About Climate Smart Businesses, Inc.
Climate Smart empowers and enables organizations to reduce their emissions, strengthen their businesses, and build a resilient economy. Climate Smart is a social enterprise based in Vancouver, British Columbia. We were originally launched as a program of Ecotrust Canada, an enterprising nonprofit dedicated to building the conservation economy. Climate Smart grew out of the recognition that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)—the engines of our local economies—have been largely overlooked by climate change policy. We believe that this dynamic sector can play an important role in addressing climate change. We are dedicated to helping innovative and creative small businesses find ways to do business differently and foster the transition to a prosperous, low-carbon future. Climate Smart began in 2007 as a program of Ecotrust Canada with a pilot cohort of ten BC businesses and organizations. We tested the viability of a service that lowered the financial and technical barriers for SMEs to take action on climate change. The pilot program was generously supported by various foundations and corporations, including Vancity, the Pembina Institute and the David Suzuki Foundation. In 2008, we further proved out the concept, training more than 75 enterprises in six cohorts. In early spring 2009, we incorporated as a social enterprise. We have now trained more than 775 business, worked with more than 25 host partners, delivered programs outside of Canada (in Portland, OR), and built a growing network of expert trainers. On the technology front, our web-based software application has been developed and maintained internally since early 2011. The current version 2.0 has received excellent feedback from new and old clients alike. Version 1.0, which was used from 2008 through early 2011, was developed with a respected provider of sustainability data systems for large organizations. We pride ourselves on creating software tools that are user-friendly, yet rigorous. Our software was ranked the #1 SME software solution for SMEs in an independent study by Carbonzero and was granted honourable mention in the 2010 Globe Award for Excellence in Emerging Technology by the Globe Foundation.