As Manitobans prepare for an increase in Hydro rates, a growing recognition it is no longer feasible to maintain a “business as usual” approach to energy consumption has local companies seeking more creative approaches to efficiency.
This could explain why Manitoba Race to Reduce has attracted over 7 million square feet of commercial office space in its first year. The program reduces barriers to energy efficiency, providing participants with benchmarking data and communication tools. Its focus on changing workplace behaviours rather than expensive capital investments also enables smaller businesses to participate.
Since January 2017, landlords and tenants of some of the province’s largest buildings have been working together to change workplace habits with the aim of reducing their collective energy use by at least 10 per cent over four years.
In celebration of participating buildings’ achievements to date, the First Annual Awards for the Race was held on April 19 at the RBC Convention Centre. Emceed by The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, Loren Remillard, the event was attended by well over 100 landlords, tenants and business and community members.
The Honourable Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources kicked off the event through a video message before speakers took to the stage to offer energy saving tips and hand out awards.
Artis REIT walked away with three awards, with its 360 Main Street building winning the Largest Energy Reduction and Most Improved Energy Use awards; and its 333 Main Street building winning the Summerhill sponsored Most Improved Energy Use Intensity award.
Colliers International took home the Veolia sponsored award for Largest GHG Emissions Reduction for their efforts at 330 St. Mary Avenue and the award for Most Improved Reduction of GHG Emissions was won by Royal Canadian Properties Limited for the Cargill Building at 240 Graham Avenue.
With three years remaining in the Race, there is still ample opportunity for businesses to sign up, access resources, reduce costs and become a recognized leader in sustainability.