June 3, 2022

What Makes a Business "Green"?

Green businesses are striving to provide high quality products and services to their customers while minimizing waste, reducing energy and water use, and keeping negative environmental impacts to a minimum. To claim green business status, companies and/or the buildings they operate in are often certified by a third party that measures the efficiency of energy and water throughout the business’ operations.1

Fortunately, there are many other ways to green a business, and most of them are also good for a business’ bottom line as they reduce costs and increase customer appeal.

Here are some ways to green your business:

  • Choose products and suppliers with green certification to reduce impacts along the supply chain. This can help when choosing a variety of products, from sustainable paper products, to energy and water efficient appliances, to sustainable food sources. 2
  • Timers or motion sensors help to keep lights off when there’s no one around, while timers and smart power strips for appliances reduce “phantom power” (power that an appliance drains just from being plugged in, even if it’s off).
  • Literally “green” your business through living plants, either indoors or outdoors. Green roofs3 , drought-tolerant landscaping4, and living plant walls and planters contribute to increased air quality, passive cooling, and help with water management.
  • When looking to move or set up a business, look for buildings that meet a certified green build standard, such as BOMA, LEED, Passive House or other third party verification organizations.
  • When looking to renovate an existing building, include water and energy efficient retrofits to save money and energy from the start.

The best way to green a business is to reduce waste. Whether that’s in energy, products, or time, efficient business operations keeps the world (and your bank account) a little greener.

1For a more information on how to certify a building or business, check out this list of environmental certifications recommended by the University of Waterloo

2For a list of verified green certifications, check the last page in the Town of Okotoks’ Growing Greener Together Guide

3Check out the Miistakis Institute’s Ecoroof Guide for Municipalities for a detailed review of green roof options.

4The Town of Okotoks provides rebates and incentives to encourage water wise choices for both residents and businesses – see the Water Smart Business Grant article below or click button below for details. 

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Environment Week: June 5-11, 2022

Between the months of May and September, the Town of Okotoks embarks on a campaign of conservation awareness in our community with the help of the Conservation Educators. Each June in celebration of Canadian Environment Week and World Environment Day, the Town's Conservation Educators will be out and about in the community offering free events and activities to celebrate our environment and to help you discover new ways to reduce your ecological footprint.

This year’s events include the repair café, a clothing exchange, the Alberta Bat Society, and learning about the critters that live in the Sheep River.

For all Environment Week events and more, click the button below.

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Blast from the Past:

In 1994, Ray Anderson had an epiphany moment. As the head of an innovative carpet company, he was used to getting question about his company’s technology. But when a customer asked about his environmental impact, he didn’t have an answer. Realizing he needed to know more, he picked up a book called “The Ecology of Commerce”. And forever changed the way he did business.

Ray started by setting a task force with one objective – reduce waste to 0. No more wasted product, no more wasted energy, no more waste. Everything that Interface took out of the world had to be balanced by restorative processes. Ray used the Ehrlich’s environmental impact equation: I = PAT1/T2.

Today, we call this a circular economy. And today, Interface has moved from an innovative extractive profitable company, to an innovative carbon-negative, regenerative profitable company, setting new standards for sustainability in business.

Learn more about Ray Anderson’s journey in his 2009 Ted Talk, or on the Interface website.

Water Smart Business Grant

At the beginning of 2022, the Town of Okotoks launched the Water Smart Business Grant program to help local businesses save some water and money. The grant provides up to $10,000 to Okotoks businesses and institutions who want to save some money, but also do their part to conserve water through water efficiency upgrades. Installing water-efficient fixtures, equipment, and landscaping can save an organization money on bi-monthly water bills!

One of applicants was Onyx Deluso, owner and operator of the Okotoks Booster Juice. Onyx noticed that the 3-way faucet fixture in the kitchen was continually leaking. He applied for a Water Smart Business Grant and received funding to replace the fixture with a new, water efficient one! Replacing the faucet will save his business money on the water utility bills! Being more water efficient also contributes to Okotoks-wide water conservation efforts.

Applications will open January 1, 2023! 

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Did You Know?

The electric vehicle charging stations at the Municipal Centre were provided through an economic development grant intended to attract EV drivers.

Over the last 2 years, EV drivers visited the charging stations, within walking distance to Historic Downtown Okotoks and its local downtown businesses, more than 700 times!

New businesses in Town

New Business Listings

The Town of Okotoks is thrilled to welcome the following new businesses to Town:

Homebased: Love, Rose: Visual Art & Design
                       Health Matter Fitness, Inc.: Health Services
                       Rocky Mountain Windows & Doors, Inc.:Sales of Windows & Doors

Storefront: I Got a Guy Auto Service: General Automotive Repair
                   Blended Beauty Brows & Aesthetics: Microblading & Permanent Makeup
                   Four Feathers Esthetics: Microblading & Shading/Henna
                   Topp Kids Out of School Clubs: Out of School Care

The online business directory is a list of all Okotoks businesses that have chosen to be included. The Business Directory is another helpful resource for sourcing companies, products, services and expertise located in the Town of Okotoks. Check it out!

Online business directory

 Get Your Okotoks Visitor Guide!

Book a visit!

The Okotoks Visitor Guide is a great tool to help visitors navigate all businesses in Town. The guide also has QR codes that link to a map of all of our PLAY, STAY and EAT locations on the Tourism website. Get your copy at the Okotoks Municipal Centre and Okotoks Art Gallery.

Upcoming Events

Conversation with Council
Okotoks Recreation Centre Lobby
99 Okotoks Dr
Wednesday, June 1 7-8pm

Document Shredding Event
Operations Centre
100, 1118 N Railway St 
Saturday, June 4 10am-2pm

Check out all upcoming Okotoks and area events!

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Business Resources

Click to see all events by the Okotoks & District Chamber of Commerce

Okotoks & District Chamber of Commerce
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Click to see all events by Community Futures Highwood

Community Futures Highwood

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Click to see all events by MCG Careers


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Click to see all events by Business Link

Bow Valley

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Business Support Programs 

Join the Business Visitation Program

Your Business Matters!! We would love to hear your unique story. Why did you choose Okotoks? How can we help you grow?

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Local Business Success Stories

Connect with Community Growth and Investment to participate in the Success Stories program. Let's collaborate to promote your business!

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Click to sign-up for the Business Beat

Town Information

Council meetings
COVID-19 updates
Business Events

Enjoy the Economic Development Newsletter? Do you have ideas to make this newsletter more exciting or business-related topics you want to see? The Town would love to hear from you! Connect with us!

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