5 things local businesses can do to help save money in Mississauga

Published April 15, 2024 at 12:45 pm

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Mississauga’s Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) is helping businesses save money and become environmentally sustainable through their Greening Corporate Grounds program.

The program works directly with businesses to see where their landscaping can become more sustainable. This initiative isn’t just good for the environment, but helps businesses save money on things like their water bill and management fees.

Participation in the program is free of charge to businesses and institutions located in the Credit River Watershed.

Business owners are encouraged to check CVC’s website or contact [email protected] to see if they qualify for a free site assessment and sustainable landscaping action plan.

Credit Valley Conservation says brick and mortar businesses need a sustainable landscaping plan for the same reasons they need a business plan: to understand the corporate landscape and identify potential opportunities and obstacles and make informed decisions.

“But unlike a business plan, a sustainable landscaping action plan focuses on creating a roadmap to enhance and sustainably manage the natural and exterior built environment,” says CVC.

Here are five easy steps businesses can take on the path to sustainability and lower costs:

1. Understand your business’ landscape

Understanding your property and how your staff and clients use it will help you identify areas they value most, and areas that may prove difficult or expensive to maintain. For example, a flood risk assessment can identify flood-prone zones and help you avoid flooding and damage to equipment and buildings. Your action plan provides quick wins and long-term solutions to avoid costly short-term fixes.

2. Create an action plan

Your sustainable landscaping action plan acknowledges current conditions while keeping your future in mind. It highlights actions you can take now, like creating no-mow zones, or what to plan for in the future, like a parking lot retrofit.

3. Improve your bottom line

Business leaders know one of the fastest ways to improve the bottom line is to decrease costs. The action plan considers the outcome of a site assessment and review of current exterior maintenance practices, infrastructure and natural environment. This reveals new opportunities to reduce costs such as conventional property maintenance and municipal stormwater costs.

4. Attract customers by demonstrating your commitment

Caring for your property demonstrates your commitment to a sustainable future for your business, your employees and the environment. A strong and visible commitment to sustainability attracts and retains talent and builds customer and brand loyalty.

5. Future-proof your business against climate change

Building sustainability into your corporate property is a proactive way to protect your business and adapt to a changing climate. Flooding, wind and infrastructure damage can disrupt operations and ultimately cost you money. Having a sustainable landscaping action plan in place gives you peace of mind to focus on building other areas of your business.

For businesses that are ready to rise to the challenge but don’t know where to start, Credit Valley Conservation offers these five tips:

Size doesn’t matter: Property size, proximity to natural areas and current landscaping determine what projects are best for your property. A small patch of grass can become a pollinator garden; a large open area can be a future prairie meadow. You might also consider preventing pollution, managing stormwater, or creating a green roof. There’s a unique opportunity for every property, large or small.

Let your vision be your mission: Align your project with your corporate social responsibility mission. If employee well-being is a key pillar of your corporate strategy, engage staff and create native pollinator gardens. Connect green spaces with paths for employees to enjoy. You can book a planting event or design charrette with CVC to get started.

Consider land and water: Understand the natural features on your property. Focus projects on areas most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and unpredictable weather events. For example, plant trees to increase shade or retrofit your parking lot with green infrastructure to help prevent flooding.

Start small: There are quick and easy ways to improve air and water quality on your property. For example, a pollution prevention plan is a great way to start small while making a big impact.

Plan for retrofits: Achieving the best return on investment requires planning and a clear vision for the future. Will your property require a new parking lot or new roof in the next two to five years? Start now by contacting us.

Learn more about the Greening Corporate Grounds program and connect with the CVC here or contact [email protected] to see if you qualify for a free site assessment and sustainable landscaping action plan.

Credit Valley Conservation is a community-based environmental organization dedicated to protecting, restoring and managing the natural resources of the Credit River Watershed. Established in 1954, they currently work with municipal governments, landowners, community organizations, schools and businesses to deliver a wide range of locally-based programs centred around protecting our natural environment.

Follow their Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest updates.

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