Page 27

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. For this project, our team worked in partnership with an engineer, a local developer, Ontario Works, and the local Batchewana First Nation people. We supported a program that recycled 26.8 tons of metal and diverted 43 tons of material from landfill, while providing an intensive, skills and employment program that has established a socio-economic value chain in the community. Thinking about capital projects in the context of local community socio-economic systems has enabled energy savings, greenhouse gas reduction, job creation, and meaningful employment that support the circular economy and eco-efficiency. Second, The Water Resource Centre for the District of Sechelt in British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast is another project of which we are very proud. It’s a world-class, $23-million water treatment centre that will meet the community’s needs for the next 20 years. It creates a closed-loop system for the community’s water use. The facility features a greenhouse that uses organic processes to filter waste products, creating a self-regulating ecosystem of plants, animals, bacteria, and other organisms. Beyond being noiseless, odorless, and meeting the highest provincial standards for water quality, energy efficiency, and resource recovery, the facility implements a water and watershed management approach that integrates both built and natural assets. The LEED® Gold facility, delivered using a design-build procurement methodology, was the largest infrastructure project in the District’s history. The project has earned numerous awards, including the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Sustainable Communities Award for Water Projects. Lastly, since 2012, we’ve been working with Public Services and Procurement Canada to create a ‘made in Canada’ energy solution for the National Capital Area in Ottawa. We are helping them transition from a high-pressure steam to a low-temperature hot water district energy solution. This aligns with a major Government of Canada building upgrades and conversions initiative taking place in the Parliamentary Precinct. A systems approach that encompasses this transition in central heating-cooling plants, as well as the buildings they serve, will achieve significant greenhouse gas and energy reductions. What are the benefits for your clients in incorporating sustainability into a project? I hate to say it, but “it depends”. Every project is different. Sustainable infrastructure, vertical or horizontal, is more resilient and adaptive to climate change. For office relocations or renovations, the benefits are footprint reduction, reduced operating costs per square foot, energy savings, and user well-being and comfort. Some short-term benefits can include energy efficiency, reduced operating costs, greenhouse gas reductions, and reduced environmental footprint. Long-term benefits interest clients who plan to own and operate their assets for 30, 50, or even 70 years. In this case, we help these clients to “future proof” or secure the investment they made in their assets – by ensuring the assets are more resilient, adaptable, and less susceptible to climate change risks. How have you incorporated sustainability into your own practice? In 2011, we made the decision to integrate sustainability practices into our professional practice processes. From planning and initiation through commissioning and operation, we do this in three main ways: • Get It Ready – Our advisors help determine a client’s functional needs for today and the future. In doing so, we optimize resources, create a project that is resilient to a changing climate, and prepare it

for a low-carbon economy. We can also determine whether a client should sustain, renovate, rebuild, lease, or build new and integrate sustainability and social return on investment considerations into feasibility studies, business cases, and accommodation strategies. • Set a Vision – During the project initiation and planning stages of a project, our team establishes environmental and social sustainability objectives and goals for the project owner, key partners, and stakeholders. We also guide clients through the decision-making process for green building/infrastructure certification, and help them understand the value proposition, risks, and benefits. • Get It Built – When we procure consultant and contractor services, our team of experts integrate sustainability environmental practices and compliance criteria into our selection process. When we act as contract administrators, we also apply consultant and contractor holdbacks for green building/infrastructure certification. We are responsible for advocating on behalf of our clients and advising them on sustainability options throughout the project lifecycle. Our professional practices will evolve along with our role as a professional services firm and advocate for sustainability. How does your work help to create vibrant communities? We believe the key to creating vibrant communities is to listen to user and community needs, and integrate their views into the planning and design phases of a project. This leads to better planning and design decision-making, and community-enhancing solutions. For example, we worked with the City of Iqaluit in Nunavut to plan, build, and deliver a multi-use aquatic centre in the downtown core. Iqaluit has a young demographic; in fact, half of its residents are under 30. The City’s recreational facilities were inadequate and could not meet the needs of its young and growing population. City Council wished to provide a place for residents to gather, strengthening Iqaluit’s sense of community and fostering economic and social benefits for all Nunavut’s residents. Our team of experts recommended recreational programming to the City that dealt directly with its needs, as well as those of Iqaluit residents and the territory. What contribution do you envisage Colliers Project Leaders making to a sustainable future? At Colliers Project Leaders, we are a key leader in getting our clients’ projects ready, built, and performing. We must continue to ask ourselves: At what points in our service delivery can we push a client’s project towards creating a sustainable future, towards net zero, and towards a climate that is still 50 years in the future? We envision ourselves creating a future where buildings and infrastructure are part of a circular flow of resources and materials that help regenerate our planet. Businesses and governments alike know that sustaining our current path is no longer an option. We see our company leading the charge by challenging our clients and ourselves to ask the tough questions. Only then can we help create innovative project solutions to usher in a prosperous, low-carbon future that leads to resilient communities. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

| 25

Sustainable Business Magazine 01/17  

Sustainable Business Magazine

Advertisement