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Thinkwell Shift is a company that specializes in behavior-changing programs to reduce resource consumption. Through their GET 2 ZERO workshops, they are revolutionizing business practices in Nova Scotia by helping organizations reduce their energy and water use, material waste, and ecological footprint. The workshop saves costs for businesses while making a positive environmental impact. The GET 2 ZERO workshop targets the UN’s SDGs of #7 Renewable Energy, #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, #12 Responsible Consumption, and #13 Climate Action.
Thinkwell Shift was formed as a sister company to Thinkwell Research when founders and researchers, Len Prepper and Carrie McDonald identified a gap in the market. They wanted to take what they had learned from market research and share it with customers to reduce individual energy consumption at a behavioral level. The GET 2 ZERO workshop does exactly this by coming into businesses to offer training and guidance to teach business owners and staff how they can reduce their energy emissions.
Each GET 2 ZERO workshops is tailored to the customer using soft skills. When specialists at Thinkwell Shift enter the business they first try to identify energy-consuming habits. Through our interview with Liam Cook, the Director of Business Development, we learned that “the first step is working to understand what and why it is they do what they do. Intrinsically we all want to do our part but many of us don’t know where to start”. Thinkwell Shift begins by measuring energy waste and uses this data to discuss long-term energy-saving strategies with business owners. This workshop is capable of reducing energy consumption by 20 to 30%. Each personalized action plan makes the GET 2 ZERO workshops one of its kind with the core focus on humans over technology. Teaching businesses the low-cost or no-cost side of sustainability can drastically decrease energy bills and save costs especially as oftentimes businesses are unaware of how much waste they are truly producing.
Taken from www.thinkwellshift.ca
Many pre-existing programs in the energy efficiency sector in Nova Scotia are focused on implementing technologies to save energy without necessarily considering human behaviors. Liam Cook explained to us that oftentimes with energy-efficient technologies we forget who we are designing them for so we need to change cultural mindsets. The GET 2 ZERO workshop focuses on the customer first and foremost to differentiate their services. Sustainability specialists do not go into the project with an environmental lens, they just want to offer experience and assist people to make good choices.
The goal of Thinkwell Shift is to facilitate “Behaviour change through choice”. They wish for companies to willingly seek their services and as a result, be guided in a more sustainable and profitable direction. Having a sister company that conducts market research on topics such as clean energy allows Thinkwell Shift to be knowledgeable and skillful in their field. Hence, they understand the importance of shifting cultural norms and changing behaviors for collective results.
Thinkwell Shift offers the GET 2 ZERO workshop to businesses at affordable prices to emphasize the low cost of sustainability and to allow the business to focus on financing in other areas, especially once they can save on energy costs. These energy-saving behaviors allow businesses to have more disposable income in the long term.
The innovations aim to educate and assist businesses adopt low-cost and eco-friendly practices. They want customers to achieve lower environmental footprints to help conserve our planet's resources. Behavior training and attempts to shift cultural norms have great long-term implications on society. The greatest contributor to climate change and environmental degradation is human activities, especially through energy consumption of unsustainable energy sources. Hence, a collective shift in business norms, on a provincial level, can inspire other businesses in other provinces to do the same.
As business owners are members of society, the behaviors taught may apply to personal lifestyles. Ultimately, reducing energy consumption on an individual level and a business level can greatly reduce Canada’s total energy consumption and decrease energy costs. Liam Cook explained to us that the seeds Thinkwell Shift are planting now can result in a sizeable positive impact in the future for businesses, society, and the environment. Hence, the GET 2 ZERO workshops are a great innovation that moves society in the right direction toward achieving the SDGs of climate change, sustainable cities and communities, affordable and clean energy, and responsible consumption and production.
GET 2 ZERO’s success is attributed to their soft skills when interacting with customers. Their strong customer orientation establishes trust with business owners allowing the program to be beneficial in shifting norms. They do so by relating this to the bigger issue at hand- climate change. As alarming and complex climate change issues may sound, Thinkwell Shift focuses on staying on the positive side of things for more effective impacts on behavior change. By working closely with business owners, and their staff, and understanding the facilities and the business operations, the unique and tailored GET 2 ZERO action plans to allow Thinkwell Shift to gain a competitive advantage in the energy efficiency industry.
As Liam Cook explains his time at Thinkwell Shift, he highlights how amazed he is by the people that work in the sector. He admires the passion employees bring and the tireless effort they put forward in working toward building a better future. Thinkwell Shift offers equal pay, leadership, and work opportunities for women. Overall, each person involved in the business comes to work with purpose, duty, and long-term vision allowing Thinkwell Shift to have a great corporate culture thanks to the focus on such sustainable programs.
Two notable programs Thinkwell Shift also delivers include efficient product installations for households in partnership with Energy Nova Scotia and The Green Schools Nova Scotia which teaches environmental education to the youth about themes such as clean water, green careers, and waste. Both programs are delivered on behalf of Efficiency Nova Scotia. Through such partnerships, Thinkwell Shift is able to make an even greater positive impact on their communities.
Thinkwell Shift aims to connect people with sustainability in the hopes that through behavior change, we can begin to lead more eco-conscious lifestyles. As Liam Cook says in the interview “Not everyone has to be an eco-hero, but we can all be more conscious of our consumption. Collectively with a shift in mindset we can embrace bigger environmental solutions at a societal level”.
Although it is difficult to quantify GET 2 ZERO’s impact on society and the environment, the energy efficiency sector in which they operate is responsible for cutting 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in Nova Scotia since 2011. Thinkwell Shift hopes to expand operations to other areas in Atlantic Canada in the future.
Overall, Thinkwell Shift is a great company. They attempt to foster a collective shift in mindset, behavior, and action so that businesses and individuals can make a positive impact on our biosphere and mitigate climate change.
Liam Cook, Director of Business Development
Thinkwell Shift is a company focused on changing behaviors to reduce resource consumption on an individual and business level. The company is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has various methods and programs in place to support people in adopting more sustainable practices to conserve energy, water, and waste. They work with various stakeholders in the community such as homeowners and schools and are a sister company to Thinkwell Research, a company that conducts market research on topics such as energy conservation.