Here are the 50 employers, each with one reason why they were chosen:
Abbotsford Community Services, Abbotsford, B.C.
- Individual and family services; 120 employees.
- Developed new protocols to replace light bulbs with low-energy bulbs, and also shut down unused electronics and lighting after hours.
Aeroplan LP, Montreal.
- Marketing consulting services; 273 employees.
- The company offset 100 per cent of its corporate carbon footprint, including fuel use from offices, vehicles and corporate air travel.
Aramark Canada Ltd., Toronto.
- Food service contractors; 8,100 employees.
- Employee-led team at Dalhousie University set the ambitious goal of purchasing 31 per cent of its food locally, reaching close to 50 per cent during the peak growing season.
Bayer Inc., Toronto.
- Pharmaceuticals preparation manufacturing; 963 employees.
- Embarked upon a tree and vegetation planting campaign to “re-naturalize” and create a walking trail on its head office property.
British Columbia Public Service, Victoria.
- General government support; 26,526 employees.
- Launched an online emissions calculator for travelling employees.
Bell Aliant Regional Communications LP, Halifax.
- Wired telecommunications carriers; 8,442 employees.
- Implemented a “Think Before You Print” campaign that has resulted in a reduction in paper consumption of 26 per cent from 2005 to 2008.
British Columbia Institute of Technology, Burnaby, B.C.
- Colleges, universities and professional schools; 1,695 employees.
- Food composting program first established at the main campus in 1998 today has more than 170,000 red wiggler worms working around the clock to create compost to fertilize campus flower beds.
Busby Perkins + Will Architects, Vancouver.
- Architectural services; 72 employees.
- Decreased its CO2 emissions by 600 tonnes in 2007 and 2008, and continues to work toward that reduction goal every year.
Certified General Accountants Association of Canada, Burnaby, B.C.
- Professional organizations; 138 employees.
- Offers an annual $500 transit subsidy to encourage employees to leave their cars at home. Also provides office bicycles for use in running errands, going to lunch or hitting nearby trails.
Christie Digital Systems Canada Inc., Kitchener, Ont.
- Audio and visual equipment manufacturing; 402 employees.
- In 2007, the company received the ISO 14001 certification, an internationally recognized standard for progressive environmental management systems.
Compass Group Canada, Mississauga, Ont.
- Food service contractors; 11,775 employees.
- Appointed a director of sustainability in 2007 to plan and oversee its environmental initiatives.
Davis + Henderson, Toronto.
- Financial transaction processing; 4,202 employees.
- Moved to vegetable and soy-based inks in its printing operations, recyclable packaging material for all cheque shipments and 100 per cent recycled paper for all photocopiers at its facilities.
Enbridge Inc., Calgary.
- Natural gas distribution; 3,981 employees.
- Runs more than 40 programs that encourage its customers to conserve and use energy more efficiently.
Enermodal Engineering Inc., Kitchener, Ont.
- Engineering services; 76 employees.
- Dedicated to creating resource-efficient buildings, with more than 40 per cent of its projects meeting LEED certifications.
Enmax Corp., Calgary
- Electric power distribution; 1,710 employees.
- Created the in-house “Enmax Ecopledge” program encouraging employees to take specific actions to reduce their environmental footprint at work and at home.
Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Inc., Toronto
- Hotels and motels; 8,643 employees.
- At some properties, more than 80 per cent of items that were previously thrown away (from food to furniture) are now recycled or reused.
Georgian College, Barrie, Ont.
- Colleges, universities and professional schools; 170 employees.
- Established a sustainability committee to oversee environmental initiatives.
Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co., Mississauga, Ont.
- Electronic computer manufacturing; 3,871 employees.
- Through its “Planet Partners” program, recycles its original inkjet and laser cartridges as well as all brands of computer hardware and rechargeable batteries.
Home Depot Canada, Toronto
- Hardware stores; 13,299 employees.
- Took a leadership role in 2008 and voluntarily phased out harmful pesticides and herbicides across the country and began replacing them with environmentally friendly alternatives.
IKEA Canada, Burlington, Ont.
- Home furnishings stores; 1,304 employees.
- Offers preferred green parking spaces for customers who drive hybrid, fuel-efficient or electric cars, and offers a shuttle bus service at its Toronto and Richmond store locations.
KPMG LLP, Toronto.
- Certified public accountants; 5,245 employees.
- Recently added environmental groups to the list of charitable organizations supported by the firm’s long-standing “KPMG Foundation” program.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, B.C.
- Colleges, universities and professional schools; 891 employees.
- Installed a geothermal heating system in the university’s new greenhouse.
Loblaw Cos Ltd., Brampton, Ont.
- Supermarkets; 31,670 employees.
- Recently completed a wind study at a Superstore location in Nova Scotia and installed a wind turbine under a 20-year agreement to buy back all the power generated.
LoyaltyOne Inc., Toronto.
- Marketing consulting services; 1,281 employees.
- Adopted the LEED standard for all new office construction and relocations. More than 40 per cent of its employees are working in LEED certified buildings.
McGill University Health Centre, Montreal.
- General medical and surgical hospitals; 6,039 employees.
- Planted about 400 trees to replace diseased ones that were removed – the new trees came from 20 species of hardwoods and evergreens native to the local ecosystem.
Mountain Equipment Co-op, Vancouver.
- Sporting goods stores; 582 employees.
- A pioneer in incorporating green building features into its store locations, including reclaimed building materials, green and living roofs and solar photovoltaic power generation.
New Flyer Industries Inc., Winnipeg.
- Heavy duty truck manufacturing; 1,288 employees.
- Set targets to reduce and recycle hazardous wastes, wood pallets, used oil products and cardboard.
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Edmonton.
- Colleges, universities and professional schools; 2,140 employees.
- Worked with the City of Edmonton on a program to use its waste swimming-pool water to irrigate city trees and shrubs – the water is dechlorinated and provides about half a million litres of water.
Ontario Public Service, Toronto.
- General government support; 67,339 employees.
- “Go Green Action Plan” helps the province reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions.’
Patient News Publishing, Haliburton, Ont.
- Periodical publishers; 72 employees.
- Buys paper products certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), which ensures paper is sourced from sustainable forestry and production practices.
Rescan Environmental Services Ltd., Vancouver
- Environmental consulting services; 108 employees.
- Purchased a Toyota Prius hybrid for employees to use (and test drive) and provides employees with a rebate toward the purchase of a hybrid vehicle.
Research In Motion Ltd., Waterloo, Ont.
- Wireless communications equipment manufacturing; 8,576 employees.
- Manufacturing has achieved a 75 per cent waste-diversion rate from landfill.
Resort Municipality of Whistler, Whistler, B.C.
- Legislative bodies; 254 employees.
- Works in partnership with the Squamish and Lil’wat native communities in managing 30,000 hectares of surrounding forest – utilizing an ecosystem-based, forestry-management approach to timber harvesting and land management.
Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto.
- Commercial banking; 52,500 employees.
- Offers customers a $300 rebate for home energy audits.
Sapient Canada Inc., Toronto.
- Computer systems design services; 157 employees.
- Eliminated the use of disposable plates, cups and cutlery. Installed energy-saving kitchen appliances and replaced paper towels with hand dryers in its washrooms.
SAS Institute Canada Inc., Toronto.
- Computer systems design services; 226 employees.
- Donates used laptops and personal computers to schools and charitable organizations.
- Communications carriers; 3,260 employees.
- Sponsors local recycling programs that divert thousands of gallons of paint, tonnes of used batteries and old telephone directories from landfills every year.
Stantec Consulting Inc., Edmonton.
- Engineering services; 4,581 employees.
- Is a North American leader in sustainable building design with more than 350 Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) accredited professionals who have completed more than 60 LEED-certified projects.
State Farm Insurance, Aurora, Ont.
- Property and casualty insurance carriers; 1,487 employees.
- Employees can register on an in-house website to create a profile and search for available carpool matches.
Steam Whistle Brewing, Toronto.
- Breweries; 68 employees.
- Signature beer bottles are made with 30 per cent more glass, meaning each one can be washed, inspected and refilled up to 35 times, roughly double the industry standard.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto.
- General medical and surgical hospitals; 5,049 employees.
- Completed the installation of a solar photovoltaic array that is architecturally integrated into an existing structure.
Toronto-Dominion Bank, Toronto.
- Commercial banking; 37,088 employees.
- Implemented recycling and reducing use of paper, paperless record-keeping, and new environmentally focused procurement strategies.
Toronto Hydro Corp., Toronto.
- Electric power distribution; 1,450 employees.
- Converted a number of fleet vehicles to run on biodiesel and ethanol.
City of Toronto
- Legislative bodies; 21,971 employees.
- Takes a formal advocacy role with residents across the city, offering tips and resources on how to live more sustainably through the “Live Green Toronto” program.
University of Alberta, Edmonton.
- Colleges, universities and professional schools; 7,622 employees.
- Adopted sustainable cleaning practices, including the use of environmentally friendly chemicals that meet “Green Seal” and “Environmental Choice” standards.
University of Victoria, Victoria.
- Colleges, universities and professional schools; 3,627 employees.
- Has an ongoing program to convert traditional lawns into native plant demonstration gardens, eliminating the need for fertilizers, reducing water demand and attracting birds and insects beneficial to the local ecosystem.
Vancity Group, Vancouver.
- Credit unions; 1,954 employees.
- Reached its goal of going carbon neutral in 2008, two years ahead of schedule.
Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, Vancouver.
- Environment conservation and wildlife organizations; 207 employees.
- Developed the first city-approved rainwater harvesting and reuse collection system, reducing potable water use by 84 per cent.
Veridian Corp., Ajax, Ont.
- Electric power distribution; 186 employees.
- Provides interest-free loans for its employees toward the purchase of energy-efficient appliances for their homes.
Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler, B.C.
- Hotels and motels; 2,530 employees.
- Works in partnership with the Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations in managing 30,000 hectares of surrounding forest.
HOW THEY WERE PICKED
The Canada’s Greenest Employers competition recognizes organizations that have created a culture of environmental awareness.
Now in its third year, the competition profiles initiatives in as many sectors as possible. Applicants are compared to peers in their industries.
The Mediacorp editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers select the winners for Canada’s Greenest Employers based on four main criteria: 1) environmental initiatives and programs they have developed; 2) the extent to which they have been successful in reducing the organization’s own environmental footprint; 3) the degree to which their employees are involved in these programs and whether they contribute any unique skills; and 4) the extent to which these initiatives have become linked to the employer’s public identity and whether they attract new people to the organization.
This award was inspired by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and former U.S. vice-president Al Gore when they spoke at the annual conference of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project in 2006 and 2007. Employers apply for the Canada’s Greenest Employers competition through the Canada’s Top 100 Employers application process.
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