Becoming Climate Smart Certified is a journey. It is a journey to discovering and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a journey to cost savings, and a journey that helps businesses realize that every organization can make a difference to the planet’s well-being, no matter their size or industry. 
 
So what is the Climate Smart Journey like? We asked trailblazing businesses a few questions about the process and what it’s like to become a sustainability leader through the Climate Smart program. 
Let’s dive in with Sydney Wanchulak, Impact & Sustainability Manager at NorLand Limited. 
 
 
Meet NorLand! NorLand Limited is a diverse group of 17 specialized business units working together as one team towards a shared goal: Helping Build Enduring Communities, Together. They have been serving the construction industry since their inception as Pacific Blasting Company Ltd. in 1954.   
NorLand’s unique group of specialized businesses undertake complex, multi-faceted public and private sector projects. They believe that no task is too daunting, and are excited by, and creatively rise to, any challenge.   
 
What made you decide on Climate Smart?    
“Customer, employee, and societal expectations for sustainability have challenged us to be a driver of change. Our industry is a leading contributor to society’s environmental footprint and influential in reducing carbon emissions, water consumption, and energy.   
 
We had heard great things about the Climate Smart program from companies who had taken the training and consultants recommending it for us. Once we had discussions with the team, it seemed like a natural step for us to partner with Climate Smart to help us calculate our emissions footprint.” 
   
What was your Climate Smart experience like?    
“When I went through Climate Smart training, it was very eye-opening and practical. Taking us through what GHG emissions are, the historical records of emissions, and examples of how businesses have reduced their emissions creates a full circle picture for everyone.   
 
The first time we tracked our emissions, it was a large undertaking. We had no idea which vendors our business units used for waste, fuel, gas, and many other areas. We really had to ask the right questions to get the answers we needed and do a lot of digging within our accounting system to find the proper vendors.   
 
This year, accounting was easier as we knew the method. However, we are a large company, so we realized that we need to create internal processes throughout the year, not just when we recertify, to calculate our emissions on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. We also need to do this in partnership with our business units, not in a silo.”  
 
What was your biggest win with Climate Smart?    
“We are now able to understand what our largest emission contributors are and focus our strategy on those areas. For example, in 2019, fuel use between our equipment and truck fleet was almost 60% of our emissions. This was very eye-opening and has shown us we can make a huge impact if we adopt new innovations. 
 
It is also a big win to be Climate Smart Certified. It is important to relay the message to our employees and customers that reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is a priority at NorLand. We are always looking to continuously learn, improve, and grow as a business and are proud to work towards our shared purpose of Helping Build Enduring Communities, Together now and for future generations.”   
 
 
How would you describe your company's success with Climate Smart so far?    
“After our first year of Climate Smart, I can confidentially say that the best is yet to come. Receiving the certification has really kick-started our reduction journey. I believe we have reduced emissions in a lot of low-hanging areas, and are now looking at the options that aren’t so easy. The Climate Smart program has allowed us to open conversations that we simply weren’t having before.  
 
The first year, we focused on the easy stuff and quick wins, communicating Climate Smart with our people, and building the foundation we needed. Now we’re ready to start diving into the wicked problems of our emissions and discussing strategies on how we can reduce emissions significantly in the future.”  
 
How does Climate Smart align with your company’s values?    
“Climate Smart does not just align with our values, it aligns with our ultimate purpose as a business: Helping Build Enduring Communities, Together. To build an enduring community in the future, we will need to reduce our emissions as much as possible on job sites and as a business. We are in a climate crisis, and to mitigate the worst effects of this, we must lead the construction industry now and in the future.   
 
We’re also preparing ourselves for when the time comes that we need to report our emissions to the government and on large construction projects.”  
 
 
NorLand’s Climate Smart journey has only just begun, and we’re inspired by their determination and drive to make planet-positive changes. 
 
If you’re ready to start your organization on its own Climate Smart journey and transform your business into a climate leader, our experts are ready to help you cut carbon, cut costs, and make a difference to the planet’s well-being.