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BOB's presentation to Vancouver's Greenest City Action Team on sustainability initiatives and how they relate to CED in the DTES

BOB's presentation to Vancouver's Greenest City Action Team on sustainability initiatives and how they relate to CED in the DTES

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  • Welcome Quick round of introductions Shirley’s opening remarks Brian presentation Good morning everyone, thanks for joining us. I’m very excited about the direction that BOB is headed and the great opportunity for moving the green economy ahead through inner-city economic development and it’s my pleasure to get to share our thinking with you. Here is our rough agenda. I plan on beginning and ending with three key messages I would like you to take away. In the middle I fill in some background on BOB, the green initiatives we are forging and then hopefully leave 40-45 minutes for an open discussion to garner your advice, suggestions, and insights. Questions are welcome anytime. BOB has been convening over the past 6 months a working group to help shape how this would look. I want to acknowledge their contributions as it has been instrumental to clarifying what BOB can, or rather should, be doing. The working group on green jobs includes: The Centre, CYH and genius, the SBIA, Offsetters, BOB staff and volunteers, Recycling Alternative, and United We Can. Much of what I will talk about is really a representation of the work that that group has put in.
  • 1. Social justice not environmental justice is driving green collar jobs movement in the USA and could here too. Therefore the inner-city of Vancouver is the natural place from where Vancouver’s, even BC’s or Canada’s, green collar job movement to spring. Inner-city residents whom are vulnerable to poor health, unemployment and homelessness MUST benefit directly from the Green Jobs Movement! If Vancouver’s green economy is developed and the DTES or inner-city remains unchanged, jobs are only available to the skilled mainstream labour force, etc … we will have failed.
  • #2 Food security + green collar jobs that benefit inner-city residents = Urban Agriculture I suspect you heard it in resounding volumes in your survey of the public; There are numerous examples throughout north america and europe; [Click the video in the top right to start it] Here is a short video from the Green For All folks in Chicago. This resonates loud and clear of us at BOB.
  • The following decision criteria were used to identify the initiatives that should be focused on to bring about green jobs and economic development in the inner-city and Vancouver:   Local job creation – for inner-city residents, which often means the work must be flexible, low-threshold, supported employment Environmental impact (emissions reductions) Barriers to development (cost, regulatory, other) Local sustainable development The results indicate that waste/materials management and energy retrofits for buildings will be the strongest initiatives to address job creation and environmental degradation, while providing local economic development to the Vancouver region. Sustainable urban agriculture is also a very strong contender for job creation, environmental impact, and food security; a criteria that was not considered but is important for a sustainable community. There are many reasons to do building retrofit, three big ones are:… Building retrofits, mandated by local government and implemented by a newly trained inner-city workforce, is arguably the easiest action for the City to undertake. Incidentally, when we were in Portland last week, we heard at least a couple of people say that it’s not enough to do some of the retrofits, as if picking ones favorite off the menu. Rather buildings need to implement all of the energy retrofit technologies to even begin to get close to going far enough. A retrofit program can: Reduce utility costs Create training and employment opportunities Reduce GHG emissions What is important about building retrofits is not simply to do them but to leverage their implementation. For jobs, for trainging, for learning, etc.
  • The organization is unique. BOB is a connector, facilitator and resource. BOB’s economic development model is inclusive of existing business and residents. We engage businesses, associations and community in industry clusters to increase investment in the inner-city. We have a CBA with Millennium and MOU’s with BC Housing, VRCA, Tradeworks and others. We support business with grants, loans, advice, intervention and the Social Purchasing Portal. We connect business with residents/employees; providing training opportunities and job placements and some ongoing support for those people and that business. The the last arrow represents the multiplier effect that results from the resources, effort and collaboration invested.
  • In the interest of time, I’m not going to describe all of BOB’s programs and services, but rather I think you’ll be able to understand what BOB does though the economic model graphic and a few results as of late. The fact is t ha t while we certainly have some core services, our suite of business development and hr services is continually refining, evolving in response to what is needed. Not unlike a business in our own right, we listen carefully to what inner-city business and social enterprise needs and wants and we try to deliver that. This isn’t to say that our mission shifts, but rather our services have been more focused, more effective, more efficient. To date, BOB has supported 20 businesses in the area with grants and loans; leveraging funds from private partners Our industry clusters are based on the model developed by Michael Porter of Harvard. Clusters are strategic partnerships of business who come together to achieve collectively what they could not achieve individually. Some businesses involved in the clusters are: Raincity Studios Digital Alchemy RONA BC Housing Eclipse Awards Junebug Enterprises Joe Wai Architects Smart Living TV/Infinity Features Burst! Creative group All the BIA’s (Strathcona, Chinatown, Gastown, Mt. Pleasant)
  • The SPP supports business to business transactions. 40 suppliers; 190 purchasers Grown from $375,000 in 2006/07 to $2.5 million last year and a projected year end of $3.5 million this year. The CBA with Millennium has exceeded the target of $15 million with $25.5 million of contracts signed to date. We have doubled our target for the CBA to $30 million. In spite of the negative publicity over the finances at Olympic Village in SE False Creek, Millennium has been a good and reliable partner in support for the inner city.
  • On the employment side, we have learned to work smarter. Our training have been better aligned to the placements and our applicant screening has improved so we are more successful with work placements and job retention of people with barriers to employment Community agencies like New Chapter 2 and Pathways in the DTES serve about 2400 clients. They estimate about 1,000 are “employable or job ready” BOB expects to place more than 140 of these people through our HR Services this year.
  • BOB enjoys support from business, government, community agencies and employers. Any questions about BOB’s model, services or mandate?
  • As mentioned BOB sees itself as playing the unique roles of connector, facilitator and resource which allows for aggregation of efforts and targeted, impactful investments. We believe that for the green economy to grow out of the inner-city, it needs these four components. To be inclusive - five basic elements vital to a successful green-collar jobs program: job creation, job training, education, community engagement, and aligning existing policies and programs away from gray polluting priorities towards an inclusive green economy. Aggregation - this is a screenshot of the blog created and maintained by the working group that BOB is convening. What is EcoDISTRICTS? EcoDISTRICTS is a strategy to build “triple bottom line” communities with the lowest possible environmental impact and highest long-term economic and community returns. The strategy focuses sustainability at the neighborhood and district scale to produce broader and more cost effective benefits. This includes combining green development strategies, new financial models and community development best practices. 3. Impact investing – Our friend Lee Davis introduced us to this term and while I ’m not entirely sure what he means by it, I think it nicely captures the fact that BOB’s inner-city development model is more than economic development, more than social development and more than green financing …it’s about having an impact on all those and more levels. Acknowledge Morgan and Steve Williams for their contribution to this thinking. This is being developed for BOB’s use at this time. However we have intentions to push this out to the district level and could be easily aligned with the City, even region. The notion of ecodistrict fits nicely. 1.  Economic Impact Indicators:   $ of loans and grants disbursed $ of leveraged investment capital $ value of service to business by BOB staff $ in SPP transactions $ in CBA procurement $ value of total person hours worked as a result of BOB’s HR programs $ invested in training by BOB’s HR services 2. Social Impact Indicators: # of jobs created or supported through BOB’s HR programs # of active partnerships forged with inner-city stakeholders # of strategic CED initiatives Green Inner-city Indicators: Tons of carbon emissions reduced by BOB’s HR services Tons of carbon emissions reduced by BOB’s BDS Environmental impact of BOB Operations 4. Progressive Leadership -
  • I’ve purposely layered these examples of initiatives kind of messily. To indicate that on one hand there is a great deal of activity happening, but on the other hand this continues to be an organic or viral growth trajectory, not something that is linear in its development. List of current projects – shows some examples of how we are intent on generating green collar jobs; Lead a recruitment process to find a social entrepreneur to take it on – found 2; Facilitated the relationship between the past owner and the new entrepreneurs; Brought in key local social enterprise organizations - Tradeworks and Atira Womens’ Society; Connected the parties; Helping with fundraising; Providing ongoing business planning advice; So, instead of yet another business closing on Hastings, yet another vacant and decaying building, BOB’s intervention has brought about a vision of that building serving as a local food hub. Picture the main floor with the affordable retail food, the second floor with a community kitchen and training ground serving the various housing organizations such as PHS, Atira, and Raincity, the top 2 floors serving as cold storage for fresh fruits and vegetables grown in a network of urban gardens. Will be re-opening soon. EcoDistricts – a concept introduced to us in Portland that was interesting and potentially relevant to our context and I think is indicative of the aggregation role we are going to paly; This sustainability framework is something we are working on to articulate our priorities and guide planning. It’s a framework that could be used at the organizational level but possibly also useful for the ecodistrict concept or larger scales such as the city or region; Greeningtheinnercity.ca blog is a representation of the lead we are taking on making things happen. We aren’t the only leaders on this front, but we are unique in terms of the roles we play in making things happen.
  • [Optional Slide] To boil this down, here is what I see as the math of Vancouver’s Greenest Inner-city: social justice as a key driving goal [it is critical that the people standing in front of UWC, those whom face barriers to employment, homelessness and poverty benefit from opportunities rising from the green economy – i.e. jobs, education, opportunities + economic development wherewithal [robust and aggressive plans to create green-collar jobs and attract green business and the resources, mandate and expertise to implement – i.e. this is BOB] + resources and collaboration [aggregation for impact investing] = Vancouver’s inner-city as nucleus of the local green economy [a green economy that is meaningful needs to be developed at the local, regional, provincial and national levels. BOB wants to see the DTES be the heart and energy of the local green economy.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Based in Vancouver, B.C. Building Opportunities with Business (BOB) is a non-profit organization that is championing an inclusive revitalization process for the inner-city that values existing businesses and residents. BOB is a connector, a resource and a facilitator working to: strengthen the inner-city’s community capacity; identify and build on untapped business opportunities; improve employment opportunities and retention; and increase investment in Vancouver’s inner-city.
      • Agenda:
      • 7:30 Snacks and chats
      • 7:45 Welcome and Introductions
      • 8:00 Presentation from BOB
        • 3 key messages
        • Overview of BOB
        • Our green strategy and initiatives
      • 8:20 Discussion with GCAT
    • 2. Questions for Consideration
      • How do we make sure that BOB is well aligned with the City’s goals and implementation expectations?
      • How can BOB leverage the City’s efforts and vice versa?
      • What resources can BOB contribute to the City’s efforts and vice versa?
    • 3. Inclusion is Paramount
      • “ We need a different on-ramp for people from disadvantaged communities. The leaders of the climate establishment came in through one door and now they want to squeeze everyone through that same door. It’s not going to work. If we want to have a broad-based environmental movement, we need more entry points.”
      • - Van Jones
    • 4. Local Food/Urban Ag
    • 5. Areas of Growth for Vancouver’s Inner-city Alternative Energy Supply Neighbourhood Greening Composting Transportation Sustainable Agriculture Energy Efficient Building Retrofits Materials Management Local Job Creation 2 5 2 3.5 5 4 5 Environmental Impact 5 2 3 3 4 5 3 Barriers to development 2 4 5 5 2 5 5 Local Sustainable Development 2 1 2 3 5 4 5 Total 11 12 12 14.5 16 18 18
    • 6. BOB’s Economic Development Model “revitalization without displacement” Investment Identification & Promotion Clusters, Community Benefit Agreements, MOUs HR Development Services Employment, Training, Referral Business Support Services Grants, Loans, SPP
    • 7. Accomplishments (Business Development)
      • Grants
          • Total Grant Dollars disbursed to 15 clients = $131,550
          • Total Leveraged Dollars = $474,839
        • Loans
          • $141,000 disbursed to 4 clients, leveraging $282,500 in additional investment from Ecotrust Capital, Renewal Partners, Vancity and CCEC Credit Union.
      • Clusters:
      • Travel & Tourism
      • Construction
      • ICT
      • Creative Industries
      • Green Inner-city
    • 8. Accomplishments (Procurement) Social Purchasing Portal Community Benefits Agreement
    • 9. Accomplishments (Employment)
    • 10. A Credible Organization Well Positioned “ BOB is positioning itself to be a model for other community development organizations . ” Gil Yaron, President Frogfile Office Essentials “ BOB has been a valuable and practical resource to Recycling Alternative. Louise Schwarz, Owner Recycling Alternative “ In the painful grip of the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression, we can see that caring for the people who inhabit the planet cannot be isolated from caring for the planet. Fortunately, we can do both - at the same time. We work at the local level, helping cities 'go green' with robust and aggressive plans to create green-collar jobs and attract green business.” - Green For All
    • 11. BOB’s Role Green economic development needs … BOB’s role Potential Outcomes GCAT Quick Start Alignment To be inclusive Connector Green Collar Jobs GREEN ECONOMY GREEN JOBS ENERGY EFFICIENCY GREEN NEIGHBOURHOODS CLEAN CITY LOCAL FOOD Aggregation Facilitator Inner-city EcoDistrict Impact investing Resource Accessible Capital Vision Progressive Leadership Greenest part of Vancouver
    • 12. Green Economy Initiatives What is EcoDISTRICTS? EcoDISTRICTS is a strategy to build “triple bottom line” communities with the lowest possible environmental impact and highest long-term economic and community returns.
      • Current Projects and Partners:
          • E-waste reuse and recycling – Recycling Alternative, Reboot, FreeGeek, United We Can
          • Textiles recycling social enterprise – UBC, First United
          • Composting – VSB, Recycling Alternative, community gardens
          • Urban Ag – Summerville, Kwantlen, ProOrganics, Salvation Army, Evergreen
          • Deconstruction as waste diversion – Pacific Labour and Demolition, Panther Construction, Parks Board, Planning
          • Landscaping for greening and food – Landscaping with Heart, United We Can
          • Green Inner-city Industry Cluster – Strathcona BIA
        • Case In Point: Save On Meats … more than just meat!
    • 13. Math of Vancouver’s Greenest Inner-city
      • social justice as an integral element of sustainability
      • + economic development wherewithal (BOB)
      • + resources and collaboration (City and others)
      • ________________________________________________
            • = Vancouver’s inner-city as a nucleus of
            • the local green economy
    • 14. Questions for Consideration
      • How do we make sure that BOB is well aligned with the City’s goals and implementation expectations?
      • How can BOB leverage the City’s efforts and vice versa?
      • What resources can BOB contribute to the City’s efforts and vice versa?

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