Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Apr. 22 2015, 5:00 AM EDT
Last updated Friday, Apr. 17 2015, 5:05 PM EDT

How do I green? Let me count the ways.

Reasons for Selection

The winners of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2015 show amazing diversity in how they make their businesses green. As environmental leaders, they’ve put their strategy into action through multiple initiatives, both formal and informal, both corporate and employee-led. For many organizations, building sustainability isn’t a trendy thing to do, but has evolved to become a part of how they operate, notes Richard Yerema, managing editor of Mediacorp Canada. These are employers who are committed for the longer term, simply becoming the way they’re going to operate in the 21st century.

The variety of their Earth-friendly ideas is inspiring. Programs include aggressive waste diversion, effectively demonstrated by athletic apparel manufacturer Arc’teryx Equipment Inc., which recycles more than 90 per cent of its waste, including donating leftover fabric rolls to local design classes. There are energy-saving initiatives such as the solar-powered signage at LoyaltyOne Inc.’s LEED Gold certified call centre in Mississauga. Carbon-reduction ideas can be as practical as car-pool websites, virtual meetings, bike buddies to encourage riding or installing electric car charging stations for public use, as the Town of Ladysmith, B.C., recently did. Many extend their influence into the community as well, such as Aramark Canada Ltd.’s national farm tour field research initiative, which arranges for chefs to visit local farms and producer partners to learn more about local food procurement.

While the focus of individual employers may differ somewhat, depending on their industry, all have been inspired to create a culture of environmental awareness, making their workplace – and the planet – a little better. In the end, it’s good for their bottom line as well as their ability to attract and retain top talent.

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