Every month, discover a Sherbrooke Company Profile…
Interventions consulting sustainable development experts and GHG auditors
- Creation: 1993
- Sites: Sherbrooke (head office) and Montréal
- Number of employees: 11
- Target markets: SMEs // Large companies// Municipalities // Governmental organizations, etc.
Innovating, evolving, always looking for ways to stand out from the rest are second nature at Enviro- access! This is what has enabled it to establish itself as a leader – and a pioneer – in the field of greenhouse gas (GHG) consulting services, one of its areas of expertise.
In 2011, the Sherbrooke company became the first private company in Canada to obtain accreditation from the Standards Council of Canada to act as a GHG validation and verification body, in accordance with ISO 14065.
This is a strong card in Enviro-access’ service offering. For several years now, major emitting industries in Québec, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia – ex. those involved in mining, metal, pulp and paper, cement, fuel distribution – have been required to declare their GHG emissions, and to have them verified.
In addition to this role in verifying declared GHG emissions, Enviro-access also offers an array of consulting services in the field of GHGs: emissions inventories, reduction strategies and action plans, specific emissions reduction projects – and all the paperwork related to the government funding available, preparing for carbon audits, determining the carbon footprint of a product or service, climate change adaptation plans, compensation strategies, etc.
Ability to reinvent itself
Enviro-access has developed this GHG expertise since the early 2000s – before the real wave of awareness-raising and regulations hit. This visionary direction is based on the roadmap of the company and its founder, Manon Laporte.
In operation for more than 20 years, Enviro-access has had to reinvent its business model on more than one occasion in a field – the environment – that is susceptible to political and economic conditions. The goal: to always be at the forefront of market needs.
This is how Enviro-access, a private non-profit company, began as one of three Canadian Environmental Technology Advancement Centres funded by Environment Canada. At the time, it acted as an intermediary between small- and medium-sized enterprises and the financial and technical resources needed to carry out their environmental projects or to market their innovative technologies.
“In the course of our operations and our work with experts in various fields, we became aware of certain gaps in our consulting services offer in sustainable development, with respect to GHGs among others. We decided to fill these gaps by developing internal expertise,” explained the company’s President and CEO. “While the availability of qualified resources has since improved, our professionals are now among the most experienced in the field in Canada.”
Their mission? The same one that Enviro-access has pursued since its beginnings: to promote the emergence of innovative projects that enhance the quality of the environment and that contribute to sustainable development by supporting the organizations that are implementing them.
Carbon CareTM certified
Two levels of certification may be achieved: basic and carbon-neutral. The former confirms that the organization has conducted a GHG emissions inventory and that it has provided tangible proof of initiatives to reduce them. The latter is granted to organizations that, in addition to meeting the criteria for basic certification, offset their emissions.
More than 60 municipalities, MRCs, public organizations, companies, teaching institutions, and events in Québec – including the Ville de Sherbrooke, Bishop’s University, the Canada Summer Games–Sherbrooke 2013, and Sherbrooke Innopole – have attained one of these levels of Carbon CareTM certification.
“By creating Carbon CareTM certification, our primary goal was to offer organizations and businesses an effective communication tool to externally convey their commitment to the fight against climate change. Since then, we have noted that the certificate we award is a great source of pride internally. This approach responds to an environmental concern shared by a growing proportion of employees and other people involved in the organization, regardless of the field. It becomes a motivating factor, and also attracts new talent,” the businesswoman said.
“We also publicize the initiatives put in place in each of the organizations certified with the aim of inspiring others, and creating a ripple effect!”
Simplicity + efficiency
Another example of innovation is one intended for municipal clients: GHG Access, software for monitoring GHG inventories.
“It’s a unique, user-friendly, and easy-to-use tool and a logical next step in our work with more than 60 municipalities as part of the government’s Climate Municipalities Program, which encourages municipal bodies to conduct a GHG inventory, develop an action plan to reduce GHGs, and prepare a climate change adaptation plan,” explained Manon Laporte, specifying that the program is currently under review.
In addition to services related to GHGs, Enviro-access provides support to enable the development of clean technologies. In concrete terms, this involves carrying out market studies, finding funding and partners, planning the timeline and budget for pre-commercial demonstration projects, etc.
Environment: Québec’s diagnosis
By working in this way with the developers of new technologies, municipal managers, and company executives since 1993, Enviro-access has been a front-row witness of – and contributor to – environmental progress, in terms of political and economic discourse and action.
What is the pulse of the current situation? “Québec is well-positioned in terms of environmental challenges,” said Manon Laporte. “In Québec, the public is known to be very aware of environmental issues. We are fortunate to have a clean and renewable energy source, hydroelectricity; a cap and trade system for emissions allowances (SPEDE) has been in effect since 2013; and, in conjunction with California, we introduced a carbon market that should link other provinces and states – a market to which the transportation and industrial sectors, which produce 75% of GHG emissions, are subject.”
Despite all this, the companies that voluntarily decide to review their business strategy and processes to take into account the environmental component are still relatively rare. “This is why it is important to establish laws and regulations or to offer businesses incentives to change,” stated Manon Laporte. “Such financial and/or tax incentives reduce the cost or shorten the timeframe for a return on investment, encouraging more companies to make a commitment by lowering the economic barrier. At the same time, current events show us that public engagement may also move things forward.”
Surf ahead of the wave!
In this changing regulatory and social context, Enviro-access steadfastly aims to remain at the forefront with its service offering. “Being the first to be able to meet demand requires always being a bit ahead of the next wave. It’s stimulating; but at the same time it requires an extra dose of vision and the perseverance to succeed,” said Manon Laporte.
Well-known and established in Québec, in recent years, Enviro-access has sought to export its expertise elsewhere in Canada, beginning with Ontario and Alberta, where regulations governing the declaration of and obligation to verify GHG emissions are in place.
To succeed in this venture, the Sherbrooke company, which also has an office in Montréal, counts on its team of experts. Their solid experience in the sciences and engineering and training with regard to the ISO 14964 standard guide their work in quantifying and verifying greenhouse gases. In addition, some team members have Greenhouse Gas Inventory Quantifier (GHG-IQ) or Greenhouse Gas Inventory Verifier (GHG-V) certification from the GSA Group; in fact, the GSA Group recruits them to give training sessions to other professionals who are interested in developing their expertise in the field of GHGs!
The experts at Enviro-access are accredited to act in many sectors: metallurgy, pulp and paper, lumber, agri-food, textiles, chemicals, plastics, biofuels, logistics, transportation, services, etc.
Enviro-access has an impressive list of clients, ranging from large industrial companies to service businesses. In the region, the company has worked with Enerkem – since the beginning, Domtar, and Cascades, among other businesses, and with several educational institutions, including the Cégep de Sherbrooke, Bishop’s University, and the Université de Sherbrooke.
2100 Bevédère Street North, Suite 150, Sherbrooke (Québec)J1H 4A7
50, Sainte-Catherine Street West, Suite 440, Montréal (Québec) H2X 3V4
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