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Claire Hayek: Going Green at the Office

Project Director, Environment, Canada

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORK IN SUSTAINABILITY AT THE CORPORATION’S HEADQUARTERS IN MONTREAL

My involvement has primarily been as the leader of the “Go to Green” (“Vers le Vert”) initiative launched by the Montreal employee sustainability committee about three years ago. The goal is to create sustainable practices in our daily office operations.

This includes reducing our carbon footprint by diminishing waste and promoting sustainable commuting practices. We also focus on knowledge-sharing conferences and awards to recognize employees for their efforts to integrate sustainability at the workplace.

 

WHAT ACCOMPLISHMENT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

I would have to say the drastic transformation of our kitchens and conference rooms (on a total of nine floors) as well as our cafeteria. We eliminated all Styrofoam cups, coffee sticks, paper towels, milk/cream capsules and changed the type of sponge and liquid soap we use. We then replaced these items with sustainable materials such as mugs, dish towels, reusable utensils and compostable sponges. This required buy-in at all levels of the organization.

WHAT ARE THE RECENT HIGHLIGHTS OF THE “GO TO GREEN” PROGRAM?

Recently our Montreal head office qualified for “level 3 – Performance” of RECYC-QUEBEC’s “ICI On Recycle” program (“Here, we recycle”). This is the highest level of this program, which aims to encourage responsible behaviour within organizations through the reduction, reuse, recovery and recycling of containers, packaging, materials or products, and the promotion of resource conservation.

This qualification is a result of a week-long audit carried out by waste management students from the University of Sherbrooke, Quebec. The results came with recommendations to further enhance our recycling efforts, as well as tools and suggestions to help employees achieve this.