UVic Carrot Mob helps raise over $9K for green business

Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

- Phil Saunders

On March 21 downtown Victoria’s Sauce Restaurant and Lounge was the site for the second annual Carrot Mob, organized by UVic’s Business Sustainability Club and dedicated to helping local businesses become more sustainable. The day of business generated $9,084 that went into a fund to help the restaurant become a greener community member.

“They told us that it was one of their busiest Wednesdays in a while,” says Michael Traverse, co-director of the club and fourth-year student in the Gustavason School of Business. “Our goal was $9,000, so we surpassed it by a little bit.”

The idea behind the Carrot Mob is to generate a focal point for a local business to raise funds dedicated to green initiatives. Students provide promotional support and help program a day of events and entertainment, while also using their personal and professional networks to draw people to the business on that day. All proceeds go directly into initiatives that help decrease the environmental impact of the business.

“We call it a buycott,” says Traverse. “We create awareness, build support and provide resources for businesses to make better decisions about how they conduct their business.”

Admittedly, Traverse sees a gap between the environmental movement and business that can be difficult to overcome.

“Business people see environmental sustainability as a hit to their bottom line, while environmental activist are cynical about the motivation that drives businesses to be more environmentally conscious,” he says. “I think the language we use and the way we interact need to change. The conversations need to be about how we can make change and encourage others to do the same, and that being green can be profitable.”

The money will go to toward a number of energy efficiency recommendations made by Synergy, an environmental consulting company run by UVic graduates Jill Doucette (science) and Chantal Orr (commerce).

Sauce Restaurant has since started to create a plan to reduce its emissions through lighting upgrades and other energy efficiencies. The second phase will focus on insulation upgrades and getting EnergyStar appliances.

“We were really interested in getting involved in this,” says Sauce owner and operator Steve Hof. “Not only did we exceed our money goals, but when the staff saw the energy and commitment of the students, it really brought momentum to our green projects.”

Hof, who has already initiated a number of green projects in his restaurant, wants other business owners to understand that being environmentally friendly actually can help your bottom line. That’s something he says many don’t realize.


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Keywords: Carrot Mob, sustainability, funding

People: Michael Traverse

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