Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Apr 30, 2018

GreenestNow in its 11th year, Canada’s Greenest Employers recognizes employers that lead the country in creating a culture of environmental awareness. Winning employers are evaluated using four main criteria: (1) unique environmental initiatives or programs they have developed; (2) whether they have been successful in reducing their own environmental footprint; (3) whether their employees are involved in these programs and contribute unique skills; and (4) whether their environmental initiatives have become linked to the employer's public identity, attracting new employees or customers.

Canada’s Greenest Employers is organized by the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. These employers have developed exceptional sustainability initiatives, and are attracting people to their organizations because of their environmental leadership.

These electrical industry members each earned a 2018 Canada’s Greenest Employers designation.

BC Hydro (5,262 full-time employees)

Initiatives include:

• bicycle parking, showers, drying racks and repair stations at the head office in Vancouver and the Burnaby office
• Bike Buddy Network (a mentoring program to connect new bike commuters with experienced cyclists)
• Power Smart Program, operating for over 25 years, that encourages commercial and residential customers to conserve energy
• carpool initiative, which includes preferred parking for carpoolers
• reimbursement program for employees who take transit to meetings Manitoba Hydro (5,980 full-time employees)

Hydro Ottawa (650 full-time employees)

Initiatives include:

• managing a unique student apprenticeship program that sees summer students make recommendations to senior staff on improving environmental sustainability. Past recommendations include establishing an employee “Green Team” and a mobile app that lets Hydro Ottawa customers pay their monthly bill online.

• introducing an LED streetlight conversion project with the City of Ottawa and reducing the number of printers and subsequent paper consumption through a printing rationalization program

• expanding a paperless e-billing initiative (over 25% of its customers)

• maintaining an program to green its fleet, from a policy to reduce idling to replacing vehicles with more efficient, cleaner alternatives such as electric and hybrid cars, hybrid pick-up trucks, a hybrid bucket truck and flex-fuel vehicles

• partnering with Carleton University to study electric grid capacity in support of the ever-increasing number of electric vehicles on the road

Manitoba Hydro (5,980 full-time employees)

Over 99% of the electricity the utility produces comes from self-renewing water power generated at 14 hydro-electric facilities along the Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and Nelson rivers. The provincial utility also added geothermal and wind power to its renewable portfolio, and impressively, has voluntarily reduced its own greenhouse gas emissions by 6% below 1990 levels

Manitoba Hydro supports a Green Commuting Options Committee (aptly named the CO2 committee) which established a “Cycle Buddies: program to pair seasoned bicycle commuters to those wishing to make the move to two-wheeled commuting.

Reliable Controls Corporation (123 full-time employees)

In keeping with its line of business, Reliable Controls Corporation's head office is a LEED Platinum certified building with many impressive green features, including a storm water management system that directs water to a series of vegetated bioswales and rain gardens, unique daylight harvesting controls to enhance lighting, and use of collected rainwater for toilet flushing.

Other initiatives include:

• paper use reduction strategies

• Bike to Work Week

In support of the annual Bike to Work Week, employees volunteer to host a bicycle repair clinic one week prior to the event and offer free diagnostics and tune-ups to help colleagues prepare for the week. The company also encourages non-cycling employees to participate with raffles and prizes for the top three riders who cycle the greatest distances.

Siemens Canada Limited (4,022 full-time employees)

Siemens Canada is part of Germany-based Siemens AG, which has a long history of embedding sustainability into its operations and working to influence other businesses to follow its lead -- the firm recently announced the global goal to be carbon-neutral by 2030 -- an approach nicely summarized by the company's founder, Werner von Siemens, "I will not sell the future for a short-term profit"

Siemens Canada’s head office features a number of energy saving initiatives including the installation of energy saving lighting (which resulted in a reduction of power consumption by 40%), the use of LED signage, and the installation of building automation controls and lighting sensors where possible. The head office received LEED Gold Certification for commercial interiors and all electricity consumed is offset through the Bullfrog Power program.

Other initiatives include supporting Earth Day, Earth Hour, Tree Canada (employees dedicated over 600 hours on Earth Day to plant 1,575 trees last year), Smart Commute, and Corporations for Community Connections, Inc., which donates refurbished laptops to non-profit organizations.

Veridian Corporation (209 full-time employees)

The newest addition to this electricity distributor’s head office building meets the LEED Silver certification standard. The company also maintains a 400 panel solar installation that occupies 45,000 square feet of the building's rooftop, generating enough power for approximately 20 average households.

Veridian engages employees by

• encouraging alternative transportation where possible, including participation in the online Smart Commute carpool (with reserved parking for carpoolers), a transit subsidy program, bicycle parking, and a head office bike lending program. Employees are also welcome to park and freely charge their electric car in the company's new solar-powered car port

• offering a head office bicycle lending program, a telework program (employees can work at home one to two days each week, and an interest-free loan program for purchasing energy-efficient appliances for their homes or energy efficient automobiles, electric bikes or scooters

“In the early years of the competition, environmental best practices were largely employee-led and community based,” says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project, which manages the Canada's Greenest Employers competition. “Today, the best employers are improving many of those early projects and have established formal initiatives and long-term commitments to help mitigate the harmful impacts of their operations. Besides being the right thing to do, they recognize that creating a culture of sustainability attracts people to their organizations, both as new employees and customers.”

Find out more about the project:


SaskatchewanThe Government of Saskatchewan is engaging the public to help ensure health and safety legislation meets the needs of employers and workers in the province. From August 16 to October 18, 2021 citizens can provide input on part III (occupational health and safety) of The Saskatchewan Employment Act.

"Our province has a plan for growth that includes ensuring we have safe and healthy workplaces" Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said. 


Read More


Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion



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