The Profitable Path to Sustainability

BlackStone Energy Services

7. Affordable and Clean Energy 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 13. Climate Action

Overview

Blackstone Energy Services is a company based in Toronto that’s mission is to bring its client’s carbon emissions down as much as possible while saving them money. We were lucky enough to speak with Ryan Duffy, the President and CEO of Blackstone Energy. We spoke about his business, its mission, and how it uses the SDGs in its organization.

Authors

Jenny Bayer

Jenny Bayer

Quinn Smallwood

Quinn Smallwood

Yidan Zhang

Yidan Zhang

Surya Chutani

Surya Chutani

School

Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University

Professors

Kent Williams

Kent Williams

Kate Yau

Kate Yau

Innovation

Blackstone Energy's innovative product is what it calls greenhouse gas reduction or "GRRAP" (Greenhouse Gas Reduction Roadmap and Action Plan). This is the company's favorite product which focuses on carbon reduction. The company is trying to set goals to achieve net-zero for 100% of clients by 2050 with this product, and the company has been creating this kind of work for years to truly show people how to achieve net-zero.

When Ryan Duffy returned from the Paris Agreement in 2015, he realized that some of the work his company did was focused on energy efficiency rather than carbon reduction. They want to really do something to reduce carbon emissions. In addition, they conducted various energy audits during the renovation work for their customers. At that time, they were already collecting data and had already cooperated with many customers on this work. Their customers are mostly hospitals and universities, cities, and large industrial and commercial organizations. Therefore, it was simple to adapt and create it. In terms of innovation, everyone on the company team has worked hard to create the “GRRAP”. They have a diverse team of climate strategy engineers (and people in many various fields) who come together to help make key recommendations. One part is consulting, the other part is engineering and construction. They have excellent leaders, teams, and employees. And they reduced their customers' carbon emissions by 90%.

When Duffy came back from Paris, he had changed the corporate vision and they changed it to net-zero for all of their customers by 2050, which happened in 2016. When we build this vision, like many visions, they need a difficult process to achieve. A team with this kind of mentality and goals is actually the vision that an organization and customers are now following. This process and system that BlackStone has created have the potential to innovate climate strategy and set an example of what clean, affordable energy is capable of.

The Profitable Path to Sustainability

Inspiration

The idea for GRRAP (Greenhouse Gas Reduction Roadmap and Action Plan) came about naturally as Blackstone was already doing work with their clients that was similar. Blackstone was seen as a catalyst company that was making huge strides because they weren’t focused solely on policy, they wanted to make real change.

Duffy was inspired to show everyone that reaching net-zero is possible. In 2016, Blackstone changed their vision to bring all clients to net-zero by 2050. With Bill C-12 stating that all companies must be net-zero by 2050, Blackstone’s demand is higher than ever. The GRRAP’s are one of the ways that Blackstone plans to bring its clients to net zero. They can use these plans in order to map out reachable goals for their clients.

Blackstone Energy is also inspired by themselves when they make a great feat. “I think where the rubber hit the road and we really got excited is when we took one of our client’s campuses and reduced their carbon emission by 90%”. Managing to achieve great accomplishments such as that, give more confidence and inspiration to the team at Blackstone.

Overall impact

As climate change further increases, it is very important for all businesses to realize the importance of taking some urgent action. Sustainable Development goals can be considered as one of the major plans which can prevent us from further deterioration.

One of the major reasons for climate change is a continuous increase in carbon emissions. In a world where most of the companies are focussing on energy efficiency, carbon emission reduction is falling behind.

Blackstone Energy’s Greenhouse Reduction Roadmap and Action Plan (GRRAP) primarily focuses on reducing carbon emissions. This will help in fighting climate change by reducing carbon emissions

The President and CEO of Blackstone Energy, Ryan Duffy said that “We have had a good access to some of the best companies in the world ….. all sorts of different levels of government, we feel like we have a voice with them, and we can make an impact”, which clearly indicates their impact and importance in fighting climate change.

Last but not least, Blackstone Energy now knows that their clients emit more than a million tons of carbon, and they are working on it to reduce the emissions further.

Business benefit

There are several ways that BlackStone Energy has benefitted business. BlackStone’s main business benefit is to their clients; BlackStone has made it their mission to have 100% of their clients reach net-zero by 2050. In addition, BlackStone benefits businesses by helping clients comply with climate-related laws – such as bill C-12 which has recently come into effect. BlackStone is committed to helping each of its clients reach their climate and energy goals, while also keeping the political landscape of energy in mind.

BlackStone Energy also sets a great example for other companies in the energy industry, it is possible to create, manage, and implement a solid client energy plan that continues to work well – and it is possible to do this while making a profit. BlackStone has proved that with research, passion, and industry experience, innovation in the process is simply the next step. Industry peers will see BlackStone’s success, and hopefully, develop or adapt similar processes/plans to continue to fight climate change on a larger scale. Blackstone Energy is a pioneer when it comes to corporate vision, climate-related experience, and industry innovation; they have set a stellar example of what profitable companies can do to make a district change in the energy sector.

Lastly, BlackStone’s impact is illustrated by creating a new opportunity to invest uniquely in energy. Increasing energy efficiency while decreasing energy costs is a great investment for both the organization itself, as well as the community the organization serves. This model can serve as an example to industry peers that less really is more.

Social and environmental benefit

BlackStone Energy Services’ innovation does benefit both our society and the environment. BlackStone Energy benefits society because of its political involvement and its commitment to its mission. Ryan Duffy, President & CEO, stated that “we are in a position to make an impact,” and even described how BlackStone is involved in some energy-related bills in Canadian politics. Their commitment and passion to their mission of energy efficiency and reduction reach every corner of BlackStone, where even potential new hires must be informed and eager to join their mission. Duffy explained how every employee at BlackStone uses their specific skills and expertise to bring something new to the table, whether they are a climate strategist or an economist. He also believes that students in our society can learn a lesson from BlackStone, “Don’t be afraid to be bold;” Duffy knows his company has bold climate ambitions and wants young people to see this and be inspired.

BlackStone Energy Services’ innovation also benefits the environment. This benefit to our environment is built into BlackStone’s vision - “our vision [is] to take 100% of our clients to net-zero by 2050.” This shows a commitment to bettering the environment in every way they see possible for their clients. BlackStone also has an array of practices used related to (1) climate (carbon credits, LED lighting, electricity monitoring, etc..), (2) packaging and procurement (office supplies, waste diversion, plastics reduction, etc..), and (3) people and community (equality of opportunity, gender equity, charitable causes). These practices are used by BlackStone in effort of environmental benefit.

Interview

Ryan Duffy, President & CEO

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BlackStone Energy Services

BlackStone Energy Services

Toronto, Ontario, CA

Business Website: https://www.blackstoneenergy.com/

Year Founded: 2003

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

BlackStone Energy Services specializes in energy management, energy conservation, as well as plan generation and implementation. BlackStone Energy works with a multitude of diverse clients to reach their individual energy goals.