Our workplace is an energy-efficient Power Smart building. It boasts:
- highly efficient heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment, including a heat recovery wheel.
- a lighting system with completely energy-efficient fixtures and bulbs and a control system that sweeps the lights off throughout the facility in the evening when everyone is finished working.
- exterior lighting that is operated by a light sensor.
- an energy utilization rate of 1.02 GJ/M2, which is less than half the benchmark of 2.08, set by NRCan.
- an automated parking lot control system that cycles outlet power based on outdoor temperatures.
- a newer generation stand-by generator that meets Canada’s emission regulations, as well as the more stringent U.S. emission regulations.
- a secure, on-site bike cage to encourage staff to commute to work.
- signage to discourage vehicle idling.
- zero VOC paint.
We strive to be sustainable in our day-to-day functions.
Reduce: We have a company-wide initiative to reduce the amount of paper we use, distribute and accept. The number of printers, faxes and copiers has been reduced by 20 per cent over the last few years. We continue to see growth in our efforts and a reduction in paper usage throughout the organization, as well as from our members and service providers.
Current processes/standards include:
- direct deposit for claims and payroll.
- electronic claims submission for most benefits, eliminating the need for claim forms and paper statements.
- photocopy paper, printer paper and letterhead purchases that are Forest Stewardship Counsel (FSC) approved or Sustainable Forestry Initiative (FSI) certified.
- envelopes that are FSC approved and 30 per cent recycled, and envelope windows that are constructed from plant-based biodegradable materials.
- eco-friendly ink toners.
Reuse: All employees are given a Manitoba Blue Cross mug so there are no disposable cups at our coffee stations. There are filtered water coolers at every coffee station, eliminating the need for bottled water. Dinnerware, cutlery, serving utensils and cookware are provided for staff use to reduce the need for disposables.
Recycle: We have a full recycling program in place, including the proper disposal of hazardous waste, such as batteries, light bulbs, computers and other electronic equipment. Employees are encouraged to recycle with recycling bins conveniently located at every coffee station, lunchroom and most meeting rooms, with paper shredding bins at all copy stations.
We continue to monitor and improve the environmental footprint of our facility and operations. Plus, we take active measures to contribute to sustainability in our actions and activities. We participate in the annual Commuter Challenge and organize a yearly, company-wide clean-up of Omand’s Creek that runs by our office in Winnipeg.