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Reducing Waste: A Technical and Behavioural Approach
Reducing Waste: A Technical and Behavioural Approach
Last Tuesday (November 27, 2018), the Regional Sustainability Initiative hosted an event at Borealis Grille & Bar entitled “Reducing Waste: A Technical and Behavioural Approach.” The sold-out event was a great success, featuring two speakers with first-hand experience in implementing waste reduction strategies in their organizations. Ben Dunbar, the Manager of Waste Operations at AET Group Inc., provided an overview of waste audits for industrial and commercial companies. Waste audits allow organizations to quantify and characterize the waste generation of their operations. Audits are usef ...
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Save on Energy: Energy Management in Organizations
Save on Energy: Energy Management in Organizations
On Tuesday, October 2nd, Save on Energy: Energy Management for Organizations was held at the Holiday Inn Kitchener-Waterloo Conference Centre. Featuring three knowledgeable guest speakers, this event gave professionals an opportunity to discuss the benefits of implementing energy management and energy efficiency projects in their own offices and workplaces. Greg Rushby, the founding principal of Rushby Energy Solutions Inc., was the first speaker. Greg offered a great introduction to the morning by outlining what energy management means for organizations. Energy management is a continuous, pro ...
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Township of Wilmot Featured in Case Study
Township of Wilmot Featured in Case Study
Having been a member of the Regional Sustainability Initiative since 2015, the Township of Wilmot has become the first township in Waterloo Region to set a public greenhouse gas reduction target. They are working towards reducing their emissions by 25% using 2012 as their baseline. Some of their projects are already showing successful savings in both cost and energy usage. Check out their case study to learn more ...
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Change Management and Sustainability
Change Management and Sustainability
On June 13th, professionals gathered at the Walper Hotel in Kitchener for a Change Management and Sustainability event, where change management practice, tools, and how to apply them were discussed. Matthew Day, Manager of SWR’s Regional Sustainability Initiative, opened the event with a brief overview of Regional Sustainability Initiative’s end-of-year member survey. The top three goals across all members were: reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reducing energy use, and increasing employee engagement. The goal of employee engagement stuck out because many members expressed a desire for ...
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Event Recap – It’s All About the Numbers
Event Recap – It’s All About the Numbers
On May 22nd 2018, Paul Rak (President and founder of Cambridge-based VeriForm Inc.) made the business case for implementing low-technology sustainability initiatives into everyday business operations. The event took place at Waterloo North Hydro and was attended by an assortment of professionals looking to learn how to optimize sustainability, efficiency, and cost-savings in their operations. Rak began by giving an overview of the company, when they started their journey towards sustainability, and the results the company has achieved since. VeriForm is a metal fabricating company which specia ...
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Evening of Recognition 2018 Recap
Evening of Recognition 2018 Recap
Thursday, April 12 was a big day for Sustainable Waterloo Region and the many program participants and volunteers who help make everything we do such a success. On April 12, we celebrated our 9th Evening of Recognition. The Turret at Wilfrid Laurier University was standing room only as sustainability leaders gathered to celebrate their successes and achievements, swap stories, and share learnings. That the event was held at Laurier was particularly meaningful; for 10 years, Wilfrid Laurier University has played a critical role in helping SWR and all Regional Sustainability Initiative members a ...
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10 ways our volunteers ROCK!
10 ways our volunteers ROCK!
Over the four years that I have been at Sustainable Waterloo Region, I have been repeatedly amazed and touched with the kinds of time and talent that are shared in this community to work together for the creation of a shared vision of the future. From students to community leadership, the volunteers at SWR are incredible. I could try to articulate all the things that people have done, but my memory is, as many of you have heard me say” like a steel sieve”, so I would rather share the top 10 ways that volunteers make all of us at SWR so very grateful. Professional expertise. Many of our volunt ...
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Volunteers Support Professional Development
Volunteers Support Professional Development
I’ve been a member of the SWR team for a long time, starting as a volunteer back in 2008. The volunteer structure at SWR is very close to my heart. Over the years, I’ve seen the power of this model and what it’s done for the organization, helping us to reach higher and do more, with limited financial resources. I’ve also seen the valuable and transferable work experience that volunteers have gained from being part of the SWR team. Recently, in the last year and a half, I’ve come to truly appreciate a new layer that’s been added to the model. To set the context, historically our Human Resources ...
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Recycle Your Tree!

We’ve seen the discussions about which is a more environmentally sustainable Christmas tree, artificial or real, but we wanted to find out exactly what happens to real trees when the holidays are over. We connected with Region of Waterloo Waste Management to find out what happens to our trees when they’ve reached the end of […]

Greener Gifting – In Closing

I had so much fun creating a gift-giving blog that highlighted amazing and committed local businesses. Being able to go to all of these places and talk to business owners was eye-opening, and I know it will help me make more conscious decisions when I’m shopping. I hope it was able to spark something in […]

Greener Gifting – The Working Centre

About On Tuesday, December 8th I attended a Waterloo Region Environment Network event and ran into Jane Snyder, who I recognized from a previous job. She asked about the work that I was doing, and when I told her about this blog series she told me about work she had done creating gift ideas for […]

Greener Gifting – Thrift On Kent

About If you’d like to approach holiday shopping with the intention of giving, charities and non-profits are a great way to do achieve this. At SWR, we had a gift exchange at our holiday party where we were told only to bring items that were either thrifted or that we already owned. I chose to […]

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Greener Gifting – Cocoon Apothecary

About After her dad and dog were both diagnosed with cancer in 1995, Jessica had an epiphany about something that we all know but don’t always pay attention to; there are chemicals in a lot of products we use that contain carcinogens. It was at this time that she started being more conscious of what […]

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Greener Gifting – Gifted

About When looking for holiday gifts, it’s a good sign to find a store named Gifted. Gifted is owned by a lovely woman named Sylvia, who found her passion for “gifty” items through a full time job where part of her job was to source these items. At some point her job changed and this […]

Greener Gifting – Seven Shores Urban Market and Cafe

About The first time I visited Seven Shores Market & Café was to get information to write this blog, but I can’t help but wish I visited sooner. I met with Steve, one of the café’s ten owners. As the café bustled, I could see Steve glancing around the room to make sure all of […]

Greener Gifting – Framing and Art Centre

I’m going to be honest about this blog – I have a long history with the Framing and Art Centre. My mom used to work there, an aunt used to work there, and another aunt currently works there. It’s even where my parents first met. I have known the owner for my whole life, and […]

Greener Gifting – Living Fresh

About When I walked into Living Fresh for the first time, the air was so fresh and clean, and it smelled so pure. It’s easy to find places that sell plants that will give you the same fresh air in your home, but it’s harder to find ones that show commitment to their community like […]

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Last December, I vividly remember walking into the SWR office (unit 430C in the Tannery building at the time) the morning after some sneaky ‘elves’ had decorated for the holidays. I remember I was getting in early on a Monday morning, in a now-familiar effort to get ahead of the week. I remember it was […]