As the world evolves towards a low-carbon economy, sustainability is a “must have” for any organization. That’s something Canada’s Greenest Employers 2022, selected by Mediacorp Canada Inc., have taken to heart. Being “green” is ingrained in their DNA, with a commitment to the environment backed up by exceptional sustainability programs and initiatives.
It’s also increasingly important as today’s job seekers are asking tough questions about a company’s environmental policies. Millennials and Gen Z are especially keen to work for an employer that cares about creating a more sustainable world, and whose corporate values align with their own. And it’s not just employees – an organization’s sustainability is increasingly important to customers who are concerned and value the environment.
All the winners of Canada’s Greenest Employees 2022 by Mediacorp share ambitious targets regarding their own ecological footprint. Each has formalized sustainability strategies to identify areas within their operations where they can make a difference, often with groundbreaking initiatives.
Software developer SAP Canada is just one example. As part of an international firm, the company aims to be carbon neutral by 2023 and has instituted numerous measures to help reduce and mitigate its environmental impacts, including creating a “green” cloud powered by 100-per-cent renewable electricity. That, in turn, helps customers reduce their own operational carbon emissions.
Winning companies also promote a collaborative culture of sustainability and encourage employees to make environmentally responsible choices, both at home and in the workplace, including sustainable modes of transportation. Typically, this is done through initiatives like transit subsidies, preferred parking for carpoolers, electric vehicle charging stations, facilities for cyclists and more. For instance, BlackBerry hosted its first “Team BlackBerry” bike ride to help new cyclists develop confidence when riding to work.
Building in sustainability makes sense from a business point of view, as lower energy consumption significantly lowers operating costs. For instance, Canon Canada’s head office features a number of cost-saving environmental features including an onsite “digester” that converts all food and organic waste into grey water, as well as window shades that automatically adjust to temperatures and the sun’s position.
For more inspirational ideas regarding sustainable business practices and policies, read on. Being “green” isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also a competitive advantage; and Canada’s Greenest Employers 2022 by Mediacorp know how to do it right.
Canada’s Greenest Employers, selected by Mediacorp Canada Inc., is an editorial competition recognizing employers that lead the nation in creating a culture of environmental awareness. Applicants for the award are compared to other employers in their industry and must pay a fee to enter the contest.
Each employer is evaluated by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers using four main criteria: (1) the unique 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, attracting new employees and clients to the organization.
Any employer operating in Canada may apply for the Canada’s Greenest Employers competition. Employers of any size may apply, whether private or public sector. The Globe and Mail is not involved in the judging process.
Canada’s Greenest Employers 2022 by Mediacorp
ABB Canada, Saint-Laurent, Que. Engineering and technology; 2,938 employees. Provides preferred parking for carpoolers and those driving hybrid vehicles as well as secure bicycle parking.
Accenture Inc., Toronto. Professional services; 5,471 employees. Increased investments in virtual collaborative technology to help reduce unnecessary employee travel.
AET Group Inc., Kitchener, Ont. Environmental consulting; 25 employees. Features a new naturalized front garden with native plant species that eliminates the need for pesticides at its head office.
Assiniboine Credit Union, Winnipeg. Credit union; 394 employees. Partnered with Bullfrog power to offset natural gas consumption in its 10 branch locations and purchased carbon offsets.
BC Housing Management Commission, Burnaby, B.C. Housing programs; 887 employees. Launched a “Garden to Table” kit program for tenants, featuring farm fresh produce harvested from a local community garden.
BC Hydro, Vancouver. Hydroelectric power generation; 5,850 employees. Works to ensure renovations align with LEED Gold standards and that all new facilities are built to LEED Gold standards.
BC Public Service, Victoria. Provincial government; 32,368 employees. Considers environmental interests alongside social and financial considerations when assessing properties for development.
Bell Canada, Verdun, Que. Communications; 36,412 employees. Introduced combined diesel hybrid and solar systems at nine Northwest Territories remote work sites.
BlackBerry Ltd., Waterloo, Ont. Secure software and services; 1,791 employees. Developed a commuting action plan that involved surveying employees about their commuting patterns annually and designing programs to encourage sustainable transportation.
BluEarth Renewables Inc., Calgary. Renewable power generation; 111 employees. Manages fish habitats to help manage fish spawning, rearing and growth of fish populations impacted by eight of the company’s hydroelectric facilities.
Boston Consulting Group Canada ULC, Toronto. Management consulting; 425 employees. Introduced numerous waste reduction initiatives, including removing all disposable water bottles and stocking cafes and lounges with reusable mugs, cups, plates and utensils.
Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd., Toronto. Real estate management; 1,341 employees. Introduced numerous energy-saving initiatives across its building portfolio, including LED lighting and automatic lighting sensors.
Canon Canada Inc., Brampton, Ont. Imaging equipment and information services; 816 employees. Partnered with Earth Rangers in support of its initiative to teach school children about the importance of pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Capital Regional District, The / CRD, Victoria. Municipal government; 652 employees. Supports an employee-organized recycling working group that helped establish in-office recycling programs to capture soft plastics, e-waste and other mixed recycling.
CIBC, Toronto. Banking; 36,744 employees. Cultivates a culture of environmental sustainability, encouraging employees to connect and engage on environmental topics through a formal online Workplace Environment Group.
Cisco Systems Canada Co., Toronto. Computer and equipment manufacturing; 2,017 employees. Supports grassroots employee groups who champion green ideas at their specific office locations.
Co-operators Group Limited, The, Guelph, Ont. Insurance; 6,571 employees. Encourages employees to pursue alternate methods of getting to work, including transit discounts, partnerships with local cycling co-ops and telecommuting.
Credit Valley Conservation Authority / CVC, Mississauga, Ont. Environment, conservation and wildlife organizations; 219 employees. Has committed to move its fleet to 100-per-cent electric by 2035 and installed two electric vehicle charging stations at its head office.
Dentons Canada LLP, Edmonton. Law firms; 1,286 employees. Introduced numerous energy-saving features, including LED desk lighting and motion sensor lighting in common areas.
Desjardins Group / Mouvement Desjardins, Lévis. Que. Financial institution; 43,105 employees. Launched an ambitious carbon reduction plan with the goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2040.
Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc., Toronto. Architecture; 283 employees. Is a leading advocate for the use of living walls and timber in major construction projects, highlighting the advantages of natural materials.
Diva International Inc., Kitchener, Ont. Personal hygiene products; 48 employees. Introduced the world’s first free menstrual cup recycling program in partnership with international recycling partner TerraCycle.
Durham College of Applied Arts and Technology, Oshawa, Ont. College; 791 employees. Is home to the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food, featuring an agricultural growing field, honeybee apiary, arboretum, pollinator garden and an apple orchard.
EfficiencyOne, Dartmouth, N.S. Energy conservation advocacy; 145 employees. Encourages fellow Nova Scotians to reduce energy consumption and make green living choices through its unique line of business.
Emterra Group, Burlington, Ont. Recycling and waste management; 813 employees. Has made significant infrastructure investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its fleet operations, including compressed natural gas trucks representing over one-third of its fleet.
ENMAX Corp., Calgary. Electric power distribution; 1,483 employees. Is a leading public advocate of energy conservation and alternative energy production in Alberta.
Export Development Canada, Ottawa. International trade financing and support; 1,891 employees. Manages a comprehensive recycling program that includes paper, metals, plastics and waste.
Farm Mutual Reinsurance Plan Inc. / Farm Mutual Re, Cambridge, Ont. Insurance; 96 employees. Installed three honeybee apiaries that are managed by a professional beekeeper.
First Capital REIT, Toronto. Real estate development and management; 340 employees. Appointed its first senior director of sustainability back in 2010 and recently updated its formal sustainability plan.
Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ltd., Oakville, Ont. Automobile manufacturing; 6,851 employees. Along with its parent company worldwide, reduced manufacturing carbon dioxide emissions by 30 per cent from 2010 to 2017, ahead of its original 2025 goal.
Hatch Ltd., Mississauga, Ont. Engineering; 3,534 employees. Recognizes Earth Day through an annual Sustainable Development Week, held virtually during the pandemic.
Hemmera Envirochem Inc., Burnaby, B.C. Environmental consulting; 196 employees. Sets up employee workstations with a special three-way waste bin that lets employees efficiently sort their recycling.
Home Depot Canada, Toronto. Retail; 14,485 employees. Helps Canadians make greener choices through its Eco Options line that includes a variety of products that offer lower environmental impacts.
HP Canada Co., Mississauga. Computer technology and services; 488 employees. Maintains a long-standing partnership with WWF Canada, supporting and volunteering in many initiatives, including the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.
Humber College, Toronto. College; 1,701 employees. Maintains extensive waste reduction efforts, including collection programs for e-waste, batteries, used furniture, light bulbs and HVAC filters.
Hydro Ottawa, Gloucester, Ont. Electric power distribution; 650 employees. Continues to expand its hydroelectric capacity as well as invest in alternative energy for the future.
IKEA Canada Ltd. Partnership, Burlington, Ont. Retail; 3,750 employees.
Has numerous programs focused on sustainable sourcing, from the WWF’s Better Cotton initiative to sourcing certified food products to its own IKEA forestry standard.
Ivanhoé Cambridge Inc., Montreal. Real estate investment and management; 898 employees. Installed approximately 200 electric vehicle charging stations at its properties that serve a growing number of electric vehicles every year.
Keilhauer Ltd., Toronto. Furniture manufacturing; 259 employees. Allows customers to return some used furniture items for disassembly and recycling through its Take-Back program.
Killam Apartment REIT, Halifax. Property management and development; 650 employees. Established apartment renovation guidelines including energy-efficient appliances, water-efficient fixtures, programmable thermostats and low-odour paints.
KPMG LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 8,467 employees. Announced its worldwide intention to become a net zero carbon business by 2030 and is implementing a series of new climate actions in support of this goal.
Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd., Toronto. Breweries; 3,595 employees. Introduced “The Sister Brewery” program to formalize the exchange and implementation of environmentally focused practices and ideas across its many brewery locations.
Loblaw Companies Ltd., Brampton, Ont. Supermarkets and grocery stores; 28,962 employees. Introduced a new model of packaging reuse to Canada, enabling customers to buy some popular products and brands in durable packaging that can be returned and reused.
Lowe’s Canada, Boucherville, Que. Retail; 13,572 employees. Has extensive waste management programs at all of its store locations, capturing a wide range of store and customer waste.
LoyaltyOne, Co., Toronto. Marketing consulting; 817 employees. Designed and built its new head office to LEED Gold standards and has since achieved LEED Platinum certification.
McGill University, Montreal. University; 7,138 employees. Is the first campus in Canada to receive certification from the Marine Stewardship Council and the first Quebec campus to be certified as a Fair Trade Campus.
Medtronic Canada ULC, Brampton, Ont. Electromedical apparatus manufacturing; 688 employees. Hosted a clean-up crew to pick up litter around the office and surrounding neighbourhood (on company time).
Metrolinx, Toronto. Public transit; 4,374 employees. Encourages alternative transportation with preferred parking for carpoolers, along with programs to reduce single car trips in favour of transit, walking, cycling and alternative work hours.
Mohawk College, Hamilton. College; 1,016 employees. Manages an online Sustainability Leadership Program for students covering a range of topics including local food, waste, green jobs, and living sustainably at home.
Mott MacDonald Canada Ltd., Vancouver. Engineering; 231 employees. “Walks the green talk” with employees volunteering in the field and removing invasive species in support of the Stanley Park Adopt-an-Acre program.
National Capital Commission, Ottawa. Federal government; 487 employees. Hosted an Urbanism Lab Speaker Series that was open to the public, featuring presentations by leaders in urbanism, design, heritage and conservation, sustainability and placemaking.
Nature’s Path Foods, Inc., Richmond, B.C. Food manufacturing; 190 employees. Has a longstanding “Envirobox” program as part of its focus on reducing waste and adverse impacts wherever possible.
Nightingale Corp., Mississauga, Ont. Furniture manufacturing; 113 employees. Completed renovations to reduce overall energy consumption, introducing upgraded LED lighting and HVAC systems.
Pacific Blue Cross, Burnaby, B.C. Insurance; 761 employees. Partnered with Winnipeg-based Alvéole in the installation of two urban rooftop beehives that are home to 10,000 honeybees.
PCL Construction, Edmonton. Industrial, commercial and institutional building construction; 2,554 employees. Encourages employees to share their best ideas on building sustainability into all aspects of its operation.
Perkins+Will Canada Architects Co., Vancouver. Architecture; 215 employees. Is the first Petal-certified building in Vancouver under the Living Building Challenge, which calls for buildings to have a positive impact on their surroundings.
Printing House Ltd., The / TPH, Toronto. Printing; 452 employees. Has a longstanding partnership with Forest Partner to plant a tree for every new Printing House account opened.
RecycleSmart Solutions Inc., Richmond, B.C. Waste treatment and disposal; 67 employees. Monitors ongoing waste generation and recycling rates, publishing a monthly Waste Diversion Report for its head office.
Red River College, Winnipeg. College; 1,444 employees. Launched a disposable mask recycling program in partnership with Terracycle’s extensive recycling program, collecting over 13,500 masks in its first two months.
RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, Toronto. Real estate investments; 584 employees. Became the first Canadian REIT to launch a Green Bond Framework and has since issued two green bonds, raising $850 million to fund eligible green projects.
Rogers Communications Inc., Toronto. Telecommunications, cable, sports and media; 21,066 employees. Created a unique waste management program named “Get Up and Get Green” to help employees sort their waste properly at centralized waste stations.
Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto. Banking; 59,098 employees. Introduced numerous green building features across the bank, including green roofs, solar electricity panel installations, rainwater collection and LED lighting retrofits.
SAP Canada Inc., Vancouver. Custom computer programming services; 3,316 employees. Aims to be carbon neutral by 2023 and has instituted numerous measures to help reduce and mitigate its environmental impacts.
SaskTel, Regina. Telecommunications; 2,699 employees. Established an Energy Management Committee in 2017 that meets quarterly to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and evaluate effective monitoring and management strategies.
Schneider Electric Canada Inc., Mississauga, Ont. Industrial automation and controls; 1,830 employees. Revamped its Sustainability Team with initiatives ranging from updating the company’s recycling program to creating Sustainability Champion/Ambassador roles.
Shaw Communications Inc., Calgary. Communications, cable and subscription programming; 8,219 employees. Introduced two rooftop bee apiaries at its downtown head office – home to approximately 100,000 bees that are managed by an employee volunteer beekeeping club.
Sheridan Nurseries Ltd., Georgetown, Ont. Nursery and garden centre; 222 employees. Tackles the impact of its operations directly through a large pot recycling program, including programs to ensure the return and reuse of growing pots and trays.
Siemens Canada Ltd., Oakville, Ont. Engineering; 2,252 employees. Has a longstanding partnership with Tree Canada that has seen employee volunteers plant over 14,500 trees since 2012.
Sodexo Canada Ltd., Montreal. Food service contractors; 5,462 employees. Has gathered chefs for training on expanding plant-based menus, along with sourcing egg products from cage-free and free-run farming operations.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto. Hospital; 6,707 employees. Operates waste sterilization systems to treat biomedical waste onsite as well as anesthetic gas capture technology.
Surrey, City of, Surrey, B.C. Municipal government; 2,051 employees. Partnered with Surrey Schools to develop an Integrated Sustainability Education Program geared to students in grades two through 10.
Surrey School District No. 36, Surrey, B.C. Schools; 10,258 employees. Introduced a school gardens program in 2017 that encourages individual schools to apply for the installation of garden beds that are maintained by staff and students.
Symcor Inc., Mississauga, Ont. Data processing and support services; 1,227 employees. Offers a bicycle loan program so employees can borrow bikes for commuting as well as providing transit subsidies, EV parking and preferred parking for carpoolers.
TD Bank Group, Toronto. Banking; 55,292 employees. Has a formal program to purchase renewable energy credits equivalent to 100 per cent of the electricity used in both Canada and the United States.
Telus Communications Inc., Vancouver. Telecommunications; 25,014 employees. Encourages employees to work from home through its formal Work Styles program, designed to assist employees in adopting flexible work arrangements.
Toronto Transit Commission / TTC, Toronto. Public transit; 14,830 employees. Launched a paper reduction challenge that led to a 16-per-cent drop in paper use.
Toronto Zoo, Toronto. Zoos and botanical gardens; 273 employees. Is committed to raising awareness for the protection of endangered species and biodiversity.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc./ TMMC, Cambridge, Ont. Automobile manufacturing; 9,854 employees. Has hosted a unique Environmental Kaizen Awards competition to encourage employees to share their environmental ideas for improvement.
TransLink (South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority), New Westminster, B.C. Public transit; 7,742 employees. Signed a contract to purchase 15 battery-electric buses with approval to add another 57 battery-electric buses to its fleet.
UBC / University of British Columbia, Vancouver. University; 14,477 employees. Adopted the LEED Gold certification standard for all new construction and major renovations of institutional buildings.
University Health Network, Toronto. Hospitals; 12,407 employees. Conducts regular energy and waste audits to address specific ongoing environmental impacts of its varied operations, including addressing physical and hazardous waste.
University of Alberta, Edmonton. University; 8,229 employees. Manages a zero-waste program with the goal of diverting 90 per cent of waste from landfill and includes the collection of batteries, e-waste and more.
University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, B.C. University; 569 employees. Encourages students moving out of residence to recycle their unused electronics and donate useable items for reuse in the community.
University of Toronto, Toronto. University; 10,429 employees. Is a leader in the study and application of new sustainable building design, including its new Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory.
University of Victoria, Victoria. University; 3,224 employees. Offers secure bike parking for more than 230 bikes, a bike kitchen, gear lockers and benches and has a bike repair and loan program managed by volunteers.
Vancouver, City of, Vancouver. Municipal government; 7,648 employees. Has numerous formal health ecosystem initiatives, from reducing water use in parks to native habitat planting and stormwater runoff mitigation.
Waterloo North Hydro Inc., Waterloo, Ont. Electric power distribution; 121 employees. Provides water bottle refilling stations along with providing each employee with a reusable water bottle to encourage a shift from using disposable water bottles.
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ont. University; 1,684 employees. Supports a unique Sustainable Hawk Fund which dedicates up to $30,000 annually towards student-led sustainability projects.
YMCA of Greater Toronto, Toronto. Individual and family services; 2,884 employees. Has installed seven electric vehicle charging stations in partnership with Opus One Energy that feature a solar-powered component.
York University, Toronto. University; 4,897 employees. Has adopted a range of environmental principles that encourage design efficiency, broader use of daylighting, energy conservation and performance, green construction practices and more.
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