A program that helps businesses go green is expanding to help commercial landlords and their tenants.

Green Economy North, which launched this year, works with businesses who want to reduce their carbon footprint and water use. They already have eight on board. They're now getting ready to welcome landlords. 

Adopting environmentally friendly practices costs money, but Al Vardy, the first landlord to take advantage of the program, said he's thinking about the future.

Vardy is the landlord at 176 Larch Street - which is home to several businesses, including reThink Green, the organization behind the program.

"This was an opportunity for us to take a leadership role and to hopefully set an example for others in this pilot project," Vardy said, "where the whole building, the landlords and all the tenants are actively trying to reduce our carbon footprint, reducing the water use and the waste that comes out of this building."

Richard Eberhardt, manager of Green Economy North

Richard Eberhardt, program manager of Green Economy North in Sudbury, says that once the landlord is on board with the idea, it becomes easy for tenants to adopt green strategies. (Martha Dillman/CBC)

"It's a value-based thing," Vardy said, "we think long term, this is economically viable, but perhaps more importantly, it just seems like the right thing to do."

Attainable goals, once landlord is on board

It's easier for tenants to achieve environmental goals when the landlord is on board, said Richard Eberhardt, the program manager of Green Economy North.

In his case, they're looking at adding solar panels and wind energy on the roof at Larch Street.

"What we're looking at now is supporting the landlords with potentially investing with renewables on our roof, and what the next steps really are for this building by conducting some energy auditing," Eberhardt said.

This is the first landlord and tenant partnership to get involved in the Green Economy North Program.

With files from Martha Dillman. Edited/packaged by Casey Stranges