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Office Sustainability

Office Group ShotAt Waterfront Toronto we strive to incorporate green practices into our own office operations and encourage employees to make choices to lower their environmental impact. The ultimate goal is to create a cultural shift towards sustainability and green living, not only in the neighbourhoods we are building, but also in our office, homes, and in the community. 

Tenancy in LEED Platinum Certified Office Building

Waterfront Toronto's office is located at WaterPark Place (20 Bay Street), which achieved LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EB: O&M) Gold certification in 2012. After just two years, the building was recertified as LEED Platinum in 2014. This upward recertification to Platinum is a first in North America for an existing building.

Waterfront Toronto participates in all sustainability initiatives available in the building. This includes taking an active role in the property's "Green Team", where we, along with other tenants and the property manager meet quarterly to discuss opportunities to improve our individual and collective sustainability performance. Waterfront Toronto has implemented several initiatives as a result of this collaboration.

For example, in 2011, the building replaced all fluorescent lighting fixtures with more energy efficient light bulbs and ballasts. To supplement this effort, Waterfront Toronto replaced the majority of the halogen pot lights in our unit with 140 LED lights. This replacement has saved a significant amount of electricity since being installed. 

Waterfront Toronto also revised the zones for lighting to ensure that a greater proportion of office lights are automatically turned off at 6:00pm, when most employees have left the office.

Sustainable Procurement Practices 

Waterfront Toronto strives to purchase sustainable office products, whenever possible. For example we use 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper, purchase furniture with recycled content, buy compostable pens and other sustainable office supplies, and recently switched to green cleaning products. Our office manager works collaboratively and meets regularly with our Environment and Innovation group to examine how we can continually improve our purchasing practices.

Waste Reduction 

Waterfront Toronto actively participates in our building's recycling and resource reduction programs. Our office has blue bins for recyclables, green bins for organics, a battery collection program, and most recently a recycling program for used pens and markers that are donated to TerraCycle for upcycling.

office sustainability

In addition to regular paper recycling, Waterfront Toronto also participates in the Shred-itTM shredding and recycling program. After confidential documents are securely destroyed, they are recycled into new paper products, which helps save valuable natural resources. According to Shred-itTM, Waterfront Toronto saved 159 trees from destruction in 2014 through participating in this program.

All office printers are defaulted to print double-sided to reduce paper consumption and staff are encouraged to reduce their paper use wherever possible. Waterfront Toronto encourages employees to recycle electronic waste, including batteries, and our property manager assists with proper disposal. When privacy and data security will not be impacted, we also donate used IT equipment to the Yonge Street Mission, a non-profit charity that provides emergency help and fosters long-term change in the lives of individuals and families living in poverty in Toronto.

Transportation 

Waterfront Toronto encourages staff to walk, cycle or take public transportation, rather than taxis, when attending meetings in close proximity to our office. The corporation provides TTC tokens and access to an existing shower and change room at our office, which has contributed to a rise in the number of staff who choose sustainable modes of transportation. 

Awareness Campaigns 

We run a variety of awareness campaigns throughout the year to educate staff on green living. This is accomplished through quizzes, videos, and contests. For example, in 2012, we conducted a "power down challenge" where we addressed workspace plug load energy use by holding after-hours inspections of workstations to see if computers and other electronic devices were turned off for the night. We also turned down the heat in the office by 1 degree to reduce energy consumption, and encouraged staff to bundle up for an "ugly holiday sweater contest".

In 2014, we competed in an energy reduction competition with another tenant in our building. Our staff collectively achieved a 1.8% reduction in electricity use during the week of July 14 - 20. We also held a "Gear Up and Power Down for the Olympics" campaign, which allowed staff to watch the Olympics at lunch, as long as they generated the electricity necessary to power the computer monitor through a stationary bike and generator.

Several events are also planned around seasons and key holidays where we can support a change in behaviour for staff at home and at work. For example, in December 2014, we held a Green Holiday Initiative where we asked staff to submit green holiday ideas that were compiled into a list to implement over the holiday season. Some of the ideas included sending E-cards, giving services or donations instead of goods as gifts, and making recycled ornaments. These initiatives are successful in drawing attention to important environmental issues in a fun and engaging way.