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2 London-Area Winners: Ontario Small Businesses Find Small Changes Can Have a Big Eco-Impact


London’s LOLA Bees Wins $15K Grant in Meridian’s Inaugural Eco-Upgrade Contest

Toronto, ON – September 26, 2023 – Small businesses across Ontario submitted proposals to Meridian’s inaugural Eco-Upgrade Contest for a grant to help them go green, with the first and third place winners hailing from London, ON. Trends that emerged from among the grant submissions to reduce emissions include transitioning a business’ delivery system from cars and vans to E-bikes, upgrading to more energy efficient equipment, or swapping out single use plastic for more sustainable options. These seemingly small changes can have big impact on a business’ emissions.

According to Maru Reports’ Q1 2023 Biz Pulse Canada Study, 85% of Canadian business owners say being sustainable is “the right thing to do”, but 75% agree it is a struggle to be both sustainable and profitable.

“Business owners are often challenged in doing what is right for the environment because they struggle to justify an additional expense when already facing higher costs that are impacting their margins,” said Nigel Millington, Regional Vice President, Meridian Business Banking. “Under our new Meridian for Good strategy, providing grants under the Eco-Upgrade Project is just one way we are helping small business owners to overcome barriers to operating in an eco-friendlier way.” 

The Eco-Upgrade Contest is part of Meridian’s pledge to implement impactful climate policies and provide financial support for businesses and Members to help transition to a cleaner economy. The contest, which was open to small business owners in Ontario, received over 200 entries from participants who submitted their sustainability requests from April 1 to 30, 2023.
The winners of the inaugural Meridian Eco-Upgrade Project are:

  1. WINNER: LOLA Bees who received a $15,000 grant to purchase an E-bike and cargo trailer to travel and transport their beekeeping, gardening and workshop supplies in a fossil-fuel-free manner around London, ON. (London, ON)
  2. NFP Newark Neighbours Food Bank received a $4,405.87 grant to purchase a new commercial refrigerator and freezer to better serve the needs of their food bank clients and lower their energy use. (Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON)
  3. London Environmental Network received a $5,000 grant to purchase two E-bikes for their core city staff to use for business related travel and events to reduce their GHG emissions associated with travel. (London, ON)

Meridian’s tips for small businesses looking to go green:

  • Switch to a smart thermostat.
  • Swap out packaging with a reusable or compostable alternative.
  • Fix plumbing leaks and upgrade to high efficiency toilets and appliances to cutdown on water usage.
  • Invest in a smart composter.
  • Start using eco-friendly cleaning products.
  • Upgrade appliances and electronics to take advantage of energy-efficient options, like using a laptop instead of a desktop computer.
  • Switch to an electronic system for paperwork and receipts.

About Meridian
Meridian is Ontario’s largest credit union, and second largest in Canada, with over $30.8 billion in assets under management (June 30, 2023). Guided by our purpose, “helping you achieve your best life,” Meridian delivers personal, business and wealth financial solutions to over 370,000 Members. Our bold Meridian for Good strategy is aimed at helping people get access to the money and advice they need; plan for a better future that is clean, resilient, and diverse; and be financially confident. Meridian has two operating subsidiaries: Meridian OneCap Credit Corp (“MOCC”) and motusbank. For more information, please visit:, follow us on Twitter @MeridianCU or visit us on Facebook.

We acknowledge the land on which we operate is the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.

For more information contact:
Jacob Del Zotto, Corporate Communications, Meridian; 647-242-8877

Meridian Credit Union communications are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice or an opinion on any issue. We would be pleased to provide additional details or advice about specific situations if desired.

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