UNBC students help local companies reduce carbon footprint

As the semester winds down, one class is creating environmental change even as they canvas for letter grades.

One company at a time, University of Northern B.C. students are making the case for carbon footprint reductions through a course dubbed Carbon Management: Sustainable Business in a Carbon-Constrained World.

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The program's been in place since 2014, after a partnership with the Prince George Chamber of Commerce helped bring local companies to the post-secondary classroom.

That gave them an "internationally recognized carbon footprint analysis," UNBC said in Monday's release, in an effort to become more energy efficient, help improve local air quality, increase recycling, and reduce waste.

Course instructor Kyrke Gaudreau said the project promotes sustainable business models in Prince George.

"The businesses, along with the students, learn how to prepare for the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change," Gaudreau said in a statement. "The class also develops a professional skill, climate footprint analyses, which will be increasingly in demand as the world starts to tackle climate change."

Several businesses participated, including Benchmark Automotive, Central BC Railway and Forestry Museum, Joey's Only, Nancy O's, Shiraz Caf and Restaurant, Two Rivers Gallery, and Zaffron Cuisine.

Students prepared an analysis of each company's carbon emission sources at no cost. Each report offers recommendations on how to reduce emissions, consumption rates and energy expenses.

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