Case Studies

Browse proven green business case studies from Canada by industry sector.

ShareGreen is open to everyone. Feel free to make comments on the case studies or submit one of your own. Submit a case study

[email protected]

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

Schneider Electric – Light Control

  • Feb, 06 2010
  • Industry Sector:Professional Services


Building automation, metering and lighting control system will help Earth Rangers attain LEED Platinum certification

Schneider Electric has donated a building automation, metering and lighting control system worth $375,000 to help Earth Rangers upgrade their building from a LEED Gold to a LEED Platinum certification, and make their facility energy – and carbon-neutral.


Through school shows, community events and on-line programs, Earth Rangers makes children aware of the impact that humans have on the environment, inspiring them with a lasting passion to build a green future. “The fact that our building is 80% below the national average energy usage of a standard building sets an outstanding example of the mindset we want to encourage in children”, says Peter Kendall, Executive Director, Earth Rangers. Indeed, green building design students and professionals from around the world visit the facility to study its energy-efficient design and operation. “But, if we want to set the standard for how to operate a truly energy efficient, ‘green’ building, it’s vitally important that we continue to reduce our facility’s energy usage.”

This is why Earth Rangers asked Schneider Electric to install TAC building automation hardware and software, power monitoring and energy management tools, and PowerLink/ Clipsal Lighting Controls.

“To upgrade our building from LEED gold to LEED platinum, we’re going to have to continue to reduce energy usage”, explains Mr. Kendall. “Schneider Electric’s building automation/energy management system will help us achieve this goal. It will give us a much better view of where energy is being used in our facility and the intelligence to help us optimize energy usage to the point where we are completely self-sustainable.”

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is a third-party certification program and an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. There are four levels of certification – certified, silver, gold and platinum.

The Schneider Electric building automation/energy management system will also enhance Earth Rangers’ worldwide attraction as a demonstration site for new and emerging environmental technologies. “What’s missing in the marketplace is a site where you can evaluate how a new technology interacts with existing building technologies to drive energy conservation”, explains Mr. Kendall. In addition to providing visibility to Earth Rangers’ building control and energy usage system, the Schneider Electric system will allow real-time, on-line monitoring of the building, creating a virtual center to expand the Earth Rangers’ visibility and learning opportunities.

“We are delighted to be able to help Earth Rangers achieve energy self-sufficiency”, says Leonce Fraser, Vice President, Schneider Electric Canada.

For more information contact:

Peter Kendall, Executive Director, Earth Rangers.

[email protected], 905 417-3447 X 3000

Nicolas St-Germain, P.Eng. Solution Engineering Director, Schneider Electric

[email protected], 905-678-5261





Professional Services


  • Feb, 06 2010
  • Industry Sector:Professional Services


In 2008, Arthur’s Fresh Company embarked on a journey to reduce the environmental impact of its processes, operations and packaging. As a vendor of fresh smoothies, Arthur’s challenge was to reduce the environmental impact of the activities that are integral to its operations: the sourcing of its raw materials, the manufacturing of the juices, and the logistics to get the product to market. Not content with only reducing the environmental impact of its operations, Arthur’s also took on the challenge of educating its consumers about the environmental issues it was addressing so that the consumers would bring a more informed perspective to all of their purchasing activities.


Arthur’s began the process by taking an estimate of its carbon footprint to determine the environmental impact of its business operations. Based on the findings, an environmental roadmap was created, outlining various projects to help the organization reduce its impact on the environment in five targeted areas.

Energy: One key area identified in Arthur’s roadmap to sustainability was energy. Conventional electricity generation is a leading industrial source of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas linked to climate change, as well as other emissions that contribute to poor air quality. To reduce the emissions footprint related to the electricity usage of its Canadian manufacturing facility, Arthur’s signed the facility on for green electricity with Bullfrog Power, Canada’s 100 per cent green electricity provider. Bullfrog’s electricity comes exclusively from wind and hydro facilities that have been certified as low impact by Environment Canada under its EcoLogoM program instead of from polluting sources like coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear. Bullfrog ensures that as much low-impact renewable electricity is injected into the electricity grid as the facility uses.

In addition to enabling Arthur’s to reduce its environmental impact, Bullfrog Power also provides the organization the opportunity to engage employees and customers in its efforts to run a greener business through Bullfrog’s suite of communications programs. By leveraging the programs, Arthur’s is able to demonstrate environmental leadership to external audiences and align its brand with other bullfrogpowered businesses that are leading the way in sustainability.

Transportation: Arthur’s investigated various ways to reduce the impact of the transportation required for inbound packaging and raw materials used in its smoothies and super juices. By shipping bottles in palletized layers, fewer trucks are now required for transportation. Another significant reduction in environmental impact was the use wherever possible of long-distance raw material transport via railcar rather than tractor trailer.

Packaging: To address the environmental impact of its packaging, Arthur’s moved from 1,000 L totes to bulk tankers when shipping the bulk juice used in its smoothies. In addition, Arthur’s smoothie bottles are now made from 100 per cent recyclable materials. The over-sleeve was removed completely on single-serve 325 mL smoothies. And, a new cap was designed, which is lighter and easier for the consumer to open.

Responsible sourcing: Wherever possible, Arthur’s sources Canadian-grown raw materials to reduce the food miles their smoothies must travel to get to Canadian consumers. For items such as bananas that cannot be purchased from Canadian growers, Arthur’s sources a portion of its requirements from Rainforest Alliance certified suppliers, an organization that works with farmers to ensure their practices are both environmentally and socially friendly.

Social responsibility: Arthur’s worked with Davis Design, a bullfrogpowered branding and graphic design firm that specializes in consumer packaging, to create packaging that both reflects Arthur’s new sustainability initiatives and educates consumers about environmental issues. In the fall of 2009, Arthur’s also partnered with Bullfrog Power on the Green Energy campaign, a contest that aimed to create awareness about healthy and sustainable living. Arthur’s sponsors teams and school trips for at-risk children and regularly donates smoothies to organizations such as Second Harvest, Canadian Food for Children and other charities.


The initiatives rolled out as a part of Arthur’s environmental roadmap have resulted in returns in several areas.

By bullfrogpowering its Canadian manufacturing facility, Arthur’s reduces its emissions footprint by the equivalent of 153 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 472 kg of sulphur dioxide and 195 kg of nitric oxide on an annual basis. Sulphur dioxide and nitric oxide are major contributors to smog. Through the partnership, Arthur’s is able to educate employees and customers about the work they are doing to provide a truly healthy product, and raise awareness about the environment. And, through the Green Energy campaign, more than 2,500 Canadians learned about simple and meaningful health and environmental choices.

Arthur’s is seeing results in other areas of its environmental roadmap initiatives. Reforming transportation and packaging processes has not only helped to reduce the impact of Arthur’s operations, but it is also proving to be cost effective. Arthur’s has increased transport efficiency by 20 per cent, resulting in 25 less tractor trailers on the road each year. The cost to ship its final product was reduced by 2.5 per cent. The move to bulk tankers has eliminated the need to package incoming bulk juice. Reducing packaging material weights by 10 per cent and moving to a 40 per cent lighter cap will reduce waste by 23,000 kg each year. Switching to railcar reduced costs enough to enable Arthur’s to continue to support farmers in Canada’s different regions without having to increase their per unit price. Overall, Arthur’s environmental roadmap will result in a payback period of only three years.


Professional Services

Busby Perkins + Will

  • Feb, 06 2010
  • Industry Sector:Professional Services


In the current state of the architectural industry, simply designing LEED®-rated projects is no longer unique, nor especially innovative. In 2001, when Busby Perkins+Will began applying LEED to its projects, we realized that wasn’t enough to make the significant environmental impact that we wanted. In 2004, we committed to making sustainability more than just a mission statement, but inherent in how we work and how we live. Combining the knowledge from the firm’s thought leaders with the passion of each member of our 1600-person staff, sustainable design has become the DNA of our corporate culture. Moreover, Busby Perkins+Will’s green leadership influences an ever expanding audience through our body of work that proves that sustainability can be a business driver that results in lower operating costs and increased employee and client satisfaction. More than just architecture, we also research, educate, and are heavily involved in the development of public and corporate policy and sustainability guidelines.


Busby Perkins+Will has accomplished this cultural shift by crafting three living handbooks that codified the firm’s goals and tactics: the Sustainable Design Initiative (SDI) Strategic Plan 2004 and 2007 and the Green Operations Plan. The SDI Plan is definitive and the results quantifiable, in addition to being flexible enough to apply to our variety of office sizes and locations that vary from 5 staff members to 250.

The SDI Plan, released in 2004, defined five core areas: Education and Training, Research, Leadership Projects, Administration, and Marketing. It identified the key personnel responsible for implementing various aspects of the plan, the relationships that exist between offices, interrelated firm initiatives, and an accounting of all LEED Accredited Professionals. For example, in 2004, with the rapid uptake of the LEED Rating System, we saw the tool as an efficient, measurable catalyst to implement sustainable design strategies firmwide. The firm recognized that this process had to be implemented with a “top-down” policy where all of management were required to attain LEED accreditation by the end of 2004 and all new professional architectural staff are required to attain accreditation within six months of employment. To ensure further implementation, each office creates a Green Team Leader, who organizes support groups, conducts weekend workshops and prepares training sessions to facilitate the education process.

The Green Operations Plan, introduced on Earth Day 2005, is a comprehensive guide to ensure that our facilities and day-to-day operations are environmentally responsible. We targeted Transportation, Water Use, Energy Use, Office Consumables and Indoor Air Quality as key areas in which to target improvement. We also added the additional mandate of Office Renovations and Construction. The next iteration of the SDI Plan, Broader Goals: SDI Plan 2007 – 2010, set a new design and operating paradigm and infuses all aspects of our work and operations. The four basic goals are: all projects should include fundamental strategies to meet the 2030 Challenge, exclude the use of toxic materials, reduce use of potable water and respect social and environmental stewardship; deliver holistic and integrated design services to our clients through inhouse expertise and external collaboration; achieve the most advanced sustainable design solutions available in the design and construction industry for our clients and communities; and reduce the negative impact of our operations on the environment by examining our tools, activities and partnerships and selecting options that align with our goal of establishing a sustainable future.

To further our corporate sustainability goals: in 2007 we became the first multi-office company to adopt the 2030 Challenge, pledging to design projects for carbon neutrality by the year 2030; in 2008, we publicly launched our 2030e2 tool to help designers establish 2030-compliant energy design goals for their projects; and in 2009 we officially launched our Precautionary List to highlight chemicals that have negative health issues, associate them with classes of building materials, and describe available alternatives in an effort to push the building industry to embrace healthier buildings.

We are currently undertaking our third SDI strategic planning session that will set a roadmap to design even deeper green and restorative buildings between 2010-2015. As part of this effort, we will also be updating our Green Operations Plan to reflect new best practices in business operations.


The successful implementation of measurable strategies over 22 offices has made us one of the primary industry leaders of sustainable design, in practice and in operations.

To date, Busby Perkins+Will has:

• Gone from zero to approximately 1,100 LEED APs since 2001 (more than any other design firm according to Building Design+Construction for the past three years)

• Completed 60 LEED Certified, 9 LEED Platinum and 30 LEED Gold projects and hundreds of LEED Registered projects. Of our LEED Platinum projects, we have:


- the first LEED Platinum Certified multi-family residential project in North America (Vento)

- highest Platinum Certified rating ever for LEED for Core and Shell (Dockside Inspiration)

- the first project in the world to achieve Stage Two LEED for Neighbourhood Development

certification (Dockside Green)

    - the highest-scoring LEED Platinum Certified project in the world (Dockside Synergy)

• Multiple LEED faculty and LEED subject matter experts for BD+C, ID+C, NC, CI and EB

• CaGBC Local Chapter Board representation and National Board and Committee representation

and USGBC National Board and Committee representation

• AIA and Committee on the Environment (COTE) Board and membership representation

• Three projects selected for participation in the Clinton Climate Initiative and USGBC’s “Climate

Positive Development Program”

• Two 2009 AIA COTE award winning projects

• 2008 and 2009 Practice Greenhealth “Champion for Change” Award

• 2008 CoreNet Sustainable Leadership Award for Sustainable Development

• Been recognized as a 2009 Canada’s Greenest Employer by Maclean’s magazine

• Contributors to the USGBC’s Playbook for Green Buildings and Neighborhoods and editors of the LEED for Healthcare Reference Guide

• Pledged to the 1% Solution through Public Architecture, which connects nonprofit organizations with design firms willing to donate 1% of their time annually, pro bono

• Authored two books focused on sustainable design: Busby: Learning Sustainable Design by Peter Busby and Sustainable Healthcare Architecture by Robin Guenther

Implementation of the Green Operations Plan has decreased our CO2 emissions by 600 tonnes in 2007 and 2008, and we are working towards that reduction every year. As a result, we have been a carbon neutral organization for operations through the purchase of offsets since 2007. We are the first office in British Columbia to implement real-time water metering and data; and we have implemented a firmwide recycle and reuse competition called Pass the Trash where the office that diverts the most waste wins.


Professional Services

Debrand Services

  • Feb, 06 2010
  • Industry Sector:Professional Services


Driving Force: Each and every day across Canada thousands of tons of solid waste are thrown into local landfills surrounding our cities. Disregarded plastic bottles, packaging and the like have found their way into our oceans, creating the world’s largest landfill in the middle of the Pacific, commonly known as the Great Pacific Garbage dump.
It is hard to deny the fact that the last century, the century of the consumer has had the most significant impact on the deterioration of our natural environment. The time has come for citizens, politicians and corporations to band together and change the way we make use of the world’s resources. It is time for accountability, creativity and resolution.

Key Issues:

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency trade shows and conventions have been called out as the second most wasteful industry only behind that of building construction. While not included in this study, the marketing industry can indirectly be linked to the tradeshow business as an obvious contributor to waste across North America. The very nature of marketing and its dependence on innovation, creativity and the emergence of new products make waste an inevitable byproduct. Corporations world-wide spend millions of dollars every week on the emergence of new marketing campaigns leaving a trail of litter in their wake. Despite global concern and awareness around environmental issues, corporations are not being held accountable for the responsible disposal of their marketing waste.


Canadian corporations, all levels of government, environmental protection agencies, citizens


Main Objective:

Reduce the environmental impact of the marketing industry (events, retail, commercial) by repurposing or recycling unwanted marketing property (i.e displays, fixtures, signage, and equipment) The removal of all identifying marks including logos, slogans, designs and treatments provide brand protection while also protecting the environment, avoiding “brand-fill” or a clearly recognizable layer in the landfill.


de-brand specializes in repurposing and recycling materials, thereby diverting them from the landfill and reducing waste. de-brand offers de-installation for on-site exhibits and events, material collection and hauling, removal of branding (identifying marks) and the responsible allocation of these components. As a pioneer of environmental disposal, de-brand provides the marketing industry with a necessary and responsible solution. This past summer de-brand worked with the 2009 World Police and Fire Games in Vancouver, BC Canada. de-brand provided front-end
environmental consultation specifically around material selection and production. The selection of materials and the choice of responsible production methods helped reduce the footprint of this large scale event. On the back-end de-brand collected a large assortment of event marketing materials including large branded signs, fence scrim, course tape, way finding signage among others. The de-brand team removed all identifying marks, shredded and recycled and or repurposed the materials. The corrugated plastic signage alone was allocated to a local plastic recycler saving over 2 tones of plastic from ending up in the landfill. The progressive and commendable strategy of engaging de-brand as a responsible partner, helped the 2009 World Police and Fire Games greatly reduce their impact on the local environment while also providing brand security.


Currently the greatest challenges facing the marketing industry and the environment lay with two main issues:

Corporate Accountability. At this stage corporations have never had to ask the question of what does happen after the event or campaign is over? What does happen to all the items they’ve created to launch a new product or initiative? Marketing will always demand new and creative avenues to attract consumer attention. The challenge given the current economic climate and the lack of accountability leaves environmental leadership a matter of convenience rather than responsibility. If the strategy to reduce waste and limit impact ends up costing the corporation money it is often abandoned. For now corporations are not being held accountable for the waste they produce and until there are consequences for these actions nothing will change.

Back-end infrastructure. The other main issue involves the lack of infrastructure to support the recycling and/or waste management industry. Each municipality hosts different capabilities to manage reusable materials. In some cases certain textiles, plastics and compostable items simply have no way of being effectively recycled or processed. Corporations and governments need to invest in technology and infrastructure to support this industry and help provide a more efficient and cost effective means of re-using materials rather than simply throwing them away.


In the case of the 2009 World Police and Fire Games over 90% of the materials collected from the event were recycled or repurposed, this would equal more than 3 tonnes of waste. This is just one example from thousands of similar events that happen every year in Canada. The idea of asking each of us to be held accountable for what we create in this world seems simple and perhaps even natural. By remaining responsible for something even after its value to us is gone makes us aware of the impact it can have on our environment. Corporations, governments and even individuals would likely produce more efficiently, waste less and greatly limit the impact on our fragile environment. de-brand is just one solution to a very large world problem that can no longer be overlooked. Corporations should be leaders in our communities and continue to affect change by making responsible choices for our world.