Energy and Carbon Efficiency
We work to reduce the energy use and carbon emissions associated with our activities, and collaborate with our group companies in their efforts to likewise reduce their impact. Finding ways to reduce energy consumption is essential to operating an efficient business. It enables the reduction of GHG emissions that contribute to climate change, while helping our businesses address the rising demand for, and cost of, energy.
The majority of our business activities are undertaken at our location in Montréal, Québec. Our limited energy and carbon footprint is mostly tied to administration services relating to business travel and the use of electricity and natural gas in our office buildings. Our energy and carbon efficiency strategy is mainly focused on reducing the energy consumption and emissions from our office buildings.
5% reduction in energy consumption and GHG emissions from the use of electricity and natural gas by 2015, using 2011 as a baseline.
8% reduction in energy consumption and GHG emissions from the use of electricity and natural gas by 2020, using 2011 as a baseline.1. Reference: 2016 CDP/Q.CC3.1a/Abs 1
2. Reference: 2016 CDP/Q.CC3.1a/Abs 3
7.2% reduction in 2015, using 2011 as a baseline.
Steps Taken to Achieve our Objectives
Our corporate head office, which represents 100% of our operational footprint, has been upgraded to the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Go Green Certification. We maintained our BOMA BESt® certification in 2015.
From an energy efficiency perspective, we have continued to invest in building project upgrades and retrofits that reduce our energy and carbon impacts. In 2015, we invested in five facility improvement measures, including a chiller and drive, controls optimization, lighting retrofits, ventilation systems, and capacitor bank. Once these upgrades and retrofits are completed, additional initiatives will be undertaken, including the development of a new energy management system, which will provide an effective means of tracking and thus better understanding energy usage and costs.
Highlights from our Group Companies
Great-West Lifeco has a strong commitment to minimizing its environmental impact. Since 2007, Great-West Lifeco’s Canadian operations have reduced their GHG emissions by 41.3% at their corporate buildings in Winnipeg, London, Toronto and Regina. Participating in the annual CDP Climate Change program for a fourth consecutive year, Great-West Lifeco has earned a position on CDP’s 2016 Climate A List, placing it in the top 10% of companies globally.
IGM Financial is committed to transparency and accountability on climate issues, which is reflected in the many initiatives underway. These initiatives contributed to a 72% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from 2014 to 2015. 2016 was the fourth year that IGM Financial has participated in the CDP survey, obtaining a score of A-.
GWL Realty Advisors is committed to improving the performance and sustainability of new and existing buildings within its managed portfolio. Between 2013 and 2015, the company achieved an 8.8% GHG reduction in its real estate managed portfolio. In 2015, BOMA Canada and BOMA Toronto awarded its managed properties with eight awards in recognition of excellence in multiple areas of property management. Among these was The Outstanding Building of the Year award, for one of its properties in Toronto.
In 2016, GWL Realty Advisors has achieved a “Green Star” ranking from the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) survey for a second consecutive year. GWL Realty Advisors improved its position from the top 15% of 707 global participants in 2015 to the top 10% of 759 global participants in 2016. The company also scored well above the global average and the average for its North American peer group in each of the assessed categories.
As part of their commitment to increasing their use of low-carbon, renewable energy and their objective of finding a sustainable way to heat Investors Group and Mackenzie Investments primary corporate offices with renewable natural gas, they made an agreement with Bullfrog Power, Canada's leading green energy provider. It is also worth noting that 94% of IGM Financial’s corporate office space is green-certified buildings.
High Efficiency Data Centre
IGM Financial and Great-West Lifeco’s state-of-the-art data processing facility in Winnipeg integrates industry best practices to limit its environmental footprint while maintaining stringent data security and availability requirements. The data centre has significant environmental features and high-efficiency systems that reduce power consumption and GHG emissions.
2015 saw the launch of Investors Group's Green Committee, an employee-led committee which aims to promote initiatives in four key areas: waste management and recycling, paper reduction, travel and commuting, and energy conservation. In its start-up year, the committee helped employees to get involved in Winnipeg's Earth Day clean-up and the city's annual Commuter Challenge, and launched an in-house Business Recycling Centre.
A Corporate Properties Sustainability Working Group was also established at Great-West Life to help direct sustainability initiatives with a particular focus on GHG reductions through various building retrofits at its multiple locations, but also best practices sharing and employee engagement events.