Corporate Sustainability Programs and Services
What is this indicator?
This indicator highlights programs and services that enable employees to make sustainable business and personal decisions.
This protocol is applicable to all Regional vehicles and staff personal vehicles when conducting Regional business.
The Sustainability Office coordinates a recognition program to celebrate staff who demonstrates voluntary actions contributing to environmental sustainability. In 2011 and 2012, a tree is planted within the Grand River Watershed, in the name of each champion. Over 200 trees have been planted to date as part of this program at Snyder's Flat in Woolwich and Pioneer Tower in Kitchener.
Green purchasing guide
A Green Purchasing Guide has been developed to help staff make responsible purchase decisions when buying materials, equipment, and services. More details on the program, visit the Green Purchasing Practices progress indicator.
No bottled water policy
There is an internal No Bottled Water policy for catering of all internal events. Only exception are large volume refillable water jugs if necessary.
Online bulletin board
This board offers employees a venue to reuse (sell, buy, trade, give) materials to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
The Region's internal publishing service offers many options to help the Region reduce its environmental impact, by the following:
- 100% recycled paper (all business cards and letterheads printed on recycled stock)
- Practice in place to stress eco-certified vehicles used by couriers (e.g. anti-idling protocol to shut off vehicles and use cleaner fuels awarded greater points during tender process)
- Forest Stewardship Council Certification of Corporate Publishing is in progress
- Print Management Strategy Task Force reviewing current amount of printing, units of and numbers of things we print on (e.g. printers, personal printers) to develop a cost effective and efficiency improvement plan.
Staff at the Region regularly composts all organic waste in the Corporate Green Bin Program and recycles the following materials on a day-to-day basis:
- Paper, plastics, glass, aluminum
- Toner cartridges
- Electronic waste
- Compact fluorescent tubes and bulbs
- Oil and oil filters, scrap metal, batteries, and tires from fleet operations
- Renovations and construction waste from Regional facilities and roads
- Medical waste from EMS, public health clinics, and Sunnyside Retirement Home
- Office equipment, computers and appliances are required to be taken back by supplier for parts recycling when replacements are purchase
Visit the Waste Diversion from Regional Buildings progress indicator for more information.
An exciting service available to staff to make their sustainable commute to work easy and rewarding. For futher details, visit the TravelWise indicator. Services available to members include:
- Grand River Transit corporate pass: Discounted annual or seasonal transit passes.
- Emergency ride home: Members committed to carpooling, using transit, biking, or walking as way to get to work are eligible for an emergency ride home in the event of an unforeseen emergency.
- Online trip planning and ride matching: An online trip planning services helps employees easily compare travel options between walking, cycling, transit or carpooling. Employees can create carpool or cycling profiles to search within their own organization or connect with employees from other participating organizations across Waterloo Region for a map. Preferred parking for carpoolers are available at the Region's three administrative headquarters.
- Carshare membership: Since 2010, Community CarShare has offered a unique rental system to Regional employees. Members without an individual parking pass who commute sustainably to work can register to have access to a car at work for work-related purposes.
- Bike parking: Safe bicycle parking is important for cyclists. Exterior bike racks are available at most Region of Waterloo worksites. Medium security bike parking is provided at 99 Regina Street, 150 Frederick Street and 150 Main Street garages.
- Access to showers and change rooms: Members who ride a bicycle or walk to work are offered access to showers and change rooms at their worksite's Employee Centre to freshen up after their commute.
Food service provider for two of the Region's administrative buildings provides the following sustainable services:
- Washable/china dishes and metal utensils instead of disposables,
- Compostable takeout containers and cutlery,
- Source local foods when possible, and
- Organic waste collection for cafeteria staff, patrons, and portable compost bins available for catered events.
The Region's contracts with its housekeeping services dictate priority in using quality environmentally-sound cleaning products and equipment. All cleaning products to be used on Regional facilities must meet Canada's Environmental Choice Ecolabelling.
Winter maintenance contractors must be a Smart About Salt Certified Contracting Company. Smart About Salt is an accreditation program about using salt wisely to ensure winter safety and preserve our drinking water. While salt is important for safety and protects us from the dangers of snow and ice, excess salt that seeps into our groundwater and rivers can affect our water quality and damage our aquatic ecosystems. For more general information, visit the Reduction of Regional Salt Application indicator.
Design and construction
The Region possesses a culture influenced by the motivation to build greener facilities. Highlights include:
- Geothermal power, photovoltaic and solar hot water heaters installed on Regional facilities
- Water conservation initiatives such as installation of low-flow equipments, green roofs and rainwater recycling
- Heat recovery systems
- Lighting retrofits
- Achievement of LEED standards on several new Regional buildings.