2010 Rs of Excellence Award Winners

2010 Corporate Leadership Award: Shaw Conference Centre

The Shaw Conference Centre (SCC) has been working to become a leader in environmental and social corporate responsibility. In 2008, they introduced Simple Steps – a program designed to create a sustainable culture within the building.

  • In 2009, the SCC diverted 110 tonnes of organic waste through its composting program (50% of daily waste).
  • 40,000 lbs of cardboard recycled annually.
  • Expanded recycling program to include cardboard, batteries, used building supplies and all acceptable plastic products.
  • The ECO Report Card, a self-monitoring assessment tool for clients, is the first of its kind among the event services industry. It provides information on pre- to post-event practices, hotel practices, delegate behaviours and a waste diversion rate.
  • We created the Sustainable Event Planning Guide to assist clients in starting the ‘greening’ process. This guide is a comprehensive document that gets event planners thinking about the environmental and social impacts of their event.
  • The SCC launched a formal food recovery program in partnership with the Edmonton Food Bank, which donates unused, leftover nutritious foods from our many events to people in need.

2010 Institutional Leadership Award: Calgary Board of Education

The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) feel that it is paramount to set an example with students and help them form sustainable behaviours early on in life, which is why they have taken action for not only reducing waste, but becoming better environmental stewards.

In 2007, the EcoTeam devised a five year implementation plan of all the environmental initiatives they wished to accomplish; one of which was hiring a Waste & Recycling Coordinator to aid in the aggressive goal of reducing the CBE’s waste destined for the landfill by 50% by 2012. This framework was the basis for all new programs and aimed to increase environmental literacy and stewardship within the organization.

A waste audit was conducted to determine a baseline and reduction plan. Recycling includes paper, electronics, metal, batteries, books, tires, aggregates, and toner cartridges.
Through these programs, the CBE has reduced its waste by 168 cubic yards per month, or 2016 cubic yards every year!

A new co-mingled recycling program (similar to the City of Calgary residential Blue Cart program) is being offered to schools. The next challenge the CBE is tackling is the issue of organic waste; starting in the fall of 2010, two schools will be piloting an organics collection program.

The programs are all led by the EcoTeam at the CBE, not just by words but through their example as well. The office has its own vermicomposter, in addition to recycling bins. All members work as a team; while the Waste & Recycling co-ordinator implements the mechanics and processes, the Curriculum consultant works on connections to the classroom.

2010 Zero Waste Event Award: University of Alberta, President’s Staff Appreciation Picnic

The President’s Staff Appreciation Picnic is an annual event organized to recognize contributions made by support staff at the University of Alberta. The picnic is extremely popular and each year over 3500 people join in the celebration.

In 2009, event organizers worked with several departments across campus to deploy an array of sustainability strategies, which led to the event becoming waste-free and carbon neutral. Over 1.2 tonnes of waste was diverted from disposal, and event organizers seized the opportunity to provide education about the importance of recycling and composting on campus to thousands of University staff.

Strategies employed included:

  • Eliminating paper tickets
  • Sending invitations to all staff by email.
  • Using 100 per cent biodegradable utensils, plates and cups that were collected for composting after use.
  • Eliminating the use of bottled water.
  • Instead of using the caterer’s normal heavy duty vans, Building and Grounds Services staff helped the caterers transport the food from their kitchen on campus to the venue via light-weight electric carts used in the University’s groundskeeping.
  • Electricity used on-site by the DJ and caterers was offset by Bullfrog Power.

A decision was made to forgo a stage with a microphone system to conserve energy. One tonne of gold standard carbon offsets was purchased to cover any remaining non-electricity emission sources. The University hopes to build off the success of this project by implementing a framework for green event planning across campus. The Office of Sustainability is currently developing an information package for groups, Faculties, and Departments across campus on how to plan and carry out sustainable events.

2010 Municipal Leadership Award: City of Lethbridge, Facility Services – Environmental Deconstruction Initiative

Aligning with City of Lethbridge environmental interests, for the past three to four years, Facility Services has taken a responsible attitude to mitigate the impact on the environment when a City facility or building has reached the end of its useful lifecycle and must be removed. ‘Deconstruction’ is the selective dismantlement of building components, specifically for reuse, recycling, and waste management. It differs from demolition where a site is cleared of its building by the most expedient means.

Facility Services has adopted a process known as ‘waste streaming’ in which the various building elements are assessed and identified prior to deconstruction so they can be diverted accordingly.

Some of the deconstruction projects performed by the City of Lethbridge, Facility Services include:

  • Bridge Inn Hotel (55.4% waste diverted)
  • Village Inn Motel (90% waste diverted)
  • Auto Appearance Center Warehouse (95% waste diverted)
  • Multi-Facility Deconstruction Project (92% waste diverted)

In adopting deconstruction as a responsible means of building disposal, to date Facility Services has successfully diverted 4,674 tonnes of C&D (or the equivalent volume of 34 houses) from entering local landfills, in turn resulting in only 625 tonnes being landfilled.