Get to know our Spirit Award finalists: Environment and Energy

February 23, 2017
​Ahead of the 8th Annual Spirit of Winnipeg Awards on March 10, we’re giving you a closer look at how the finalists in each category are impacting our city. Today’s category: Environment and Energy.

The Environment and Energy category recognizes leadership in conservation, waste reduction, and efficiency efforts that advance ecological stewardship in Winnipeg.

Thank you to our category sponsor:

What do you credit with your success?

We have a knowledgeable and skilled staff with a variety of education and industrial backgrounds that bring different perspectives and experience to the table. We are also very proactive in developing collaborations and partnerships with other individuals and organizations from academia, research establishments, government and industry to advance the technology forward. This brings the best minds to bear on the road blocks preventing commercialization, not only from Canada but from around the globe.
We credit our success to a great team of dedicated people working together to formalize FortWhyte’s sustainability initiatives, and working diligently to ensure the actions and goals laid out in the plans are achieved successfully. Our plan has also incorporated new and fun challenges to inspire and motivate staff and volunteers to make sustainable choices each and every day.
Determination, solid planning and a track record of doing what we say we will do. We involved all of our key people in the process of determining how we would build so there was widespread buy in to the approach. We engaged experts to provide us with advice. We improved incrementally, getting better each year as we learned more through practical application, listening to experienced advisors and benefitting from continuing research into building techniques.

What does Winnipeg mean to you?

Winnipeg is a great city to develop this type of capability. There is an openness and enthusiasm for looking at new ideas across the board from industry to government, especially as it relates to agriculture, the environment and innovation. It is easy to connect to the right decision makers.
Proud of our prairie heritage, we feel at home here at the heart of the continent. Furthermore, we are proud to be among the many outstanding leaders committed to making our city a better, more prosperous – and more sustainable – place to live, work and play.

We see Winnipeg as a place of great independence. I think in its early years it was like an island in an ocean of wilderness, so self-sufficiency was a requirement. That is evident today in our vibrant arts and sports scenes and innovative can-do culture. Many of the families we work with are new to Canada and I have heard them say how pleasantly surprised they have been by the warmth of the welcome they received after arriving here. It is a great place to raise a family.

Who do you want to inspire?

We want to inspire all facets of the community. We want the youth to look at opportunities in the green economy as an exciting and worthwhile career path that will encourage them to stay in their communities; we want producers to be excited about reducing environmental impacts as well as adopting new agronomic practices, we want to have northern and aboriginal communities to be energized to build local economies using these materials and technologies; and, we want to have industry be really engaged and be the pullers of the materials as opposed to a push from the farm gate.
We want to (and do!) inspire the next generation… to be responsible stewards of the environment, good community members and to know that their contributions make a real difference to Winnipeg.
We want to inspire the community at large to recognize the value in building to high levels of energy efficiency; we want to inspire government to join with us to build more homes in this manner; we want to inspire the house building industry to adopt these practices; we want to inspire our colleagues in other Habitat Affiliates across the country to see the merit in energy and water efficient homes.
For more information on our Spirit Award finalists and to buy tickets, click here.