At Pacific Coast Catering Group, we believe that if we act now, in a responsible way, businesses like ours and people like us can moderate the effects of climate change. But, as we discovered, it’s not an easy path to take. We had to work hard and devote money to change practices that negatively affect our environment. Over the past year, we’ve made a deliberate effort to reduce our waste, carbon dioxide emissions and atmospheric pollutants by changing the way we do certain things – and by lowering our overall energy consumption.
Here are some of the changes we’re proud to have accomplished over the past year:
- We reduced our gasoline consumption by nearly 15 percent. How? First, we started replacing the old vans in our delivery fleet with the much more economical Ford Transit commercial vans. Next, we refined our delivery routes and timing to reduce the total distance our vans have to travel each day. Finally, we changed the way we use our propane burners. Now we turn these on full only while we are actually cooking. We turn the burners down, or else right off, between batches.
- We reduced our garbage output by seven percent – through more intensive composting; through recycling all plastics, metals, bottles and paper; by safely and hygienically re-using anything we can (such as utensils, bags, and some catering containers); and by educating all our staff about the why and how-to of proper recycling.
- Finally, we also reduced our hydro usage by a full seven percent. This was even harder to achieve than we thought it would be – but we did it. We learned to completely shut down our plant at the end of each day. We put our air conditioning on auto-shutoff at 4 p.m. each day. Now, when we leave, we make sure all lights are turned off and all computers are shut down (not just put into sleep or stand-by mode). For early morning start-ups, we run only the kitchen computer. We also created a daily operating schedule for our ovens, so they are only turned on when, and for as long as, they are actually needed.
To achieve all this – to earn the Climate Smart Business certification seal – takes a concerted, conscientious effort by every Pacific Coast Catering Group employee. And I’m happy to say that all our employees have risen to the challenge. We could not have done it without their consistent co-operation and enthusiasm.