My Climate Smart Journey: Remote Helicopters Limited

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 Kim Babiy, Chief Pilot at Remote Helicopters.

Meet Remote Helicopters! Remote Helicopters is an Alberta-based company that's been in operation for over 35 years. Remote Helicopters has a rich history of adventure and innovation in the Canadian helicopter industry and is proud to be one of Canada’s most trusted helicopter companies. They operate a fleet of light, intermediate, and medium category helicopters, and are continually innovating to provide the highest standards of safety and customer service across North America. 

What made you decide on Climate Smart?   
“The helicopter industry is without question an emissions-heavy industry. Efficiencies in helicopter engines are still a number of years away. So in order to become more environmentally responsible, we needed to look at the way we do business as a whole and make changes and improvements where we could. More and more of the companies we provide air services to are looking for our environmental policy and what we are doing as an organization to minimize our environmental impact. Being a Climate Smart company will give us a competitive advantage.”
What was your biggest win with Climate Smart?  
“Our biggest Climate Smart win was when our team began to understand the necessity for all of us to actively contribute to climate responsibility through everyday actions. Small choices are where the thinking and habits begin to change.” 
What would you say was the biggest challenge you faced?  
“Change in thinking. Rather than continue to do things the way we had always done them, we started to question everything. We looked at our various parts and service providers and noticed that many of our materials were shipped from all over the world. We elected to do business with more local companies, and thus reduce our shipping footprint and costs. We also decided to move our main base of operations to a more central location and cut down on 2.5x the travel time. After the move, it was also important for us to start looking locally for new hires. By hiring people who live closer to our main base of operations, we have reduced the amount of airline travel required to bring employees to work and thereby have reduced our carbon footprint.”

How would you describe your company's success with Climate Smart so far?  
“Cost savings have definitely been realized by changing our suppliers and reducing shipping. We decreased our truck fleet by 10 vehicles, which reduced our operating costs and impacted our environmental footprint. But by far, the biggest success is seeing the shift in our team’s thinking.”
How does Climate Smart align with your company’s values?  
“Becoming more environmentally conscious has led us to reevaluate our company’s values to include acknowledgement and action towards responsible environmental stewardship. Environmental impact has become an influence on the daily operational decisions that are made.”
How have your employees adopted Climate Smart?  
“Our company as a whole has really adopted our climate action plans. Packaging gets broken down and recycled. When there are parts or packages to pick up, employees make a point to check and see if there are other things to get while they are out, combining multiple stops into one trip. People are making different choices with their personal vehicles, replacing them with smaller, more efficient cars or trucks with significantly fewer emissions. It’s very exciting to see everyone doing their part.”
What impact has your training had on your community and in your day-to-day life?  
“Individuals within the company are starting to make day-to-day decisions with environmental impact in mind. From the purchase of personal EV cars to composting and at-home recycling to reusable lunch containers, Climate Smart has increased awareness regarding the impact of our day-to-day activities, and how with small changes, we can reduce our environmental footprint.”

Remote Helicopters’ 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.