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Spring Cleaning: Learn how to practice sustainable outdoor maintenance
Spring Cleaning: Learn how to practice sustainable outdoor maintenance
Last month, the Regional Sustainability Initiative hosted a Spring Cleaning event at Proof Kitchen + Lounge. Attendees at the event came to learn about how to practice sustainable outdoor maintenance for their commercial properties. The first speaker was Bala Gnanam, the Vice President of Energy, Environment & Strategic Partnerships at BOMA (Building Owners & Managers Association) Toronto. BOMA Toronto promotes best practices within the real estate industry through the use of the BOMA BEST program, Canada’s largest environmental assessment and certification program for existing buildin ...
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Faces of SWR: Patrick Kelly
Faces of SWR: Patrick Kelly
Patrick is a volunteer on the finance team at SWR. He sets direction for the organization’s financial processes and activities alongside management and board members. From the moment we first met Patrick we were inspired by his strong passion for sustainability and the amazing technical knowledge that he brings to our team. We admire and appreciate his great sense of humour. Patrick has taken on the challenge of contributing key financial decisions, best practice setting, monthly reporting, budgeting, annual financial audits, and infusion of financial knowledge across the SWR staff team. We wo ...
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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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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 […]

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Sustainable Waterloo Region’s 4th Annual Photo Contest

Sustainable Waterloo Region’s 3rd Annual Photo Contest sparked community action throughout the Waterloo Region in 2011. Photos were taken of solar roofs, tree planting, and even a local office wearing sweaters because they turned down their heat, among other submissions! Photos and stories submitted were used to enhance our 2011 Report and inspired environmental awareness […]

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5 Lessons for Building a Sustainable Culture

On October 4th, Sustainable Waterloo Region held their first educational forum of the 2012/2013 Regional Carbon Initiative event season surrounding the business case for “Building a Sustainable Culture”. Two speakers motivated Wilfrid Laurier’s packed Paul Martin Hall full of business leaders and sustainability enthusiasts in the area. Anthea Rowe from the Network for Business Sustainability […]

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A Delicate Balance

A few weeks ago I was on the phone with an SWR team member, and we were just ending a somewhat emotional conversation. Before we hung up, this team member reminded me, provocatively and with exasperation: “Mike, you need to let me and my team make mistakes, so that we can learn from them ourselves.” […]

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Number of local organizations working to reduce carbon emissions reaches a new high

University of Waterloo and Grand River Hospital join Sustainable Waterloo Region’s Regional Carbon Initiative, bringing the number of member organizations to 50 (Waterloo Region, ON) October 2, 2012 –The University of Waterloo and Grand River Hospital have signed on as Observing Organizations in Sustainable Waterloo Region’s Regional Carbon Initiative (RCI), bringing the number of local […]

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The Best of Both Worlds

At Sustainable Waterloo Region, we’re celebrating a milestone – we have recently welcomed our 50th member organization to the Regional Carbon Initiative. These new members demonstrate that the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is registering as a priority in many leading institutions within our community. In the past six weeks,organizations such as Stantec and Grand […]

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After Peer Review

A couple of months ago, some friends and I stuffed ourselves into a cargo van (donated to us by the Biology Department at the University of Waterloo) to support something very important to us.  SCIENCE!  The Death of Evidence march/rally was organized in response to recent changes to environmental assessments in Canada (which will focus […]

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Congratulations, Catherine Fife!

I am happy to have the honour, on behalf of Sustainable Waterloo Region, of congratulating Catherine Fife on becoming the elected representative for the residents of the Kitchener-Waterloo riding. Ms. Fife was sworn in this morning as a Member of Provincial Parliament, joining other provincial and federal leaders in Waterloo Region including: Federally Harold Albrecht […]

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Coming Home

It was August 2010 when I left the Events Manager staff position at Sustainable Waterloo Region. Having volunteered and worked here since the organization’s start, it was truly heartbreaking to leave, but I had my mind set on entering the world of teaching. For that reason, September saw me start at the WLU Faculty of […]

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Kitchener-Waterloo By-Election – Candidate Response: Tracey Weiler, Ontario PC Party

In the lead-up to last fall’s general election in Ontario, Sustainable Waterloo Region partnered to create a non-partisan expert review of the energy policies of leading political parties, entitledOntario’s Energy Future: A Climate Change Perspective, with the goal of informing the debate surrounding the province’s energy and climate future. Now, one year later, residents of the […]

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