Archive for Sharing initiatives

Reducing Company CO2 the easy way, Carpool, Flex-hours and Telecommuting

Many cities and companies are promoting carpooling as an easy way to reduce carbon emissions. There is little doubt that their are enormous benefits to carpooling but from a commuters point of view (i.e. someone trying to get to work in the least amount of time) it seems like carpooling will take additional time. However, if we do a little commuter math, we can determine that, on average, carpooling actually saves time. Why? Let’s say, for example, that every commuter made an effort to car pool. An average communiting time to downtown Toronto during rush-hour from surrounding community is about 1.5 hours. If we were able to reduce the number of cars by even 1/4th there would be a significant decrease in average commute time, possibly 30 minutes. And even if we don’t succeed in that amount of reduction, there are carpool lanes for cars with more than one person. The time saving becomes more significant over time because congestion is increasing with even more severe impacts on commuting time. There is a certain volume of traffic that the road ways can easily handle. Up until that point, there is very little impact by adding traffic. But after that limit is reached, the congestion increases considerably for every additional car. So removing even 5% of the cars would reduce commute time by more than 5% on average. It only stands to reason then that every car we get off the road will make a positive difference in reducing commute time and CO2 emissions. For the individual commuter, sometimes there is a trade-off if they have to stop and wait for a carpool or go out of their way to drop someone off, but as more people opt for carpooling, there will be better matches. Imagine if 25% of the vehicles were taken off the road. Commute times may be reduced by 30 minutes which would easily make up for any inconvenience.

Benefits of Carpooling

What are the other benefits of carpooling? First, you make friends, get to meet someone new and get to know them well because you see them on a regular basis. Second, you get to share costs of commuting. If you still have a car, at very least you save on gas. If not, you may get to save on repairs, insurance and other costs. Third, if you’re riding with someone else, you may get a little more time to sleep before getting to work. Fourth, in many cities you save time because you get to use designated carpool lanes. Fifth, if your company supports carpooling, you get to leave at a regularly scheduled time(and for reasons I’ll explain later, this is also good for the company). Sixth, you help to save the planet. In the battle against climate change, you get to reduce carbon emissions by sharing a ride directly (more riders is better) and by reducing average commute time for everyone, you help every vehicle on the road because all of them enjoy a slightly shorter commute time. Yes, as even one car comes off the road, there is just a little less congestion and every other car benefits a little and contributes a little less carbon.

Getting your Company Involved

There are many ways to participate in car-pooling and there are many direct and indirect benefits to the company for doing so, not the least of which is your company’s contribution to reducing CO2. But before you roll-out a carpool plan, it is like many other projects, you need think about how to inform staff and management on the benefits to them and to others. Following are a few steps to consider: » Continue reading “Reducing Company CO2 the easy way, Carpool, Flex-hours and Telecommuting”

Comments (1)

Sustainability is a Cooperative Endeavor

Sustainability is a cooperative endeavor. None of us can fully achieve it until all of us achieve it together.

A Harvard study Global Warming’s Six Americas looked at Americans to gauge their attitudes toward climate change. The study determined that 18% of the US population are alarmed about Climate Change issue, 33% were Concerned, 19% Cautious, 12% Disengaged, 11% Doubtful and 7% Dismissive, which means that they actively oppose work towards elimination of GHG (Green House Gas), viewing it as wasted money and effort. In the words of Kofi Annan, “Climate change is a silent human crisis, yet it is the greatest emerging humanitarian challenge of our time.” Looking at the figures alone, we might feel somewhat discouraged about the possibility of achieving universal sustainability. But, there are also other ways of looking at sustainability which might make us more optimistic.

Encouraging a cooperative view of Sustainability

» Continue reading “Sustainability is a Cooperative Endeavor”

Comments off

Susan McLennan, Sustainability, Social Justice and a PR Specialist’s Perspective

When I first met Susan McLennan, she was one of three speakers at a Life Entrepreneurship forum. As soon as I heard Susan speak, I knew that she was someone I wanted to learn more about.

The speakers before and after Susan told of their life stories, how they came upon some incredible personal hardships, how they overcame their hardships, what they learned, how they had subsequently built successful businesses and how they could help us in doing the same. They were terrific speakers and I truly enjoyed them.

But Susan took a very different approach. She started her presentation with just a sentence or two about her own background, quickly brushed past that part of the presentation, and went on to the story of her work as a PR specialist with her company Babble On Communications. » Continue reading “Susan McLennan, Sustainability, Social Justice and a PR Specialist’s Perspective”

Comments (3)

Electric Infrastructure by BetterPlace

Better place ( has a better idea.

Shai Agassi, CEO of Better place, rather than trying to convince us that it’s  the right thing to do from an environmental perspective, wants to convince us that it’s a much better thing to do from a commercial perspective.

Going to Electric cars and electric infrastructure, using his plan, will revolutionize the way we think about travel, cost of cars and the price we pay to get where we need to go. And at the same time, we will use clean sustainable energy, clean quite electric cars, and we don’t have to wait 20 years.

Aggasi has been invited by a number of Governments to start working on his infrastructure immediately. » Continue reading “Electric Infrastructure by BetterPlace”

Comments off

Town of Caledon “Ontario’s Greenest Town” still?

Canada is an amazingly beautiful country and a place which most Canadians feels extremely lucky to live. We have a relatively strong economy, a stable democracy, many natural resources, clean water, an abundance of energy, a national health care policy and education for everyone. Like every country it has its challenges; a few communities known for crime, indigenous communities which are lacking in essentials such as clean water, suitable housing and local schools. We have people who have somehow fallen out of the social welfare system and into the streets and others who use food-banks and hostiles just to survive. What’s not so evident is that we have a long way to go to become sustainable in our practices. We use far too much of the world’s non-renewable energy, we contribute far too much to climate change on a per capita basis through our carbon emissions and we contribute more to the worlds pollution than we should. Still, when compared to other places in the world, Canada is a wonderful place to live.

Each locality in Canada has its’ own charms and characteristics along with its’ benefits and challenges. I am extremely fortunate to live in Caledon, Ontario, a town of relatively small population on a large north west corner of Toronto. Caledon is a beautiful area. As I look out my office window, I look upon a forested green belt between my home and the sub-division up the hill from me. The air in Caledon is as clean as one can expect for any location in North America close to a major city except perhaps in our very small downtown core along the main highway which suffers from some traffic congestion during rush hour. It’s also quiet in my office except for the odd passing transport truck, aircraft or train. And there are farms, horse ranches, rivers and parks nearby, all within a few miles from my home. Living near a forested area is something I’ve become accustom to, but I always try not to take it for granted. » Continue reading “Town of Caledon “Ontario’s Greenest Town” still?”

Comments (1)

Interviewing CEO’s and Executives on Sustainability success strategies

One of my recent initiatives involves interviewing CEO’s, executives and sustainability officers about sustainability strategies that have worked for their organizations and the challenges they face in making cultural changes.

My goal is to use this blog ( and my leadership development practice to share information with business, organizational and municipal leaders who are concerned with the creating a more sustainable world and more sustainable organizations but who don’t know how to start, or those who are already walking the path but need some guidance and encouragment, (i.e. someone to ”walk with them”) as they begin to make changes and apply innovative new ideas.

Sustainability is about more than just being friendly to our planet. We can be more friendly to our environment just by not driving our cars but we cannot keep our stomachs full and our economy rolling by not driving cars. Sustainability is about taking a pragmatic approach to creating a world that is productive and ever-advancing. In involves creating a world which provides for the needs of all earthly inhabitants now while ensuring that the future is also secure.

My hope is to attract business leaders who are looking for better ways to work which will lead to greater stability and better use of human and material resources while improving their ROI. By working together and sharing ideas, we can improve our businesses, improve our leadership practices, think more creatively about solving challenges, and create progressive business environments which effectively utilize and respect the world’s people and resources.

As I conduct the the interviews with leaders who have developed sustainability strategies my goal is to share both their challenges and successes. After interviews are completed, I will write articles to share this learning and experience with readers and I will invite positive feedback and helpful comments and suggestions.

If you are an Executives, business owner or municipal leader who has taken noteworthy initiatives or if you know someone who has taken actions to benefit the community or the world, please contact us. I hope to speak with as many of you as possible.

For more information on this initiative, please contact me (Garth Schmalenberg) at 416-919-6598.

Comments off