Investing in carbon reduction projects like solar PV panels was off the table for most, until now.
KELOWNA, BC, Sept. 28, 2016 /CNW/ - Stemming from a mission to help businesses profitably tackle climate change, sustainability consulting firm GreenStep Solutions has created an innovative program, ecobase Certified, that has helped award winning green hotelier, Greg Salloum, achieve his dream of installing a solar PV array at the Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel and Suites.
"We strive to go above and beyond with our green initiatives," says Greg Salloum, Proprietor of the Best Western Plus Kelowna. "We started with a solar thermal system in 2002 and we've done almost everything else we can to reduce our impacts, including our recent LEED Silver Certified environmental wing and new Tesla Supercharger station. Installing a solar PV array has been a goal of mine for a long time, and with this program we've been able to make it a reality."
The program, launched in 2015, has helped the hotel to create a "carbon conscious" experience for their guests, measuring its carbon footprint while generating a sizeable eco fund targeted for investments in large carbon reduction projects at the property that might otherwise not be initiated.
"Scientists and economists have warned that we need to start investing a bare minimum of 1% of GDP in order to avert a climate catastrophe, or face costs exceeding 20% of GDP if we do nothing," says Angela Nagy, CEO of GreenStep. "We created ecobase Certified with the vision of helping thousands of businesses to make investments in carbon-busting projects while also delivering a return on investment."
The 184-panel, grid-tied solar PV module system is being supplied and installed by Swiss Solar Tech, a leader in providing heat recovery and solar technologies for residential and commercial applications. Once operational, the system will generate more than 64,500 kWh, enough to power six Canadian homes, annually.
"The sun hasn't raised its rate for over four billion years. Pricing for solar PV will never be as low as now, since the demand is rapidly increasing in Canada. You won't be the first but please, don't be the last," says Roger Huber, CEO of Swiss Solar Tech.
Hotels and other businesses participating in the ecobase Certified program add a nominal eco fee to their guest's transactions, with a commitment to measure and reduce their carbon footprint based on international standards. The eco fees are remitted to GreenStep monthly and held in trust until a project has been implemented, providing accountability that the funds are being used as promised. GreenStep's Certified Energy Managers help participating businesses to identify emission reducing goal-projects, identify rebates, and assist with project implementation.
With consumer demand for responsible business on the rise, customer response has been positive. Businesses that invest in the efficiency of their operations not only save money and stay ahead of rising energy costs, they have a more compelling story to help attract and retain customers, and top talent, helping them to improve their competitiveness and profitability.
About GreenStep Solutions: GreenStep Solutions has provided green business consulting, certifications and software for businesses throughout Canada and the US since 2008. GreenStep helps businesses and organizations identify opportunities to go green while at the same time, saving money and improving their green credibility, helping to meet the growing consumer demand for more responsible business. For more information, visit www.greenstep.ca.
About the Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel and Suites: The Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel and Suites offers premium accommodations in Kelowna. Owner, Greg Salloum, is known for his commitment to a greener planet. In 2002 he had the courage and vision to invest in the future and install an extensive and advanced solar hybrid water-heating system, one of the largest in Canada, thus preventing 90 tonnes per year of greenhouse gases that would have otherwise gone into the atmosphere from burning natural gas. For more information about the hotel and their extensive list of green initiatives, visit www.bestwesternkelownahotel.com.
About Swiss Solar Tech: Swiss Solar Tech Ltd is a leading solar installer based in Summerland, B.C. Canada. Swiss Solar Tech was formed for the purpose of offering solar water heating, solar PV for electricity and heat recovery systems to the government, institutional and commercial business sector as well as to the private home owners. Swiss Solar Tech provides high efficiency heating and cooling systems by combining solar thermal with ground-source heat pumps, air to water pumps, heat recovery systems and geothermal ground loops. These energy efficient techniques and technologies guarantee cost effective energy savings for commercial structures such as hotels, resorts and multi-residential buildings. For more information about Swiss Solar Tech, visit http://swisssolartech.com/.
SOURCE GreenStep Solutions
Image with caption: "Businesses invest in the efficiency of their operations as customer demand for responsible business is on the rise. (CNW Group/GreenStep Solutions)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160928_C3820_PHOTO_EN_783231.jpg
For further information: Angela Nagy, CEO, GreenStep Solutions Inc., 250-215-7714, [email protected]; Greg Salloum, Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel and Suites, 250-979-6907, [email protected]; Roger Huber, Swiss Solar Tech, 250-404-0490, [email protected]