Evaluating Business Impact Through the Circular Economy Lens on Gabriola

Jen Demler, co-owner Ground Up Coffee, Gabriola Island


“I first heard of the VICEDA Circular Economy initiative through the Gabriola Chamber of Commerce, and it was brought to our attention by the former ED who thought we would be a good fit to apply.

We were program participants, which meant we received an onsite assessment from circular advisors, followed by a zoom meeting/questions and answers session. We also received a report outlining some of the areas we were already successful, as well as further opportunities to reduce waste and energy emissions.

We were very pleased with how we scored, and how well we are currently doing in terms of minimizing our waste and emissions. It was calculated that we are diverting 97% of waste by volume from the landfill! However, we also had some great takeaways about even further steps we could take to further increase our efficiency. We were surprised by some small, simple, and cost-efficient things we could implement that can make big a big difference.

The report that was produced is an invaluable document that we can continue to go back to. The clear and concise way it was put together will help us to see where and what we can continue to implement (and cross off as we go!), as well as a great tool to take from to train new staff in all the ways we strive to be more efficient.”


Ground Up took part in the Vancouver Island Coast Economic Developers’ Association (VICEDA) Circular Economy initiative that was funded under the Capital and Innovation program in 2022. VICEDA has been delivering its circular economy initiative in partnership with a dozen larger and mid-sized centers, as well as Indigenous and rural communities. The project targets construction, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and forestry companies with 25 to 200 employees.