Manitoba hosts green conference

An upcoming conference in Manitoba is aiming to support local Winnipeg businesses in their quest to become more environmentally friendly, according to Manitoba’s Science, Technology, Energy and Mines Minister, Jim Rondeau.

The Economics of Going Green Conference will be the first of its kind in Winnipeg and will include presentations and discussions led by business and education experts.

Rondeau noted the event is an important effort on behalf of all sectors to move Manitoba’s climate change action plan forward, Rondeau noted in a statement.

“I congratulate the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce for their efforts to bring together business leaders and create an opportunity to share simple and doable success stories,” said Rondeau.

The conference is in line with trends among governments to “go green”, as demonstrated by last month’s Waste Reduction Week, in which provinces including Manitoba participated in e-waste cleanup initiatives.

Rondeau and Manitoba Conservation Minister Stan Struthers announced an e-waste roundup project that collected between 250 to 300 tonnes of e-waste at 19 depots in communities across Manitoba.

“We encourage businesses, Manitobans, and everyone to reduce waste,” said Jim Ferguson, in a previous interview with

“Our initiative on e-waste and the Product Stewardship Regulation is intended to bring a formal stewardship responsibility for the distribution and sale of electronic equipment in Manitoba,” said Ferguson, waste reduction co-ordinator for Green Manitoba.

In Manitoba, the public has been actively joining the drive to reduce waste, said Ferguson. He noted that approximately 345 citizens have participated in the electric hybrid vehicle rebate program, and that taxi drivers in particular have been receptive to that program.

“On the e-waste side, we did run a three-month drop-off for residential recycling of electronic waste, televisions and computers, and we collected almost 300 tonnes of material,” said Ferguson.

Last year, Manitoba introduced a made-in-Manitoba business guide to provide local small and medium-sized businesses tips on how to reduce greenhouse gases and save on energy costs, according to Rondeau. The 33-page guide was developed by Climate Change Connection.

“While we have introduced a green buildings policy and have more than 10 per cent of government fleet vehicles powered by either high-ethanol flex fuel or a gas-electric hybrid engine, we have more work to do and will continue to keep moving forward with action on climate change,” said Rondeau.

Other provinces have also been initiating e-waste stewardship programs, including B.C., Alberta, and Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan’s Waste Electronic Equipment Program (SWEEP), for instance, was spearheaded by the Electronics Product Stewardship Canada (EPSC) in response to the Waste Electronic Equipment Regulation issued by the provincial government in October 2005.

Related content:

Canadian governments engage in e-waste clean up

Green computing: tips, tricks and energy cost-cutters

Climate for change: Ten ways to greener highways

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