Van-green-capI was unusually buoyant, (considering I was reading a government document), as I waded through the new 72-page PDF report –  Vancouver 2020, a Bright Green Future. This is the much-awaited guide to Vancouver City Council’s ambitious plan to be ‘a top-five global clean-tech city’, complete with a shiny new brand for our burg: ‘Vancouver Green Capital’.

It establishes 10 bold long-term goals modeled on Sweden’s world-leading approach to environmental objectives. (Excellent. As long as an Ikea hex wrench is included, we should be OK putting this thing together)  I’ll let you download the document for yourself and do your own reading, so we can get straight to work on the brand.
According to Mr. Robertson’s speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade, the positioning  ‘Green Capital’ is “… intended to signal that Vancouver means business, but not business as usual. The brand will be used in marketing the City of Vancouver, its businesses, people, and success stories to the world.”
Solid, as far as it goes. I think the logo and idea are strong, and I would love to see global headquarters moving into town. But to do that we first need to make it a part of our lives as citizens, as business owners and as a community. Here are three ways to do that:

Vancouver Green Capital

Vancouver Green Capital

Idea 1: Let Vancouverites be “Green Capitalists”
A simple extension of this brand lets individuals claim ownership. Offer free cycling vests to commuters during bike-to-work week. Have a secret shopper team give reusable coffee mugs or shopping bags to people who buy local, organic or free-trade. Give high-quality water bottles to every family that signs up for a water meter. Let us wear our civic green pride.

Idea 2: Create a network and identity program for Vancouver-based businesses
This brand must be promoted above and beyond trade missions to China. It should be a proud label for all Vancouver-based green businesses. Start a web portal and listing with simple criteria for inclusion such as local ownership, green employee programs, recycling goals, etc. (Perhaps with a ‘green gold’ level for especially sustainable organizations) Then offer digital logos for use on web sites, emails, powerpoint presentations and advertising. Think of it as an Olympic™-style sponsorship program that is actually inclusive.

Idea 3: Host a Vancouver Green Capital Trade Fair
An annual event where local and green businesses get to network and show their wares. This should be a very affordable event, hosted in a public space, where everyone can see the Green Capital we already have.

So take these ideas, Mr. Robertson. With my compliments. If you want to talk more Green Capital, I can be had for the price of a fair-trade, organic latte.

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