Evaluating Business Impact Through Circular Economy Lens in Nanaimo

David McQuinn, Leader of the Coast Green Team, Coast Bastion Hotel, Nanaimo


“It was Amrit Manhas, from the City of Nanaimo, who called and asked if we’d consider participating in the Circular Accelerator Program. We said yes!  As one of the bigger employers in downtown Nanaimo, and given that we are a 38-year-old building, the city really wanted us to participate.  The Coast Brand is trying to improve our sustainability positioning, so in that way the report not only helped us, it helped the whole brand.    

The Circular Accelerator Team, from The Synergy Foundation, came to the hotel and spent a day testing and inspecting different areas of our business to come up with our report. We reviewed the report, discussed implementation strategies for each area, and then we went to work implementing the changes.   

The report made improving easy. The Synergy Foundation presented things in a way that getting better was not scary – which was key to us implementing so many things already.  The focus of the report was not on large capital initiatives (some are capital heavy) and more on small steps that add up to being big changes.   

The biggest surprise was that we thought we were on the right track, and yet we were missing things like Kerosene fuel being used as candles and paper towels that were not being recycled.  Such simple changes! We implemented both even before we reviewed the report with the Synergy Foundation team. 

We have every intention of working through the entire report over the next couple of years and implementing everything we can. Some items are more challenging than others, but we’re excited to use the examples in the report to help push others forward.”  


The Coast Bastion Hotel, in Nanaimo,took part in theVancouver Island Coast Economic Developers’ Association(VICEDA)Circular Economy initiativethat was funded by Island Coastal Economic Trust in 2022 with $35,000 in investment support through the Capital and Innovation program. VICEDA has been delivering its circular economy initiative in partnership with a dozen larger and mid-sized municipalities, as well as Indigenous and rural communities. The project targets construction, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and forestry companies with 25 to 200 employees. Learn more: Circular Economy Accelerator Program