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Companies, government agencies and universities honoured for their commitment to the environment (thinkstockphotos.ca)

Companies, government agencies and universities honoured for their commitment to the environment


A Special Information Feature

Canada's Greenest Employers 2014 Add to ...

Companies, government agencies and universities honoured for their commitment to the environment

Accenture Inc. - A leading international management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm. Accenture established the "Smart Work" program to not only promote better work-life balance but also reduce participating employees' carbon footprint by enabling them to work one (or more) weeks each month offsite—and recently implemented the "Workplace 2.0" program, which is designed to reduce unnecessary business travel through telepresence conferencing technology.

ARAMARK Canada Ltd. - A contract service management company that provides food and facility operations to thousands of clients across the country. At operating locations across Canada, the company maintains composting programs and has recently launched the Food Waste Reduction program to measure, track and reduce food waste and divert from the waste stream.

Assiniboine Credit Union Limited (ACU) - Provides financial services to over 108,000 members. ACU has incorporated geothermal heating systems into all branches constructed since 2006—and currently has a LEED Silver-certified branch location that uses a solar wall to pre-warm air entering its HVAC system and recently opened a new branch that features geothermal heating and solar wall systems, as well as shower rooms and lockers for employees choosing to ride their bicycles to work.

Bayer Canada - A subsidiary of Bayer AG, is a research-based company with core businesses in the areas of healthcare, crop and material science. Through the "Operation Zero Waste" program, employees have helped divert 80% of its waste from the landfill through aggressive recycling efforts.

BC Hydro - A provincial crown corporation and electric utility that serves the province of British Columbia. It has over 350 green team members volunteer at more than 40 locations across the province.

BC Public Service - British Columbia's largest employer, with over 25,000 full-time employees working in 280 communities around the province. BC Public Service recently introduced an impressive employee "ridesharing" website for employees. They simply enter when and where they are travelling and the website finds matches from across the service.

Climate Change Central - A provider of climate change and sustainability programs for governments and businesses. Climate Change Central developed a unique "environmental rewards" program for large clients to encourage their employees to purchase green products through rebates -- and follows-up with the tracking of results.

Corus Entertainment Inc. - A media and entertainment company that owns television services, 37 radio stations, and Nelvana, a producer and distributor of children's and animated programming. Corus recently constructed a new head office building on Toronto's waterfront which achieved (LEED) Gold certification -- the building has numerous state-of-the-art features such as a unique "daylight harvesting" lighting system that automatically reduces the light levels to take advantage of natural sunlight, green rooftop sections that are usable by employees, and an interior five-storey "bio-wall" that is home to abundant plant life that naturally cleans and filters the air.

Efficiency Nova Scotia Corporation - An independent non-profit organization that promotes energy conservation. A unique line of business designed to help all Nova Scotians reduce energy consumption and make green living choices—offering rebates to residents when they purchase Energy Star products or most efficient in that field.

ENMAX Corporation - An electrical and natural gas distribution and transmission company. ENMAX is a leading public advocate for energy conservation as well as alternative energy production and micro generation through its "Generate Choice" program. It helps customers in making green energy choices.

ERM Rescan - Formerly Rescan Environmental Services Ltd., is an environmental consulting firm that provides a range of environmental and technical services to the resource development industry. The company partners with Vancouver's Translink system with an employer/employee transit subsidy program—the program reduces the cost of a monthly pass by 10 percent with Rescan contributing another $20 each month -- and maintains a Toyota Prius hybrid for employees to use (and test drive) and offers an employer-paid rebate (to supplement government rebates) towards the purchase of their own such vehicle.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts - North America's largest operator of luxury hotels and resorts. An industry leading company in the green movement, the company is building on its environmental legacy with the recent introduction of the extensive Sustainability Partnership program that seeks to balance economic, environmental and social priorities.

Georgian College - A post-secondary community college with an enrollment of over 10,000 full-time students. Georgian College has developed an Environmental Mission Statement and Guiding Principles document (called "Vision 2015") which commits the College to build sustainability through three environmental priorities.

Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co. - A manufacturer and distributor of a broad range of computer products and related services for individual consumers, businesses and institutional clients. Through its "Planet Partners" program, the company recycles its original inkjet and laser cartridges as well as all brands of computer hardware and rechargeable batteries, ensuring that all returned products are recycled properly (in Canada, the company even offers free return and recycling of signs and banners made on HP technology).

Hydro Ottawa Limited - A regulated electricity distribution company that operates in the City of Ottawa and the Village of Casselman. The company encourages its residential customers to upgrade to more energy efficient appliances through available incentives as well as its longstanding "Fridge & Freezer Pick Up" program -- over 29,000 customers have used this program.

IKEA Canada Limited Partnership - A home furnishings retailer that operates 12 stores across the country. IKEA offers preferred green parking spaces for customers who drive hybrid, fuel-efficient or electric vehicles, and offers a shuttle bus service at its Toronto store locations.

Insurance Corporation of British Columbia/ICBC - Established in 1973, ICBC is a provincial Crown corporation that provides universal auto insurance, licensing, and registration to BC motorists. ICBC operates an extensive recycling program that includes styrofoam, toner cartridges, fluorescent bulbs and an office/home battery recycling program -- over 8 tonnes of batteries have been recycled since 2001.

KPMG LLP - A leading accounting and professional services firm, providing auditing, tax and financial advisory services to businesses across Canada. Around the world, KPMG's "Global Green Initiative" commits the firm to reduce its international carbon footprint by 25 percent (compared to the baseline year of 2007) through energy conservation and use of renewable energy -- in 2010 the firm had surpassed this goal by 4 percentage points for a total reduction of 29 percent per full-time employee (and has set an additional 15 percent target per full-time employee for 2015).

Town of Ladysmith - Located on Vancouver Island, the Town of Ladysmith provides municipal government services to a population of approximately 8,300 residents. As part of its long-term focus, the Town has recently adopted a "Civic Green Building Policy" that requires all new municipal buildings over 465 square metres to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard -- in addition, its own Community Services Center has recently been awarded LEED Gold Certification.

Lower Canada College - Established in 1909, is an independent co-educational day school. Some of its student-led initiatives include a living green wall installed in its Science Lab, no waste lunches, a ban on plastic water bottles, and a small vegetable garden where students can grow spices -- the school also organizes annual activities during Earth Week, as well as an annual Fair Trade Show.

LoyaltyOne, Inc. - An Alliance Data company, is a provider of customer relationship marketing services and operates the popular "AIR MILES" reward program in Canada. LoyaltyOne operates a unique 50,000 square foot state-of-the-art customer call centre in Mississauga that features one of the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic installations in Canada with 800 solar panels capable of generating 165 kilowatts of power.

LUSH Handmade Cosmetics Ltd. - A manufacturer and retailer of their own line of handmade and earth-friendly cosmetic products. LUSH manages numerous line-of-business initiatives, from the removal of glitter from products (a micro-plastic that ends-up in waterways) to setting-up a recycling program to encourage customers to return its black-pot containers for proper recycling.

Manitoba Hydro - The province's energy utility, which generates and exports electricity to wholesale markets in Canada and the mid-western United States. An enviable power producer—virtually all (over 99%) of the electricity the utility produces comes from self-renewing water power, generated at 14 hydro-electric facilities along the Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and Nelson rivers -- also has added geothermal and wind power to its renewable portfolio.

City of Mississauga - Canada's sixth largest city, is home to 741,000 residents and 54,000 businesses, including 60 Fortune 500 companies with Canadian head offices or major divisional head offices. Launched in 2012, its ambitious long-term project is the "One Million Trees Campaign"—over 40,000 trees and shrubs have been planted as part of the 20-year initiative.

Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology - Founded in 1947, Mohawk College is a post-secondary institute that offers full-time, apprenticeship, and co-op programs. Mohawk has introduced numerous initiatives to encourage employees and students to consider alternative transit, including discounted transit passes, unlimited transit for full-time students, an on-campus bicycle loan program and online carpool registrations through the Smart Commute program.

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) - A specialized co-op retailer of gear for wilderness and self-propelled recreation activities, with retail stores located in major cities across Canada. At its many retail locations, the company is a pioneer in incorporating green building features into each of its stores, including use of reclaimed building materials, green and living roofs, geothermal heating systems, rain water collection, and solar photovoltaic power generation -- regularly conducts building tours for schools and community groups to help educate and stimulate new ideas for their own projects.

Nature's Path Foods Inc. - A manufacturer of organic and natural breakfast foods. The company is working towards 99 percent waste diversion from the landfill by 2015 through a variety of measures, including extensive recycling of waste material, re-use of equipment where possible, and food waste diversion to compost (and as a feed source for local farmers) -- impressively, the company has already achieved diversion rates of  up to 92 percent.

Ontario Public Service/OPS - A non-partisan body that manages and delivers government programs and services to the province of Ontario Has updated its auto fleet procurement policies with over 1,200 hybrids on the road now and adding 38 all electric vehicles into the fleet. Over 4.5 million litres of fuel has been saved since 2007.

Perkins+Will Canada Corporation - Formerly Busby Perkins+Will Architects Co., is a full-service architecture firm that specializes in sustainable design and serves a range of clients in the public and private sectors. The company boasts many firsts in its industry, including designing the first LEED Platinum-certified multi-family residential building in North America, the first LEED Platinum certified new building in the world and the first LEED Gold Certified new building in Canada -- and has pushed beyond LEED with two projects currently being designed to follow the "Living Building Challenge" as defined by the International Living Future Institute, which is a standard set to ensure that buildings have a net positive impact on their surroundings.

PowerStream Inc. - A local electricity distribution company that delivers power to more than 350,000 residential and business customers in communities located outside of Toronto. PowerStream manages a unique employee vanpool program with six company-owned vans that are maintained and operated by employees—through the program over 40 single-use car trips are eliminated every day.

The Provincial Health Services Authority/PHSA - Manages and evaluates healthcare services in the province of British Columbia, operating organizations that include the BC Cancer Agency, the BC Centre for Disease Control and the BC Women's Hospital & Health Centre. Has an in-house "Energy and Environmental Sustainability" team that worked with the payroll department to transition to paperless pay stubs, a program expected to save $250,000 per year as well as 600,000 sheets of paper.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PWC) - Provides industry focused assurance, advisory and tax services in the areas of corporate accountability, risk management, structuring and mergers and acquisitions, and performance and process improvement. PwC recently relocated its downtown Toronto offices to a new, state-of-the-art building, the PwC Tower, which is located steps from the subway and the regional GO transit system has recently achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

RBC / Royal Bank of Canada - The country's largest financial services group, serving over 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients across Canada, the United States and 49 other countries. RBC recently established a $20 million commitment to new social and environmental initiative -- includes the $10 million "RBC Impact Fund" to help finance projects by entrepreneurs and organizations addressing social and environmental challenges as well as a $10 million investment of its own assets into socially responsible investment (SRI) funds.

Red River College - A post-secondary applied learning educational institute, offers numerous full-time diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs to more than 32,000 students. The college introduced the "Hall It!" waste reduction and recycling program, which removed all garbage and recycling bins from classrooms in favour of centralized collection points -- in addition, the college also introduced battery recycling and e-waste collection programs and expanded its onsite composting program for organic waste, capturing more than 300 pounds of organics every day.

SAS Institute (Canada) Inc. - Develops business analysis software for clients in the automotive, financial, manufacturing, retail, telecommunications, education and government sectors. The company’s office building features a state-of-the-art rainwater collection system that collects and stores water in specialized containers in the building's basement, which in turn is utilized for the flushing of toilets -- the system has collected over one million litres of rainwater annually used for landscaping and non-potable plumbing uses.

SaskTel - A provider of a complete range of communications services to residential and business customers. SaskTel has a unique "environmental category" as part of its flexible health and wellness spending account that lets employees apply their flex-dollars to environmental purchases for day-to-day activities, from transit passes to solar panels to high efficiency appliances for the home.

Siemens Canada Limited - A subsidiary of Germany-based Siemens AG, one of the largest and most diversified electronics and electrical engineering companies in the world. Involved in two "eCar" pilot project to assist in the development of electric cars and the manufacturing of "eCar" charging stations.

Sodexo Canada Ltd. - Provides outsourced food and facilities management services to clients across Canada. Sodexo has its own ethically-sourced brand of coffee and tea called "Aspresso"—for every pound of coffee and tea sold, a financial contribution is donated to local non-profit organizations supporting programs that fight hunger and malnutrition.

Stantec Consulting Ltd. - Provides consulting services in planning, engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, and project economics for infrastructure and facilities projects. The company is one of the country's leading engineering firms and advocates for sustainably designed building and projects—working with a variety of clients on an impressive range of projects, including: engineered wetlands (for wastewater treatment); installation and operation of wind farms and solar arrays, renovation and adaptation of older structures; and development of greenhouse gas management programs for customers.

Stikeman Elliott LLP - A business law firm that specializes in corporate finance, corporate-commercial law, banking, structured finance, real estate, insolvency, employment and business litigation. Across Canada, all of the firm's offices are located in buildings that are all BOMA Best certified and the Calgary building has recently achieved BOMA Go-Green Plus LEED Gold certification.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre - A leading teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto that operates through three primary hospital sites, including the Bayview Campus (the main site), the Holland Orthopaedic & Arthritic Centre, and the Women & Babies Program (at Women's College Hospital). As part of its water conservation program, the hospital has installed over 1,100 low-flush toilets, saving over 185 million litres of water annually.

Symcor Inc. - One of North America's largest financial processing companies, providing the infrastructure services for transactions involving checks, lockboxes and credit cards, as well as statement-to-payment services. Symcor encourages employees to leave their cars at home, through the on-line Smart Commute carpool service as well as transit subsidies for its Montreal employees.

TD Bank Group - Provides financial and banking services to millions of customers across Canada and around the world. TD has a 20 year history of supporting local community initiatives through its longstanding "TD Friends of the Environment Foundation" -- the impressive initiative has provided over $57 million to over 20,000 environmental projects across Canada since 1990.

TELUS Corporation - Canada's second-largest telecommunications company, providing data, Internet, voice and wireless communication services. TELUS has introduced high definition TELUS Telepresence technology at many locations across the country (helping to reduce unnecessary travel) and encourages employees to work from home through its formal "Work Styles" program, designed to assist employees in adopting flexible work arrangements and reduce the number of trips to and from the office.

Toronto Hydro Corporation - A holding company, which distributes electricity and provides street lighting services through two wholly-owned subsidiaries. Toronto Hydro maintains one of the city's first solar panel arrays at its 500 Commissioners Street facility, which features over 189 panels that are capable of offsetting over 37 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere each year—and is installing a rainwater collection system for use on its grounds.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc./TMMC - A manufacturer of automobiles for the North American market. The company set a goal back in 2004 of sending zero waste to the landfill—impressively, the company has consistently met this goal through extensive recycling, reusing, returnable packaging, reducing and composting programs.

The University of British Columbia (UBC) - One of Canada's largest universities with over 1,800 faculty members. Its new "Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility" uses clean wood chippings and sawmill residues to generate up to two megawatts of energy for its Vancouver campus, producing enough electricity to power 1,500 homes as well as reducing the university's natural gas consumption by 12 percent.

University of Alberta (UofA) - One of Canada's largest universities, serving over 37,000 students with an academic staff of over 3,644 and 6,745 employees. U of A maintains a two acre community garden that is entirely run by volunteers that raises funds for a non-profit organization that supports marginalized women in Rwanda.

University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) - A small research-intensive university with approximately 3,500 students in over 40 undergraduate and graduate programs. UNBC  manages a unique "Green Fund" that is dedicated to funding various sustainability projects across the campus.

Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancity) - A member-owned co-operative credit union, providing a range of financial products and services to members across the province. The head office which is located atop the SkyTrain, features reduced parking rates for carpool vehicles and shower facilities for those who bike to work,

The City of Vancouver - Provides municipal government services to residents and businesses in one of Canada's largest cities. Programs include "Green Homes Program" which sets specific energy, water and air requirements in all new building permit applications.

Veridian Corporation - An electricity distribution company. Veridian provides employees with interest-free loans for the purchase of energy-efficient appliances for their homes or for the purchase of an energy efficient automobile, electric bike or scooter.

Whistler Blackcomb - One of Canada's premier skiing and snowboarding destinations. Whistler Blackcomb supports a unique "Habitat Improvement Team" that includes community members and employees (and even guests), working to protect, restore and enhance fish and wildlife habitat in the Whistler area—established back in 1997, the group works with local government and other area businesses and has completed over 100 projects as part of a comprehensive community sustainability plan called Whistler 2020.

YMCA of Greater Toronto - One of the largest and most active charitable organizations in Canada, serving over half a million residents in the Greater Toronto Area. The YMCA maintains a "green fund" that is dedicated to funding environmentally beneficial initiatives, including facility improvements, environmental education and workplace improvements that reduce its environmental footprint—in two unique initiatives, the YMCA is attaching energy converters to stationary bikes to capture the resulting energy that is otherwise wasted and is installing a solar hot water system to heat the pool at its Scarborough location.

York University - A post-secondary education institution, with approximately 40,000 students in 10 faculties. York organizes the "Res Race to Zero", an annual competition in which residences across campus attempt to reduce their energy consumption -- the winning team receives a $4000 award to be spent towards a sustainability-themed initiative at its residence such as low flow shower heads and motion sensor light switches.


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