Workplaces

  How our workplaces operate can make a big difference. Together the industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI),  sector make up 32% of Waterloo Region’s greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint. These initiatives are underway to make change in our organizations.

Expand All

A circle of a vertical garden

Sustainable Waterloo Region Arc

Centre for Sustainability Excellence
  • Sustainable Waterloo Region is working on the development of an unprecedented and iconic building to be constructed in Waterloo Region – a Centre for Sustainability Excellence. This multi-tenant building will be both leading edge in its sustainable technology, as well as architecturally and philosophically unique.
  • This Centre for Sustainability Excellence aims to be to be net-positive, meaning that it will strive to:
    • Generate more energy than it uses;
    • Clean the air as it flows through the building;
    • Send no waste to landfill;
    • Harvest all water for use and clean all wastewater on site.
  • To achieve these goals and continuous improvements, a progressive management model will be implemented that encourages a culture of sustainability, occupant well-being, and belonging, where tenants and the public alike come together to create a leading-edge example of Waterloo Region’s collective potential.

Centre for Sustainability Excellence

 

 

A circle of Cambridge City Hall

City of Cambridge

City of Cambridge Corporate GHG Reduction Initiatives
  • The City of Cambridge GHG/Energy Management Plan features a 6% emissions reduction target (under 2009 baseline) by 2019 (1,400 tonnes).
  • Eleven Energy and GHG reduction categories with over 200 initiatives were identified to complete by 2019 in a plan approved by Council in November 2013.
  • Additional projects, not originally identified in the GHG/EMP but through implementation plans (such as facility condition assessments), have either been completed in the interim or are currently being considered.
  • Cambridge reports its energy consumption annually and publicly in compliance with the Green Energy Act and is also engaged in completing Milestone 4 of the Partners in Climate Protection program.
  • The corporate reduction plan is also part of the wider community GHG reduction plan (ClimateAction WR).
  • Cambridge was on track from 2009-2014 in meeting the emissions reduction targets; however, items not captured in the original 2009 inventory (Dunfield Theatre, fire truck) came to light in 2015 as well as the addition of a large recreation complex to the capital budget (to be completed before 2019) – these pose significant challenges to meeting the target and options and further projects are being examined to offset the increases that these three items bring to Cambridge’s carbon footprint.

City of Cambridge Corporate GHG Reduction Initiatives

 

 

a circle of a bikerack in front of Kitchener City Hall

City of Kitchener

City of Kitchener Corporate GHG Reduction Initiatives
  • In 2016, the City of Kitchener intends to proceed with the preparation of an Integrated Climate Action Plan to assess and recommend actions for both corporate mitigation measures and adaption strategies.

City of Kitchener Corporate GHG Reduction Initiatives

 

 

A circle of Waterloo City Hall

City of Waterloo logo

City of Waterloo Corporate GHG Reduction Initiatives
  • The City of Waterloo is currently working on Milestone 4 within the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) Program through their Corporate Energy and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Conservation & Demand Management Plan
  • In 2011, the City’s operations emitted a total of 8,112 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (t CO2e). In 2012 the footprint dropped to 7,798 t CO2e. The 2013 and 2014 inventory will be released shortly.
  • The City's plan is pursuing an absolute GHG emissions reduction target of 6 per cent below 2011 baseline levels by 2021. This emissions reduction target translates into a 2,770 t CO2e (or 27 per cent reduction) below the projected 2021 GHG emissions level. An absolute reduction of GHG emissions of 6 per cent below 2011 levels by 2021 would result in an intensity-based emissions reduction of 22 per cent (based on tonnes of CO2e per capita).
  • The City is currently implementing numerous energy and water conservation measures to across its facilities, which include administrative buildings, fire stations, community centres, recreation centres, arenas and parking lots. These measures are expected to decrease our annual GHG emissions by over 1000 t CO2e.
  • Additionally, the City is currently planning for future solar panel roof installations and an LED street lamp conversion program.

City of Waterloo Corporate GHG Reduction Initiatives

 

 

A circle of solar panels

ROWstandard

Community Energy Plan
  • In Canada, 60 to 80 percent of the energy consumed by households and community buildings is used for space and water heating. In a more-conventional type of system, the generation of heat is decentralized, meaning it is produced independently onsite by a gas-fired boiler or furnace. In a district heating system, heat is generated at a single cogeneration (combined heat and power) plant and distributed in a heat-carrying fluid to a group of buildings via a network of underground insulated piping. A heat exchanger, located in each serviced building, connects the customer’s heating system to the district heating network.
  • District energy (DE), or district heating systems, have several advantages compared to conventional systems. District heating systems often provide higher performance and better pollution control than conventional in-building systems. These systems tend to be best suited to denselypopulated urban areas, but can also be optimized for less dense areas where heat loads can be shared between a cluster of two or more adjacent buildings (e.g. sport and recreation centres, arenas, community centres, hospitals, business parks, etc.). The other advantage of DE systems is that they can incorporate a variety of energy sources. DE systems can be fueled by traditional fossil fuels, such as natural gas, or by alternative energy sources, such as biomass (e.g. wood waste), biofuel, geothermal or solar energy. Excess waste energy from industrial processes can also be used for district heating, depending on the amount of heat and the temperature at which it is released into the environment.
  • In August 2013, the University of Waterloo completed the largest, single conservation project for the year through the Union Gas EnerSmart conservation program. Through the project, waste heat is turned into energy at their central utility power house which then provides heat through a district network to 65 buildings on campus. This project will conserve over 2,000,000 m3 of natural gas per year resulting in an annual GHG reduction of 4,200 tonnes of CO2 e.

Community Energy Plan

 

 

a circle of an industrial building at night

ROWstandard

Green Building Standards
  • In a rapidly growing community like Waterloo Region, achieving community-wide GHG reductions will require a suite of actions that attempt to limit or offset GHG emissions associated with new residential, industrial, commercial, and institutional developments within the community.
  • Accommodating new residents and businesses often put upward pressure on community emission levels. In this context, many municipalities are beginning to adopt voluntary green building standards, sustainable building “checklists” and/or guidelines to encourage new development to achieve “beyond building code” energy efficiency and performance standards.
  • Strategies vary from one jurisdiction to another; however, the basic premise of a community green building standard is to provide incentives for developers that voluntarily adopt more energy efficient or sustainable building practices.
  • These incentives can take the form of reduced development charges (i.e. a Development Charge Refund similar to the City of Toronto’s, explained below), density bonusing (i.e. permitting additional floor area over a base threshold of permitted density), or an expedited review process for buildings that meet higher construction and performance standards.
  • Next Steps for Exploring this Opportunity in Waterloo Region:
    • Review existing green building standards, toolkits, and checklists from other communities to identify the most appropriate option for the region.
    • Once a preferred approach (or short list of preferred approaches) is chosen, and its specific requirements have been developed, test it using workshops with stakeholders. The requirements should then be refined based on the input received during the workshops.
    • Additional studies or peer reviews should also be conducted to provide further credibility for the final option chosen.
    • To develop this project, funding options should be explored such as FCM’s GMF.

Green Building Standards

 

 

a circle of Kitchener's skyline

KU_logo

Kitchener Utilities Conservation Demand Management Initiatives
  • Currently Kitchener Utilities is making reductions in natural gas consumption through their Utilities Commercial Conservation & Demand Management Initiatives.

Kitchener Utilities Conservation Demand Management Initiatives

 

 

Streetlights at night

LED Streetlight Retrofits
  • The Region is converting its streetlights to energy-efficient LED fixtures. Once this is completed it is projected to reduce GHG emissions by 920 tonnes per year.

LED Streetlight Retrofits

 

 

Circle of two men repairing a HVAC system

ROWstandard

Regional Building HVAC Retrofits
  • The Region is working to retrofit six different HVAC projects in various Regional buildings. This is one of the recommended actions for 2011- 2019 identified in the Region of Waterloo's Corporate GHG Action Plan.
  • Once complete it is projected to reduce GHG emissions by 480 tonnes per year.

Regional Building HVAC Retrofits

 

 

A circle of a rooftop solar array

Sustainable Waterloo Region Arc

Regional Carbon Initiative
  • The Regional Carbon Initiative (RCI) empowers member organizations to set and achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets.
  • Sustainable Waterloo Region’s flagship program, which launched in 2009, offers access to GHG reporting tools, best practices resources, public recognition of progress and a series of events for networking and collaboration with other sustainability leaders.

Regional Carbon Initiative

 

 

A circle of a technician explaining furnace options

ROWstandard

Regional Housing Furnace Upgrades
  • The Region is working to upgrade 650 furnaces in Regional Housing units. This is one of the recommended actions for 2011-2019 identified in the Region of Waterloo's  Corporate GHG Action Plan.
  • Once completed, it is projected to reduce GHG emissions by 250 tonnes  per year.

Regional Housing Furnace Upgrades

 

 

a circle of power lines

saveonenergy

saveONenergy GHG Reduction Initiatives
  • Providing customers with tangible ways to manage energy use is a key priority of the three local distribution companies in the Waterloo Region; Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro, Kitchener‐Wilmot Hydro and Waterloo North Hydro.  Through the collective Ontario brand of saveONenergy the local distribution companies offer more than 20 programs to help residential and business customers do more.  These programs have been in place since 2011 and continue to drive efficiency across the board.
  • Highlights include:
    • More than 3,000 inefficient refrigerators have been collected through the program.  If you stacked those on top of each other, it would be 10 times higher than the CN Tower.
    • Local retailers have seen over 350,000 coupons redeemed for energy savings products, saving customers more than $750,000.
    • Already, 3,000+ businesses have undergone energy efficiency retrofits and have received more than $10 million dollars in incentives from projects with an average payback of 2.5 years and delivering $9 Million annually in energy savings.  It’s also resulted in local economic growth for the trade ally network of $50+ million.
      Together, since 2011, 115 million kilowatt hours of energy have been saved.  To put that in perspective, that’s enough power to supply 12,000 homes for one full year, which is equivalent to all the homes in Wellesley and Woolwich Townships
      Kitchener Wilmot HydroWaterloo North Hydro LogoCambridge and North Dumfries Hydro Logo

saveONenergy GHG Reduction Initiatives

 

 

a circle of sky

Union Gas logo

Union Gas Conservation Demand Management Initiatives
  • Union Gas is a major distributor of natural gas across the Region of Waterloo. Our account representatives have been delivering gas conservation programs to the customers within the region since 1999. The enersmart program takes three main channels in which to encourage customers to use natural gas more efficiently: education, partnerships and incentives.
  • Education takes the form of technical publications, magazines, sector specific customer meetings and face-to–face discussions at the customers facility. Partnerships involve encouraging the various parties within the value chain to get together to find innovative solutions to specific customer conservation opportunities. Incentives include peer recognition and monetary rewards the value of which is tied to the amount of natural gas saved during the first year of equipment operation.
  • The five most popular methods to conserve natural gas are:· Improved Operations and Maintenance procedures,
    • Consider the installation of higher efficient equipment,
    • Diverting wasted heat to a location that requires additional energy,
    • Adding modern controls to equipment in order to utilize energy more effectively
    • Build all new structures to energy performance standards above and beyond the current Ontario Building Code requirements
  • Union Gas is entering into the next phase of energy conservation in 2016 where even more attention, resources and effort will be focused on keeping Ontario businesses competitive in the global marketplace.

Union Gas Conservation Demand Management Initiatives

 

 

A circle of water pouring out a culvert

ROWstandard

Waste Water Treatment Plant Cogeneration
  • The Region is installing new biogas combined heat and power units at three of the Region's waste water treatment plants. Construction is projected to be complete between 2018 and 2020.
  • Once completed it is projected to reduce GHG emissions by 2000 tonnes per year.

Waste Water Treatment Plant Cogeneration

 

 

A circle of victoria park

ROWstandard

Water Efficiency Target
  • The Regional Water Efficiency Master Plan was updated in 2015.
  • In the year 2025, the program will be saving 1370 million litres (ML) a year.
  • Over the ten years of the program, the cumulative total water savings will be 9023 ML.
  • Detached and semi-detached single family residential water consumption will decrease from 202 to 165 litres per capita per day by 2025.
  • Cumulative water and wastewater operating cost savings of $2.5 million by 2025.
  • Deferral of a Great Lakes displacement pipeline from 2035 to beyond 2051.
  • Estimated 7700 tonnes of CO2e avoided from release into atmosphere.

Region of Waterloo Water Efficiency Master Plan

Water Efficiency Target

Close All