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Professional Services

RecycleSmart's Automated Garbage Bins Cut Down on Waste

  • Jul, 22 2013
  • Industry Sector:Professional Services


RecycleSmart is a Vancouver based, privately held, sustainability services provider that leads the market in providing innovative waste prevention, sustainability, and recycling management solutions. 

RecycleSmart was approached by a large resort hotel to help maximize its compactor utilization. The seasonal nature of the resort industry meant there was a large variation in waste volumes generated throughout the year.

With no accurate method to measure compactor fill level, the resort was operating on a twice per week pickup schedule meaning the compactor was often not full when picked up by the hauler. These unnecessary pickups were costing the resort thousands of dollars and generating excess carbon emissions.


RecycleSmart uses their experience and expertise to maximize equipment utilization, optimize service frequency and match capacity to business needs.

Their monitoring technology ensures compactors are utilized to their full capacity and that service is performed as requested. All service data is entered into the RecycleSmart monitoring system which produces easy to read monthly reports that allow managers to spot trends and abnormal events.

In this case, RecycleSmart installed a remote electronic monitoring system that automatically calls for service when the bin reaches ¾ full.


RecycleSmart was able to help the resort hotel eliminate 72 unnecessary compactor pickups each year. This has translated into $11,000 in annual savings, reduced truck trips and reduced carbon emissions.

For more information on how RecycleSmart connects sustainability and business visit:

Website Links


Professional Services

Real Results: Using the Pulse™ Platform to Reach Efficiency Targets

  • Jun, 26 2012
  • Industry Sector:Professional Services


Sustainability policies and energy efficiency targets are excellent foundations for organizations to reduce their ecological footprint. Turning these ambitions into results requires the right people, with powerful tools to support them.

Learn how McGill used Pulse Energy’s cloud-based platform to better manage their energy use, identify savings opportunities and improve operational efficiency; while validating and communicating energy savings of up to 25%.

Students, staff and faculty of McGill University adopted a Sustainability Policy in 2010, emphasizing the need to reduce energy consumption throughout the campus. Yearly energy costs were estimated at over $20 million, and continued to grow with the student population. In response, McGill set the goal of reducing energy consumption 12% below 2002-03 levels by 2015. 


McGill chose to deploy Pulse Energy’s solution in 2011, to support energy management staff and communicate their efforts towards sustainability goals. PulseTM Energy Manager software offers powerful insights and tools for larger portfolios, allowing staff to explore the intricacies of energy consumption across campus. Key metrics such as base and peak loads, energy intensity, and load factor are easily compared. Connected to over 80 buildings at McGill, the software highlights inefficiencies, provides automated alerts, and enables detailed analysis and reporting.

The University also deployed a PulseTM Engagement Dashboard, available through a public website. It displays real time energy consumption at the building level, and gives occupants insight into how individual actions impact building performance. It also acts as the hub for communicating student-based energy initiatives around campus. 

McGill University took a collaborative approach to meeting its sustainability goal by creating an energy working group. This combines an energy manager with various facilities staff, who gather on a regular basis to collectively view, analyze and respond to the energy intelligence provided by Pulse Energy Manager.

The analysis provided by the software alerted the working group to abnormally high overnight energy consumption in two campus facilities, the Bronfman Building and Campus Bookstore. While both buildings were unoccupied at night, their nighttime load remained unnecessarily high at more than 50% of the average daytime peak. The straightforward remedy was to turn off ventilation systems during off-peak hours, with CO2 sensors ensuring the systems maintain adequate air quality standards.

Real Results: Using the Pulse™ Platform to Reach Efficiency Targets</h3>


Staff were able to reduce energy use by 25% in both buildings, saving 65,000kWh/month in the Bronfman building and 10,000 kWh/month in the Bookstore. Overnight energy consumption is now significantly lowered, cutting energy use and cost without capital investment. With Pulse Energy monitoring to ensure the persistence of change, McGill will continue to save over $2000/month on their energy bill.

McGill University is on course to meet its ambitious campus building energy reduction goal. The PulseTM Platform allows McGill to leverage energy intelligence for engaged occupants, discover energy saving opportunities and ensure savings persist over time.


Want to learn more about Pulse Energy? E-mail us at [email protected] or call +1 877 331 0530

Real Results: Using the Pulse™ Platform to Reach Efficiency Targets</h3>

Professional Services

CivicAction’s Greening Greater Toronto – Reducing Energy Use In Office Buildings

  • Feb, 08 2011
  • Industry Sector:Professional Services


Improving the energy efficiency of our building stock presents a vast untapped potential to increase our bottom lines, better our workplaces and protect our environment. Commercial buildings account for one third of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the GTA, and consume 37 per cent of the electricity and 17 per cent of the natural gas. There is a well documented “efficiency gap” between the potential investments in cost-effective energy efficiency and the low levels of investment that are actually occurring. Barriers to broader adoption of commercial building energy efficiency include:

• The lack of a measurement standard for energy performance;

• Difficulty in acquiring data to build business cases;

• Ineffective communication between tenants and building owners; and

• Lack of broader education about energy efficiency


Greening Greater Toronto has launched the Commercial Building Energy Initiative (CBEI) in September 2009 to address these barriers and improve the energy efficiency of the building stock in the GTA and beyond. CBEI is guided by a Leadership Council of over 50 dedicated members who are committed to work together to improve energy efficiency. Its membership includes 10 major landlords, 10 large tenants representing 40 per cent of GTA building stock and 40 million sq ft of space, service providers and other partners. In a Leadership Council meeting in early 2010, we developed three projects to build knowledge and to inspire behavioural change and collective action:

• Eliminate Knowledge Gaps: Business Case and Living Library

• Greening Our Workplaces Tenant Series

• Corporate Challenge

Business Case and Living Library

In order to bridge the knowledge gaps between stakeholders, Greening Greater Toronto, with partners from The Boston Consulting Group and Halsall Associates Limited, developed a business case for energy efficiency for both tenants and landlords of commercial buildings. The business case looks at major opportunities for savings, the qualitative and quantitative benefits of green buildings, case studies of landlords and tenants who have undertaken energy efficiency measures, and steps on how to get there.

The Leadership Council has also compiled a “living library” catalogue of case studies and energy benchmarks to promote best-practices for energy efficiency. These case studies are taken from their own experience with energy efficiency initiatives, and serve to showcase the great work that is going on in the region. The case studies have found a permanent home on the Partners in Project Green Environmental Best Practices Database.

Greening Our Workplaces Tenant Series

This project invites tenants to host a meeting for neighbouring tenants of the same building, to showcase tenant-led energy efficiency initiatives, with an objective to share best practices, processes, and results, to support and encourage tenants’ energy efficiency initiatives. Also present at these meetings are the landlord, to show support to their tenants, Halsall Associates, to present the business case, and BOMA and Enbridge, to inform tenants about available incentives.

Corporate Challenge

Commercial building owners and managers will set a baseline and benchmark their energy use. Over the next several years, these landlords and their tenants will work together to reduce their energy use and compete for energy efficiency awards in the Corporate Challenge to be launched in the new year.


We have certainly seen how participation in this initiative has changed peoples’ behaviour and the way they think about energy use, and are encouraged as they continue to spread the message. We’ve created and compiled a wealth of resources, including over 18 case studies, a business case for energy efficiency, and information about incentive programs. Our Greening Our Workplaces Tenant Series has connected nearly 200 tenants and landlords to each other (who would otherwise be not communicate with each other) and continues to be valuable forum for information and experience-sharing.

Although it is too early to quantify the Commercial Building Energy Initiative’s impact, we expect that our Corporate Challenge participants will be able to collectively reduce their energy use by at least 10 per cent over the duration of the four-year challenge. We’ve seen how quickly we can mobilize senior executive engagement, establish a new spirit of collaboration and deliver material results. Now that landlords and tenants are talking, they’re exploring waste and water as well.


Professional Services

Maple Leaf Entertainment – Air Canada Centre Waste Reduction

  • Sep, 03 2010
  • Industry Sector:Professional Services


The Air Canada Centre (ACC) Location:

• 40 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario. 665,000 square foot entertainment facility

• Hosts over 300 large-scale events annually, approximately 19,000 people per event

• Director of Operations and Team Up Green: Bryan Leslie ([email protected])

• Green Team “Team Up Green” established in 2007

The Goal and Objectives:

In 2008 the goal was set to achieve 100% waste diversion from landfill by 2013. Objectives include:

• Implementation of a green procurement policy to influence suppliers

• Foster public and staff participation in recycling activities

• Reduce the waste produced, Reuse as much as possible, Recycle the rest and buy Recycled products

The Driving Forces:

• To reduce the scope 3 carbon footprint of the ACC through waste reduction and composting programs

• To establish the ACC as a leader in environmental practices in the entertainment and sports industry

• To establish the ACC as a leader in the community, by working in collaboration with the City of Toronto. The City of Toronto has set the goal of achieving 70% diversion of waste from landfill by 2010.

• To increase and motivate employee morale and awareness of their actions

• To generate savings through operational efficiencies

The Key Issues and Unique Elements:

• The two main sections of the ACC, the office tower and the bowl (area where events take place), both had different waste management programs in place.

• Quick and efficient cleaning of the bowl between events is necessary, and is provided by an outsourced service provider. Therefore, communications and collaboration of waste management processes needed to be established and managed.

• The physical size of the facility and the number of events per year produces large volumes of waste in short periods of time, with many fans in attendance. It was important that waste management processes did not adversely affect the fan experience.

• Limited space for recycling containers and waste collection areas.

• Involvement of key stakeholders such as sponsors, in waste reduction program.

• Establish clear visibility to fans and stakeholders of the goals of the waste reduction program.


The Stakeholders:

• Established partnerships and alliances with key stakeholders including: Turtle Island, e3 Solutions Inc., Applied Environmental Solutions, Direct Energy, Bentall, Unicco, and NBA Green Week.

The Actions:

• Development of Green Strategy waste reduction program for all areas of the ACC, and full deployment of waste sorting and handling programs to support organic composting and recycling activities.

• Procurement and distribution of 75 tri-sorters to positively influence waste sorting for fans and employees.

• Purchasing of biodegradable plates, cups and utensils for Food and Beverage facilities in media areas.

• Participation in recycling programs for: IT equipment, cardboard, steel, paper shredding, LCBO bottle collection, cooking waste oil collection, beverage can collection, and toner cartridges.

• Participation in wood and plastic shipping container programs.

• Annual waste audits to evaluate performance.

The Results:

• Total waste generated increased from 2,596 tonnes to 2,834 – an increase of 9%.

• Total waste diverted increased from 967 tonnes to 1,204 tonnes – an increase of 25%

• Glass – With the support of the LCBO, reusable containers are provided and the LCBO picks up containers. Since last year the ACC has increased their diversion of glass from landfills from 120 tonnes to 165 tonnes. This is an increase of 38%

• Paper Diverted – Since last year paper diverted has increased from 76 tonnes to 121 tonnes, an increase of 59%

• Metal Diverted- Since last year metal diverted has increased from 6 tonnes to 9 tonnes

• Plastic Diverted – Since last year, plastic diverted has increased from 37 tonnes to 83 tonnes, an increase of 124%

• Organics – ACC`s already successful organic collection program also improved. With the Green up team efforts with kitchen and restaurant staff this year, diversion was improved. Since last year, organics diverted increased from 727 tonnes to 825 tonnes, an increase of 13%

• Total CO2e emissions diverted from the atmosphere in 2009: 322.72 tonnes

• Each tri-sorter used for waste management diverted 4.3 tonnes CO2e emissions from the atmosphere

The Business Case:

By effectively implementing the ACC’s waste management program Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment has decreased operational costs, increased employee morale, engaged their fans to be part of the process, emerged as a leader in the industry and the community, and has influenced its suppliers and fans to make changes in their daily operations.

The Lessons Learned:

It is possible to educate staff and fans, become a leader in the industry and community by implementing a waste management program. Eliminating sources of waste, reducing consumption, recycling products, reusing, and thus becoming more environmentally efficient and reducing our carbon footprint are all small steps in achieving the overall goal of 100% diversion by 2013.

Maple Leaf Entertainment – Air Canada Centre Waste Reduction</h3>





Professional Services

Waste To Wonder – Changing Perceptions Of Waste

  • Aug, 03 2010
  • Industry Sector:Professional Services


The primary driving force behind the Waste to Wonder initiative was to reduce the huge quantity of re-usable office equipment ending up in landfills and to maximize the charitable benefit of these items through redistribution.

What are the key issues? Mountains of office equipment end up in landfill sites or are needlessly recycled each year. At the same time, thousands of charities are struggling to afford equipment for their workplaces and are spending money that could be better utilized on their core activities and programs. Waste to Wonder wants to change the perception of waste by showing companies that social value, brand value and share value are becoming more predominant in the world of communication and that taking a more socially responsible stand against waste is a key component to success in this area.

Who are the main stakeholders? Our stakeholders are wide ranging as they include our blue-chip and government customer base as well as hundreds of local and international charities and good cause organizations. Our biggest stakeholder is the planet as we help divert thousands of tonnes of equipment away from landfill.


The primary driving force behind the Waste to Wonder initiative was to reduce the huge quantity of re-usable office equipment ending up in landfills and to maximize the charitable benefit of these items through redistribution.

What are the key issues? Mountains of office equipment end up in landfill sites or are needlessly recycled each year. At the same time, thousands of charities are struggling to afford equipment for their workplaces and are spending money that could be better utilized on their core activities and programs. Waste to Wonder wants to change the perception of waste by showing companies that social value, brand value and share value are becoming more predominant in the world of communication and that taking a more socially responsible stand against waste is a key component to success in this area.

Who are the main stakeholders? Our stakeholders are wide ranging as they include our blue-chip and government customer base as well as hundreds of local and international charities and good cause organizations. Our biggest stakeholder is the planet as we help divert thousands of tonnes of equipment away from landfill.


The results of Waste to Wonder speak for themselves. Items which were redundant and no longer of use to businesses have been diverted from being waste and reused to benefit projects all around the world. Since 2005, 18 shipments have been sent to 11 countries and supported an estimated 12,000 children annually. The most recent shipment was sent to Haiti to equip an anti-earthquake training centre which will train 4500 tradesmen over the next 5 years on safer building techniques. Our ethos is to minimize waste and maximize charitable benefit. Companies are under increasing pressure to dispose of their redundant equipment in an ethical and environmentally appropriate manner. Our EMP solution ensures that this is achieved to the highest levels and helps ensure corporate responsibility is considered a critical part of how companies conduct themselves in the marketplace. Most businesses genuinely want to do the right thing, as long as the process is relatively simple and the costs are reasonable. Our EMP solution provides them with a cost effective solution which not only supports their environmental aspirations and is aligned with their company policy, but also helps them support good causes in a far more effective way than ever before.

Did this initiative drive innovation that would not have happened otherwise? Yes, massively! We have had feedback from a number of customers which suggests that not only are we solving a waste problem for them but they are experiencing a surge of positive action from their employees. We have had cases of customers’ staff engaging in their own charitable fundraising activities in order to ensure the success of the BIG Bright Future projects. Customers have even sent staff to places as remote as Cameroon and Ghana to see the results first hand.

Contact Info

Website: Waste to Wonder Ontario

E-Mail: [email protected]

Phone: 905-629-4334


Professional Services

CBSR – Embedding Sustainability In Organizational Culture

  • May, 04 2010
  • Industry Sector:Professional Services


Many business leaders recognize that the true value of sustainability is realized only when sustainability is embedded into their organizations’ cultures. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports often describe sustainability as “part of our DNA” or “the way we do business”; however, business leaders lack a clear framework for systematically embedding sustainability into organizational culture.


Canadian Business for Social Responsibility and the Network for Business Sustainability have produced such a framework following a recent workshop of senior sustainability and HR executives. Convened by Barb Steele of CBSR and facilitated by Professor Tima Bansal of the Richard Ivey School of Business, the workshop asked participants how they integrate CSR into their organizational cultures.


The best practices that emerged from the workshop are presented in a five-part framework, and leaders’ insights were distilled into the following top three “secrets” to creating a sustainable culture:

Collaborate with other organizations. Find NGOs and other businesses who value sustainability and work with them to implement environmental and social programs.

Create a safe place for bold ideas. Reframe business innovation within the context of sustainability. For example, innovations to save the company money may also encourage a reduction in carbon footprint.

Tap into grassroots employee energy. Empower employees to be sustainability champions within your organization and encourage them to set their own sustainability targets for performance reviews.

Sustainability and HR professionals are encouraged to map their own sustainability initiatives against the report’s five-part framework and to identify the specific practices that could help them further integrate sustainability into their own organizations’ cultures.

NOTE: This case study has been placed under Professional Services but applies to companies in all industries and sectors.

Download the Embedding Sustainability in Organizational Culture report at:


Professional Services

Canadian Business for Social Responsibility

  • Feb, 08 2010
  • Industry Sector:Professional Services



In 2009, Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR) researched, developed and released The Green Teams Guide to help initiate and build capacity for companies’ expansion to coordinated head office and store-based teams – to encourage improved environmental stewardship and employee engagement.

As a member-based organization with the mission of Changing the Way Business Does Business, CBSR assists Canadian companies in mobilizing their employees on environmental and social issues. As ‘green teams¹’ have increased over the last few years, CBSR has observed a variety of challenges within existing teams (e.g. evaluating success, motivating employees, engaging wider staff) and a growing demand for the development of corporate and locally-based teams and committees. As a result, CBSR researched and interviewed 17 leading companies to find examples of best practice which it could share with the broader business community through The Green Teams Guide.

The Guide focuses on supporting the development, management, evaluation and ongoing improvement of green teams. Although there is no uniform approach to managing green teams – as each corporate culture requires a unique approach – this guide also offers practical company case studies that address the need for excellence in both environmental stewardship and employee engagement. Many of the recommended steps can also apply to community investment campaigns, thereby widening the capabilities of what green teams can achieve.

The Business Case: Why Green Teams?

Green Teams can increase internal environmental stewardship, employee engagement², innovation, and overall increased sense of staff being valued – especially those concerned with environmental issues and would like to make a positive impact in their company.

Green teams can successfully drive reductions and improved efficiency in areas such as paper use, office supplies and energy use – all which leads to direct cost savings in the short and long term. As a further motivator, the 2009 Hewitt Associates 50 Best Employers in Canada study reveals that social and environmental performance is strongly linked to employee engagement and satisfaction³.

Further, green teams help mobilize actions that instill a sense of pride in employee through increased social and environmental performance either in corporate offices or retail/local offices (e.g. bank branches). Though sustainability can remain outside the day-to-day work functions of most employees, green teams can bring passion and improved performance from those that wish to better the workplace through greening initiatives.

The Green Teams Guide

The following eight steps form the necessary components to a successful green team program (refer to The Green Teams Guide for detailed sections and company case studies):

1. Getting Started

Conduct a company-wide audit to know your baseline, and survey employees to gauge expectations, interests and
knowledge. Set priorities for green teams and find an executive ‘champion’ for support and credibility.

2. Structure Roles and Responsibility

A green team structure should aim to have a cross section of roles, departments and seniority levels. Teams also need to identify a ‘champion’ to lead and take ownership of various ‘campaigns’. Ideally, employee performance evaluation can recognize green team efforts (e.g. achievements and time investment).

3. Targets, Reporting and Accountability

Set goals and targets that are material to the company, and are agreed upon by local teams who are tasked with their achievement. Measuring and reporting on the progress towards set targets should be coordinated by local, regional and head office teams, along with employee and executive levels of accountability.

4. Investing in Green Teams

An annual budget for corporate and local green teams should be developed by the head office. Stores should also consider budgeting for additional locally-focused green team activities. Budgets should estimate time commitment per team member, and set parameters for meetings including length of time and frequency.

5. Cross-Departmental Engagement and Participation

Green Team diversity is directly linked to high employee participation in and success of environmental and sociallybased campaigns or drives. A corporate green team should have a wide departmental representation and specific strategies for members on how to engage staff within their own department or business unit.

6. Motivating, Empowering and Involving Employees

Encouraging an ongoing exchange of ideas is key to the long-term success of green teams. Gauge employee satisfaction/ideas through annual surveys. Consider rewarding teams or individuals for well executed campaigns.

7. Internal and External Communication

Strong communication is essential to successful employee-based initiatives. Without sharing successes, ‘feel good’ stories go untold and lessons learned are not shared. Good internal communication mobilizes and motivates staff, while external communication can enhance relations with customers and local communities.

8. Measuring and Evaluating Green Teams Performance

You can’t improve what you aren’t measuring. Green teams must have a system to track, manage and evaluate their performance against goals and targets, with a focus on continual team and company based improvement.


The Guide supports the development and management of green teams in an organized and systematic way. Green teams can help in meeting company wide goals of reducing environmental impacts and improving employee and community engagement. Corporate green teams drive innovation from within and allow employees to incorporate their ideas and passions into actions.

Download CBSR’s The Green Teams Guide:,2009.pdf

To learn more about CBSR’s work with green teams on reducing environmental footprint and strategic community investment, contact Wesley Gee, CSR Advisor and Member Development Manager at: [email protected]

¹ “Green Teams are dedicated groups of employees, regardless of discipline or organizational level, which facilitate the pragmatic implementation of sustainable operations principles on their unit.” United States Department of Agriculture, Departmental Management, viewed February 4, 2010. Web source:

² “Engagement is the state of emotional and intellectual commitment to an organization—the degree to which you have captured the hearts and minds of your employees”, Neil Crawford, Hewitt Associates, for CBSR webinar, January 27, 2010.

³ Neil Crawford, Hewitt Associates, for CBSR webinar, January 27, 2010.






Professional Services

The Natural Step – Sustainability Life Cycle Analysis

  • Feb, 08 2010
  • Industry Sector:Professional Services



The Natural Step has developed the Sustainability Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) tool for assessing product sustainability. The SLCA can be described as tool that provides a strategic overview of the full scope of social and ecological sustainability at the product level. It results in an analysis – using colors instead of numbers – that allows the company to see the major impact of today’s product through the whole lifecycle in relation to principle requirements of sustainability.

Rationale Behind the SLCA Tool

Traditional assessments of sustainability often begin with a particular problem. This can lead to
incremental efforts to be ‘less bad’ with insufficient consideration of strategic pathways towards full
sustainability. The SLCA tool uses an alternative approach that defines system boundaries in relation to
the objective of sustainability. This encourages us to consider everything relevant to sustainability and
not just look for and assess the most visible or currently known impacts.

The key issue is to enable designers and decision makers to focus upon the sustainable development
potential of the product and thereby ‘design out’ unsustainable aspects throughout the whole life cycle.
The question we ask is: How can the product be developed to meet human needs in a sustainable society
while reducing the risk of societal violation of the basic sustainability principles?

How it Works

The SLCA analysis begins with an overview of the whole system, considering all issues in the lifecycle that
are in conflict with Basic Principles of Sustainability (the four system conditions described on page 3). A
series of questions are completed for each life cycle stage to assess adherence to the system conditions.
The results from the questions are displayed in a five by four matrix with colors assigned based on the
answers. The colors provide a visual clue to where sustainability ‘hotspots’ occur in the product life cycle.

Multiple Uses of the SLCA Tool

The SLCA can be used for different purposes including, assessment, education and communication,
depending on the needs of the user.


  • Assess on a product level the companies current impacts and current initiatives with respect to the
    TNS Framework
  • The summary matrix will indicate the areas of concern and identify of areas for future action and
  • The questions can be revisited after a period of time, allowing a team to see where progress has
    been made on addressing “don’t know” areas and turning “no’s” into “yes’s”.


  • The process of completing the questionnaire raises awareness amongst the participants of
    sustainability in general and of the impacts of their own product.
  • By gathering a range of people from across the whole lifecycle of a product, the process of
    completing the SLCA transfers learning across the team.


  • Internal communication of sustainability issues can be enhanced by visual color representation in the
    SLCA summary matrix.
  • The summary matrix can quickly and easily communicate the major areas of concern to people who
    may not have been involved in completing the questions.
  • The SLCA can be used on any product, allowing separate product teams to communicate with a
    shared understanding after following a consistent process.

Background: SLCA and its Relationship to TNS Framework

The Natural Step Framework is often presented as a step by step planning process called the ABCD
planning methodology, as depicted below:

In the A-step, we undertake training to share the framework, including the funnel metaphor
representing the sustainability challenge, the process of backcasting, and the four system conditions.
These are the conditions for sustainability towards which we are working to comply in the long term:

In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing:


2. Concentrations of substances produced by society

3. Degradation by physical means

and, in that society, people are not subject to

4. Conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to meet their needs.

    1. Concentrations of substances extracted from the earth’s crust

The SLCA tool corresponds to the B-step (baseline analysis) whereby sustainability issues can be
assessed with respect to the goal of sustainability using the sustainability principles above. It helps to tell
us our starting point and what we need to address from a sustainability perspective.

Creating a vision within the constraints of the sustainability principles is necessary (Step C) to establish a
more specific direction and set of goals to work towards.

Finally, actions can be prioritized by considering the gap between B and C (where we are and where we
want to be in the future) in the D-step.

Using the SLCA

Outline of a participatory Process

The development of the SLCA is intended as a participatory process, with relevant key functions and
input from the company’s personnel. Standard process for performing a Sustainability LCA for a product,
is within a period of 2-4 months. The process is important for creating awareness, knowledge and
understanding of the product and sustainability. Between meetings the SLCA will be continuously
developed for the specific product. During the process the project group will have “homework” and TNSI
will act as facilitator and give feedback.


The SLCA tool creates a matrix with each square representing the adherence to the system conditions
against each life cycle stage. Underpinning each square is a series of questions to ascertain the key
impacts of the life stage for each of the system conditions.

By utilizing the system conditions for sustainability, the SLCA has been developed with a focus on
‘designing out’ unsustainable aspects throughout the whole life cycle. This is a more strategic and
systematic approach, as opposed to a focus on simply minimizing the known negative impacts. It reduces
the chance that by creating a ‘solution’ in one part of the system that problems are simply transferred
somewhere else or that entirely new and unforeseen problems are being unintentionally created. It is of
little use to create an assessment tool focusing on only one point in the life cycle of products if the
solutions generated problems elsewhere in the rest of the supply chain.

SLCA Questions

There is an e-version of the SLCA questionnaire that has been created as an excel file. There is a set of
questions for each cell of the SLCA matrix. In total there are around 140 questions. The Questions deal
with both:

1. Current status with respect to sustainability principles; and

2. Actions to make progress

The questions are designed to be answered in a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ manner and are categorized 3 ways:


2) by system condition – to assess how products are unsustainable from a full systems perspective

3) by ‘current status’ and ‘progress’ – to provide a full measure of where we are today by recognizing

both sustainability impacts and activities already initiated to address them.

    1) by life cycle – to provide a life cycle view of product impacts

The bullet points listed below gives the big picture and summarizes the areas covered by the questions
for each life cycle stage, with examples from one company.

The questionnaire should be answered by a team that has knowledge across the lifecycle of their product
or service (e.g. marketing, logistics, production manager, supply manager, design). The length of time it
takes to complete the questionnaire depends on the depth of knowledge available on the day and the
amount of discussion that takes place. The questionnaire can be completed in one afternoon or
completed over a period of time by coming back to it with additional information that may change an

From the answers a colour-code is automatically allocated to each cell and this builds to reveal a
completed matrix showing where there are ‘red’ problem areas through to ‘green’ areas where they are
doing well (see below).

The Natural Step – Sustainability Life Cycle Analysis</h3>





Professional Services

Bright Energy Group – Energy Efficient Streetlights

  • Feb, 06 2010
  • Industry Sector:Professional Services



The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) estimates that demand for electricity in the U.S.
will grow by over 19 percent during the next decade. At the same time, however, currently committed
electric capacity is projected to grow by only six percent.

The imbalance between electricity supply and accelerating growth in electricity demand is quickly
reaching critical proportions both domestically and internationally. Issues of energy cost, environmental
impacts and system reliability are significant and broad, having the potential to dramatically impact the
international economy in a number of ways.

One opportunity to address the demand-side of this issue is to save electricity via technological
upgrades to municipal streetlighting. Electricity used for municipal streetlights accounts for up to 38
percent of electricity use in European cities annually. In suburban Fairfax County, Virginia, streetlights
account for 24 percent of general county electricity use (not including schools).

Streetlights are among a city’s most important assets, providing safe roads, inviting public areas, and
enhanced security in homes, businesses, and city centers. They’re usually very costly to operate,
however, and they use a lot of energy—almost 40 percent of a city’s electricity spending. Most
streetlight manufacturers haven’t leveraged technology to address these issues, but as the cost of
electricity continues to rise, it’s becoming crucial that they do so. Cities that create managed streetlight
networks can not only offer additional services but also save energy and reduce their maintenance
budgets, thus increasing their value as municipal assets.

The Costs of Operating a Streetlight Network

Besides the obvious cost of electricity costs, operating a streetlight network requires several other

• Buying new lamps to equip new areas and to replaced those that have failed

• Retrofitting old optics and lamps to make them more efficient

• Managing crews of streetlamp specialists and service trucks to identify lamp failures and
repair them onsite

Several key factors are increasing the streetlight network operating costs:

• The average lamp lifetime is 12,000 hours, or 3.5 years. Therefore, identifying failed lamps,
anticipating the end of a lamp’s lifecycle, and changing lamps is a significant part of the
streetlight operating budget. For example, a city of 100,000 people (which, using the formula of
1 streetlight for every 6 inhabitants, translates into about 16,700 streetlights) spends
approximately $100,000 per year simply buying new lamps (this doesn’t include installation

• Replacing lamps, and identifying and fixing other problems in the streetlight network require
manpower and tools. Depending on the country and contractor, the average maintenance cost
is estimated at $250 for a one-hour onsite operation, and budgets for night patrols to identify
lamp failures are high compared to the very low level of service that’s delivered.

• Worldwide, the price of electricity has increased drastically over the last five years. Analysts are
forecasting a continuous increase over the next 10 years.
The streetlight network is a city’s primary consumer of electricity, representing almost 40
percent of a city’s electricity spending (38 percent in France in 2000 – source: ADEME). The
annual electricity cost to illuminate a city of 100,000 people is more than $900,000 in most
countries. The number of streetlights, the wattage of the lamp and its ballast (average 140
watts), and the number of hours during which the lamp is burning (average 4,000 hours per year)
all contribute to the total cost.

Streetlights Cause Carbon Dioxide (CO²) Emissions and Light

Besides being costly, streetlights contribute to air pollution. The production of electricity needed to
power street lighting systems adds to carbon dioxide emissions (CO² is the principal “greenhouse gas”).
To estimate of electricity use and the associated CO² emissions for your city use the formula below.


Reducing the Energy Requirements of Streetlights

A number of companies have created applications to reduce the amount of electricity required by
streetlights and other outdoor lighting. Bright Energy Group is the first company to combine new high
efficiency, long lasting LED lighting with a Radio Frequency network that can manage each light

While energy savings is undoubtedly a key driver in the move to managed streetlighting systems and
energy efficient lamps, converting a streetlamp system to a managed one through the use of Bright
Energy Group’s StreetSmart Network Managed Streetlighting also has significant operational and
environmental benefits. Depending on what the incumbent lamp is, these benefits could even exceed
the energy benefits to a city.

The rich stream of data provided by the control system also enables the ability of cities to pinpoint lamp
failures or malfunctions leading to lower maintenance costs, higher levels of customer service, increased
safety, inventory reductions, and city beautification.

Other key benefits enabled by the control system include lowering light pollution from populated areas
and improved security (due primarily to lamp performance monitoring).

Bright Energy Group’s LED Streetlighting current projects have validated energy reduction utilizing LEDs
for specific roadway applications and have delivered other environmental and asset savings. Unlike the
HPS light source, the High Brightness LEDs provide significantly improved color-rendering characteristics
introducing the opportunity to reduce light levels in deference to vastly improved uniformity. Energy
savings of up to 80% over a traditional magnetic HID system can be realized while providing more
uniform, consistent light levels.

LED offers significant customer advantages including reduction of capital investment in replacement
parts inventories, reduced down time and service interruptions due to component failures, and
enhanced photometric performance providing uniform light levels while reducing glare and light

In 2009 Bright Energy Group, a leader in LED (light emitting diodes) solid-state lighting launched a
partnership program with cities across America to convert downtown streetlights to LED technology
cutting current electricity use by over 50 percent. This program includes flexible lease financing options
for cities and counties.

StreetSmart Managed Network StreetLighting

A city using StreetSmart Managed Network StreetLighting to remotely control and monitor streetlights
in the city will save energy by over 50 percent, improve roadway safety, and save money by minimizing
maintenance costs.

By replacing older, inefficient streetlamps with StreetSmart LED StreetLamps data from the streetlights
will be collected from controllers that will communicate with the city. Each StreetSmart SteetLight logs
and reports energy consumption, collect information from traffic and weather sensors, and calculate the
available light from using an internal clock. This data is used to automatically dim street lights based on
the season, local weather, and traffic density. Significant energy savings result from this highly efficient
method of controlling lighting.

This technology provides total control of the streetlighting system, will lower energy, operations, and
maintenance costs while ensuring proper roadway illumination required for public safety. As is the case
with all energy management systems that leverage a distributed control network, a city is able to
calculate a return on investment that includes energy and operational savings. In most cases, energy and
maintenance savings that will be achieved will pay for the new system within five to seven years.

Potentials for Reducing Electricity Consumption

It is possible to both conserve scarce municipal revenues and reduce CO2 emissions through more
efficient streetlight systems. What are the potentials for a city? For purposes of estimation, it will be
assumed that 50 percent can be saved annually in electricity use in Greater Washington based on other
cities’ experiences and the findings on new energy efficient lamps. For purposes of estimation, it is also
assumed that municipal electricity costs $0.09 cents per kWh and that each streetlight uses 490 kWh

Implementation Costs for a Monitored Network

A rough estimate of the costs of implementing a monitored intelligent streetlight network for 30,000
streetlights in a city would include:

Installation of new “StreetSmart” Managed Network StreetLamp in each streetlight. A StreetSmart Lamp
is a Networked LED Lamp that can communicate with the monitored system to send and receive
information and commands to and from the controller. StreetSmart LED Lamps are much more efficient
and longer lasting than Older HID or Gas Discharge Lamps that the EPA is phasing out. In most cases the
StreetSmart Lamps will last 15 years or longer.

Next installed are segment controllers. Segment controllers are electronic devices that manage
streetlight schedules, track failures, collect data from each light, and ensure communication from the
streetlights to the enterprise software system. For most systems there is one controller for every 500
streetlights. The maximum number of streetlight per controller is 1000 streetlights.

Once the StreetSmart Lamps, Controllers, and software are installed it is possible to control the
streetlights from a central command post at the local public utility office. This works via a wireless link
where each light is a node in the network. The public works office can therefore use one site to control
the timing of when all city streetlights are on or off (or streetlights in sections of the city or a
neighborhood) and can control the intensity of lighting depending on the time of day, on road
conditions, or on the natural lighting conditions at the moment.

Example Project Costs for US city

A city with 20,000 street lamps

20,000 StreetSmart LED Lamps @ $600 each = $12,000,000

20 Segment Controllers @ $600 each = $12,000

20 Segment Controllers Software @ $400 each = $8,000

20 Segment Controllers Installation @ $200 each = $4,000

Total Costs for 20,000 street lamp system = $12,024,000

A monitored streetlight system for a 20,000 lamp city will eliminate a minimum of 2,205 tons of CO2
annually with direct cost savings $400,000 in electricity. Additional savings are derived by extending the
life of existing lamps by approximately 500% as well as by eliminating the need to monitor streetlight
failures through patrolling and staffing call centers and the elimination of photo control caps which are
subject to frequent failure.

Bright Energy Group also provides access to lease financing options for those cities that qualify.





Professional Services

Day & Ross

  • Feb, 06 2010
  • Industry Sector:Professional Services


LEAN Reduces Carbon Footprint at Day & Ross

Is it possible to be a Green organization and still be profitable particularly in an industry that traditionally is not environmentally friendly? At Day & Ross General Freight, privately owned by the McCain family of McCain Foods Limited, we believe it is. As a member of the McCain Foods Group of Companies, Day & Ross is committed to sustainable growth, guided by our principles of integrity, safety, quality, and social and environmental responsibility. To us, that means continually working to enhance the quality of our products and services, and to preserve the quality of the environment wherever we operate. This includes minimizing our impact on the land, water and air we use. We regard compliance with the law as a minimum standard to be achieved. Our aim is to continuously improve our environmental performance by finding effective ways to reduce the adverse impacts of our business.

The challenge at Day & Ross was to implement practices that would drive productivity, improve our processes with a good ROI while reducing our impact on the environment. Day & Ross chose to embark on a Lean Journey in order to accomplish this.

Lean is a continuous improvement methodology and culture that strives for performance excellence through the involvement of all employees. Lean is a disciplined, data-driven approach for eliminating waste in all processes — from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service.

At Day & Ross Lean & Green is our strategy that will, on a foundational basis, alter the “DNA” of our company to become even more focused on sustainability and process improvement. We have also invested more in aligning our core strategies with the needs of our 3 most critical contingencies to our success as a business – Customers, Brokers and Employees.

Lean is the growth and development of our people into creative thinkers and problem solvers. Ensuring that 100% of our people are engaged, sharing ideas and coming up with the sustainability solutions we need today. Simple straight forward ideas to optimize the routes our vehicles take results in a more productive work environment and, a reduced impact on the natural environment.

Lean is the improvement of processes throughout the Day & Ross system and beyond. Using Lean/6 Sigma “tools” to improve all of our processes, we are reducing lead-time in all of our processes, from customer set-up, through delivery and administration. We are also working with a number of our customers to help improve their processes reducing their operating costs, which will help to reduce their carbon footprint as well.

With more than 10 million miles on North American highways every year, simply re-routing the trucks to eliminate non-value added stops or detours (a LEAN strategy) has had a significant impact on the amount of fuel used and the amount of idling by the drivers. Improved route optimization also increases the productivity of our drivers requiring fewer vehicles on the road to achieve the same end results. Load optimization is generating significant cost savings while improving service performance and reducing greenhouse emissions.

Through its LEAN & Green processes Day & Ross is also looking to “combine loads” within the entire Day & Ross Transportation Group to ensure that we do not have multiple trucks running the same lanes unless the trailers are full. This will cut down on the use of fuel and reduce emissions within the environment.

As part of the entire load optimization Lean process, Day & Ross have also recently introduced the LCV (Long Combination Vehicle). The LCV not only doubles up on our productivity using less equipment, but also reduces our carbon footprint from fuel, across Canada. This concept will benefit Day & Ross in the transportation world and give us a leading edge in servicing customers in an economical and environmental friendly way, with less emissions going into our atmosphere. The use of two 53’ trailers with only one power unit and the unit travelling at a maximum of 90km/h will also help to prolong the life of the tires. The amount of axles distributing the 62,500kg over 40m will create less stress on our roads, giving safer roads to travel on in the future with less maintenance required for upkeep. To remain competitive in today’s market this Kaizen “change for better” must take place.

Since the implementation of LCV’s within our network, we have already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 40%. Comparing the use of a standard single trailer moving the short distance from Winnipeg to Calgary with a Day & Ross LCV the savings is 1077kg of Green House Gas emissions. Multiply this out by the number of miles driven across the country each year and the savings are significant. The benefits of doubling up the trailers also translates into hard dollar savings for reduced fuel costs. Since introducing LCV’s across Canada, Day & Ross has already reduced its fuel costs by several million dollars.

In addition to introducing the LCV’s, which effectively takes 1 truck off the road for every two trailers, Day & Ross are expediting the purchase of new trucks equipped with the latest emission compliant engines. Of our company owned fleet approximately 1/3 are equipped with these state-of-the-environment engines.
Based on current numbers submitted to the SmartWayTM Transport Partnership program (Day & Ross is a SmartWayTM Transport Partner), the initiatives related to greenhouse gases that are currently in place at Day & Ross are saving more than 85,000 tons of CO2 emissions yearly.

Other eco-efficient initiatives that have been implemented within Day & Ross as part of our Lean & Green strategy include changing our lighting in terminals, reducing all of our costs in energy. Re-routing fork lifts within our terminals to create more efficient standard work processes (LEAN) while reducing emissions (Green) and improving the corporate health of our facilities.

At Day & Ross, our Lean & Green strategy has resulted in direct cost savings through the reduction of fuel and energy costs. We have improved service, increased our value add to our customers and an improved awareness of how we together, can positively reduce our carbon footprint in the world we live in today and in the future.

We are focused on developing leaders at all levels that are striving towards that relentless pursuit of excellence through waste elimination, and that includes our Environment. In order to better our environmental sustainability we need 100% engagement from each and every one of our people which is the core principal of Lean.
Lean organizations tend to conserve resources and are able to combine environment sustainability with enterprise-wide practical strategies with clear, measurable returns. The Lean Journey allows us to combine our pursuit for excellence in our business while benefiting the natural environment. Our focus on service, quality, cost and delivery, and the elimination of waste in these areas of our business provides added value to our customers.

With a Lean & Green strategy in place creating an environmentally sustainable workplace is no longer seen as an altruistic PR move. Employees in a Lean environment are given the tools, and freedom, to look for alternatives and suggest solutions they may not have previously. We cherish that “can-do” spirit.

Another LEAN Move Reduces  
Carbon Footprint at Day & Ross

The LCV (Long Combination Vehicle) has made its debut in New Brunswick. This 40m (120ft) unit consists of a power unit and TWO 53′ trailers joined by a dolly. The complete unit and its load can have a gross weight of 62,500kg. In New Brunswick the operator of a unit must attend a Professional Driver Improvement Course every 4 years, a day long course of theory on the fundamentals of LCVs, and a combined total of 4 hours OTR (over the road) training. This includes a thorough pre‐trip, enroute and post trip inspection to be certified. The operator must be re‐certified every year to operate LCVs in New Brunswick.


This concept will benefit Day and Ross in the transportation world and give us a leading edge in servicing customers in an econmical and environmental friendly way, with less emissions going into our atmosphere while hauling two 53’ trailers with only one power unit and the unit travelling at a maximum of 90km/h will prolong the life of the tires. The amount of axles distributing the 62,500kg over 40m will create less stress on our roads, giving safer roads to travel on in the future with less maintenance required for upkeep. To remain competitive in today’s market this Kaizen ”change for better” must take place.


The LCVs today within the Day & Ross system are travelling between Calgary AB and Edmonton AB, Montreal PQ and River Du Loup PQ, also Hartland NB and Salsibury NB just 10 miles west of Moncton NB. The transportation industry’s dream one day in Eastern Canada is to travel from Windsor ON to Halifax NS.


Day & Ross General Freight services every major Canadian city from British Columbia to Newfoundland.  The transportation operation, offering LTL and TL service for dry and temperature‐controlled goods, has 36 locations and more than 2,800 employees and owner‐operators across Canada.