City of Ottawa earns national recognition as top green employer
Ottawa – A national competition has recognized the City of Ottawa as being among Canada’s Greenest Employers based on an evaluation of its workplace environmental programs, according to a special feature published in today’s Globe and Mail.
“The City strives to be a sustainable workplace and this Council has made environmental stewardship an important priority," said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “This distinction recognizes our commitment to preserving the environment in which we live and confirms the City as a leader in making its workplace environmentally-friendly.”
“We are committed to protecting the environment and reducing its carbon footprint wherever possible," said Environment Committee Chair, Councillor Maria McRae. "In the last few years, we have committed to updating our Environmental Strategy, and have rolled out several initiatives aimed at reducing our energy consumption, preserving our natural waterways and protecting our natural resources.”
Among the initiatives that earned the City of Ottawa the recognition were:
- a responsible waterfront steward that has been implementing the City’s "Ottawa River Action Plan", consisting of 17 projects focused on reducing combined sewage overflows, reducing storm water impacts and improving wastewater treatment;
- the City’s "Energy Reduction Program", which has helped the City reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by over 13,000 tonnes through a variety of energy-efficient upgrades, including lighting conversions, new building automation systems, and the installation of high efficiency boilers, furnaces and chillers;
- the recent conversion of over 20 per cent of the City’s 1070 traffic signals to energy-saving LED lighting, with additional conversions ongoing, and guarantee that all new and rebuilt intersections are equipped with LED lighting technology; and
- the implementation of a "Green Building Policy for the Construction of Corporate Buildings" which requires all new municipal buildings over 500 square metres to be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) "Certified" standard.
Employers who applied for the 2012 Canada’s Top 100 Employers competition were also considered for the environmental category of the competition. The City of Ottawa has the distinction of ranking among Canada’s Top 100 Employers 2012, one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers 2012, as well as being named one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers, a recognition that was announced in February. These competitions are held annually by Mediacorp Canada Inc., the nation's largest publisher of specialty employment periodicals and guides.