfills as a means of waste disposal, but they want to start by picking up organic waste from offices, retail centres and other places of business on bicycles (yes, bicycles!). It’s part of GeneraCycle’s Organic Waste Diversion Pilot program. The folks at GeneraCycle have a far-reaching goal in mind, but with a steady supply of plant-based nutrition products donated by Vega Nutrition products, they are tireless group.

Better still, the GeneraCycle team is not just ‘blue-skying’ with their vision. In fact, just looking at office-based businesses alone you can quickly see the need for this type of service; the average office worker produces 458 kg – more than 1000 lbs - of waste every year. That means that office buildings are pumping out a lot of waste with a costly waste management bill to boot. Here are the nuts and bolts of the program:

  • Organic waste pickup for businesses in Toronto.
  • Sustainable transportation (bicycle) of waste to a local worm composting facility.
  • The worm composting facility then uses their final product to help grow local produce.
  • GeneraCycle cyclists are powered by plant-based nutritional products. Very cool.

Where does Carbonzero come in? This is a business focused initiative. Since we focus on hard sustainability-related metrics, our core clientele happens to be businesses - and there are excellent carbon footprint reductions to this pilot program. First, when organic materials decompose in a landfill they produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is 21 times stronger than carbon dioxide. Second, fossil fuels are burned to transport the waste out of town. Third, the waste is then used to contribute to the growth of local produce, avoiding the need to burn fossil fuels to import food from other jurisdictions. There are so many environmental, social and economic benefits to this program that we (the Carbonzero team) just had to get involved. So not only are we helping solidify the environmental benefit measurements of the campaign, but we’ll be participating in it too (program launch announcement will happen on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 during a meeting of the Toronto Chapter of Green Drinks).

If you’re part of a business – a property manager, an employee who is tired of throwing organic waste into the trash, a manager who wants to help contribute to a better workplace culture, or just the green police at your place of work, you should have a look at this list of benefits (and feel free to use them when trying to sell joining the pilot program to some of your internal stakeholders):

  • Control waste management costs – getting more expensive every year.
  • Boost employee morale – many workers practice recycling and organic diversion at home…and they want this     option at work. (Checkout page 3 of this report from Net Impact. Yes, people are willing to make less money to     work for progressive companies!)
  • Be a leader – do what other organizations aren’t and distinguish your business in the process.
  • Reduced carbon footprint – for companies that have committed to reducing their carbon footprint, this is a
    great way to contribute to your reduction targets. (It’s worth noting that the number of companies that are
    disclosing carbon-related activities/risks increases every year.)

We’re looking forward to joining and working on this program with our friends at GeneraCycle. Look for the launch at Green Drinks on November 20th. We’ll be there.

Let us know by joining the discussion on our LinkedIn Group, our Twitter feed or just send us an message if you’re not the social media type.

Evan DiValentino, VP Sales & Marketing