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Businesses shooting for the green
On the surface, a golf course might seem to be one of the greenest business operations around.
While the folks running Olympic View Golf Club hope to one day achieve recognition for its efforts to use environmentally friendly business practices, the club's restaurant, Forester's Bistro and Bar, teed off first in that department.
The eatery has achieved gold status – the top rating is green, no surprise – in the Vancouver Island Green Business Certification program for taking nearly two dozen actions toward being environmentally sustainable in its operations.
"For completed actions we're at 23, but the more important part is perhaps what we're going to do in future," said Ken Langdon, sales and events manager for Olympic View.
The "done" list includes such things as using ceiling fans to recirculate heat, insulating all hot water tanks and pipes, using water-saving aerators on faucets, air cooling refrigeration units instead of water cooling, and ensuring at least three main ingredients used in the kitchen are organically grown.
Forester's was part of the pilot project for the certification program initiated last spring by Jill Doucette with Victoria-based non-profit Synergy Sustainability Institute. With the pilot completed and the program now in full swing, Forester's is one of nine area restaurants on its list of approved sites.
The program also oversees certification of offices and retail establishments.
Langdon sits down monthly with staff to talk about ways of improving the club's operational sustainability.
"There's always been an atmosphere of environmentalism and responsibility here," he said.
What prompted them to get involved with the Green Business Certification program was being invited to get in on the ground floor, the affordability of the program and the relative ease of making positive, measurable changes, Langdon said.
Down the road, he added, the hope for Olympic View's golf operations is to attain certification under Audubon International's co-operative sanctuary program for golf courses, an international program designed to mitigate any negative environmental impacts of turf maintenance.
Highland Pacific is among the local clubs that has achieved that status.
To see a full list of Vancouver Island certified green businesses and their criteria checklists, visit vigbc.ca.
Other West Shore operations that are certified green businesses (with level):
Office – City of Colwood municipal hall (green), Farley Martin Notaries Public (gold), Stephen Whipp Financial (gold), Indigenous Perspectives Society (gold)
Restaurant – Royal Bay Bakery in Colwood (gold), My-Chosen Cafe in Metchosin (gold)
Retail – Oak Bay Bikes Westshore (gold), Growlies for Pets (gold)