How they were picked
Who’s the greenest in the land? In judging the myriad of employer initiatives submitted by this year’s applicants, the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers recognized those organizations where greening is entrenched in their way of thinking, guiding both how they operate now and plan to do business in the future.
Each employer was evaluated using the following criteria: 1) the unique environmental initiatives and programs they’ve developed; 2) how successful they’ve been in reducing their own environmental footprint; 3) the degree to which employees are involved and whether they contribute any unique skills; and 4) the extent that their initiatives have become linked to their public identity and whether they attract new people to their organization.
Companies named to the list show a commitment to becoming increasingly sustainable through innovative and earth-friendly ways, such as Home Depot Canada’s initiative to install rooftop solar systems at many of its Ontario stores, or student-led initiatives at Montreal’s Lower Canada College, including a living green wall installed in their science lab, a ban on plastic water bottles and a small vegetable garden where students grow spices.
Accenture PLC, Toronto. Computer programming and consulting; 3,793 employees. Procures more than 10 per cent of its office electricity from renewable resources.
ARAMARK Canada Ltd., Toronto. Food service contractors; 9,113 employees. Introduced organic fair trade and rain forest alliance coffee and tea selections at locations across Canada, supporting sustainable agricultural practices overseas.
Assiniboine Credit Union Ltd., Winnipeg. Credit union; 457 employees. Established an “Eco-Excellence” green team of managers, directors and executives who develop and implement an annual green plan.
Bayer Inc., Toronto. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 702 employees. Ensures that hybrid, diesel and lower-emission vehicles are available as part of its car fleet, and provides incentives for employees to select hybrid models, helping to achieve a 16- to 18-per-cent annual reduction in fleet exhaust emissions since 2007.
BC Hydro, Vancouver. Hydroelectric power generation; 5,735 employees. Has more than 300 Green Team members who volunteer at more than 30 locations across the province.
BC Public Service, Victoria. Government support; 26,201 employees. Invests in Web-conferencing technologies with more than 130 equipped sites available for employees across the province, resulting in a significant decrease in travel-related emissions as well as costs.
Certified General Accountants Association of Canada, Burnaby, B.C. Professional organizations; 144 employees. Sinks in kitchen areas feature in-line filtration systems to lessen the need for disposable plastic water bottles.
Christie Digital Systems Canada Inc., Kitchener. Audio and video equipment manufacturing; 688 employees. Has been tracking and measuring electrical usage per employee, as well as natural gas and water use per square metre of its facilities on a monthly basis since 2004.
Corus Entertainment Inc., Toronto. Television broadcasting; 1,522 employees. Recently installed low-flow water fixtures to complement the building’s existing rainwater collection system.
ENMAX Corp., Calgary. Electric power distribution; 1,751 employees. Encourages employees to install alternative energy systems in their homes, such as solar panels, solar hot-water systems and micro-wind generation, through an “eco-rebate” program.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Toronto. Hotels; 8,705 employees. Recently introduced a formal waste management program to help hotel properties around the world reduce unnecessary waste generation.
Georgian College, Barrie, Ont. Colleges and universities; 791 employees. Recently introduced an “adopt-an-area” program that encourages employees and students to become stewards of small sections of the campus.
Hewlett-Packard Canada Co., Mississauga, Ont. Computer manufacturing; 6,372 employees. 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.
Home Depot Canada, Toronto. Hardware stores; 13,580 employees. The company is installing rooftop solar systems at 63 of its Ontario store locations through the province’s feed-in-tariff program.
Hydro Ottawa Ltd., Ottawa. Electric power distribution; 623 employees. In 2009, developed an updated five-year “Environmental Sustainability Strategy” to address the environmental impacts of its operations.
IKEA Canada LP, Burlington, Ont. Home furnishings stores; 1,586 employees. Beginning in 2011, became the first major retailer to phase out the sale of incandescent bulbs in favour of low-energy bulbs such as Sparsam, LED, halogens and solar-lighting products.