A renowned coffee and donuts chain recently offered up 1.8 million re-usable cups in an effort to green up their annual contest that has traditionally required millions of disposable cups.

A market-leading food producer announced in November 2019 that it was the first major food company in the world to become carbon neutral. They reduced their impact as much as possible, and in areas where they couldn’t reduce any more, they invested in local environmental projects to bring their net footprint to zero. They also say they are the first food company in Canada to set Science-Based Targets to continue to reduce emissions as they grow.

Arguably the world’s largest reselling, packing, and shipping company recently announced it will meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement 10 years ahead of schedule and be carbon neutral by 2040. To help meet its goal, the company recently ordered 100,000 electric delivery trucks from a Michigan-based company.

These are all BIG examples of some of the world’s largest organizations taking action to reduce emissions in an effort to improve long-term outcomes associated with climate change. But what about SMEs who may not have the financial means or human resources to implement climate action plans? If you’re the owner of a small to medium-sized business, or you’re employed by one in Manitoba, this Climate Action Toolkit for Manitoba Business is for you.

The climate crisis is already upon us and is having a tangible, measurable impact on Manitoba business, including production losses due to extreme weather events, increased costs resulting from carbon pricing, and more expensive commercial insurance policies. Climate science from the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2018 Special Report states that “climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5 degrees C and increase further with 2 degrees C (para B.5).”

It is for this reason that member countries of the United Nations pledged through the Paris Agreement to keep global temperatures below these levels, including Canada’s commitment to reduce our greenhouse emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. All that being said, it’s important to note that climate change also presents new market potential arising from consumer preferences for low-carbon products and services, as well as opportunities to access government policy incentives for increasing energy and fuel efficiency, and for absorbing and storing carbon in both the natural and built environment.

Our online toolkit includes helpful information, resources, case studies and more to help you get started on your climate action journey:

  1. Resources to Get Started – Primers, Checklists, Guides
  2. Climate Action by Manitoba Business – Examples, feature cases, communications guide for businesses
  3. Climate Action Knowledge Sharing  – Survey summary, project examples & climate action barriers, links to credible resources and toolkits from other jurisdictions.

The Climate Action Toolkit for Manitoba Business is a collaboration between the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and the International Institute for Sustainable Development. Funding support for informational products was provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada through the Climate Action Fund. In-kind support provided by World Trade Centre Winnipeg.