Doctors of BC, like many organizations around the province, as well as a great number of physicians, is concerned about the accelerating pace of climate change at present, as well as what shape our world will be in 10, 20, or 100 years from now. In response to these concerns, Doctors of BC has made the conscious effort to make our own difference, no matter how small in the grand scheme of things: one step at a time, one person at a time, one organization at a time.
Some initiatives can easily be implemented at nominal cost (recycling), others are more difficult (going paperless). Doctors of BC has taken this issue seriously for many years, and continues to limit what gets sent to the landfill, reduce our power usage, and curb our usage of single use plastics, among a number of other green pursuits. We’re proud of our accomplishments, but we are never ones to settle, so with each new year we take a look at where improvements can be made.
Here are the steps that Doctors of BC is taking right now to reduce our carbon footprint, and help make the world a better place for our collective future:
- In 2020, Doctors of BC’s Green Team working group released an internal policy that outlines our commitment to sustainability and reducing our contributions to climate change.
- Our flexible working program allows for seamless remote meeting options, reducing the need to travel, which lowers overall travel emissions.
- We adjust our HVAC usage according to building occupancy, ensuring our office operations are more energy efficient.
- Energy efficient office lighting with motion sensors throughout the building, in every office, and in all common areas, including the washrooms and hallways.
- Waste management – every kitchen area in the building has a series of recycling bins, including organics. Within the office, staff are hard pressed to find a garbage can, and instead we are challenged to responsibly recycle our discards.
- All broken, outdated, or discarded electronics are collected and sent out to be dismantled for the recovery of their raw materials, including a large cross-section of batteries.
- We use a single caterer to cater meetings taking place at the office – (Lazy Gourmet), which prioritizes sustainability initiatives in every aspect of its business, including compostable packaging. We also use Railtown Catering as an alternative option, which also adheres to our sustainability criteria.
- The rooftop beehive returned in 2022 for its third annual appearance. The Beehive is installed by our Beekeeper, Bryn, who pops by the office on a bi-weekly basis to check up on the bees and see how they're faring. Each year the bees stay on our roof for a few months, afterwards they're taken away so the bees can be prepped for the winter months.
- Installation of filtered drinking water systems has eliminated the need to purchase bottled water for in-office meetings.
- We recycle all ink and toner cartridges from our copy machines and printers.
- Gym, showers, and bike storage encourage commuting by bike.
- We made major improvements to our bike locker in September 2022, adding more space, improving security, and adding functionality. This initiative includes bike stand with tools that allow for some minor repairs, to ensure staff can bike safely.
We are currently looking into a number of initiatives, including:
- Implementing a digital workflow structure to reduce staff use of paper.
- Installing submeters throughout the building to gain a more accurate understanding of per floor energy usage.
- Increasing focus on reusing products, while ensuring that necessary product procurement is environmentally and socially sustainable by reducing usage of single-use products and sourcing from sustainable and ethical providers/producers.
We will continue to update this page. For doctors and office managers interested in greening their offices, The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care has developed a Green Office Toolkit which includes practical and affordable ideas to make eco-friendly office improvements.
Don’t waste electricity, don’t waste paper, don’t waste food. We can still live the way we want to live, and do it without wasting anything. - Sir Richard Attenborough