Veridian celebrates Earth Day as one Canada's Greenest Employers for fifth consecutive year
AJAX--Veridian Corporation, which manages a large "green fleet" initiative, has been named one of Canada's Greenest Employers for a fifth consecutive year. This special designation recognizes Veridian as a workplace that leads the nation in creating a culture of environmental awareness, has developed earth-friendly initiatives and is attracting people to the company because of its environmental leadership.
"Veridian's green thinking represents corporate initiatives and continuous employee-driven efforts that allow our company to grow and maintain a successful business without sacrificing our planet's natural resources," said Board Chair Doug Dickerson. "Our corporate social responsibility to the communities we serve has allowed us to recruit and retain talented employees who define the company's responsibility to think green today, tomorrow and for the future."
Each employer nominated for the award is evaluated on the unique environmental initiatives and programs they have developed, the extent to which they have been successful in reducing the organization's own environmental footprint, the degree to which their employees are involved in these programs and whether they contribute any unique skills, and the extent to which these initiatives have become linked to the employer's public identity and whether they attract new people to the organization.
"Being recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers for a fifth consecutive year is not only a huge honour, but a remarkable achievement as well," said company President and CEO Michael Angemeer. "The award is a testament to Veridian's ongoing commitment to earth-friendly business practices, sustainable development, smart grid technologies and electric vehicles. I would like to congratulate all of our employees for this award as they're the ones who made this possible."
The competition's selection committee cited the following as some of the reasons why Veridian was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers for 2014:
• Encourages alternative transportation wherever possible, the utility maintains a bike sharing program (free), secure bike parking and shower facilities, online Smart Commute carpool (with reserved parking for car-poolers) and a transit subsidy program that offers a 25% reimbursement for the purchase of a six month transit pass.
• Operates six hybrid electric bucket trucks as part of its fleet as well as adding new Chevy Volts to its car fleet -- and has added electric charging stations at its facility locations across the region.
• Offers employees interest-free loans for the purchase of energy-efficient appliances for their homes or for the purchase of an energy efficient automobile, electric bike or scooter.
• Is a strong supporter of educational initiatives, ranging from a unique energy conservation program designed for grade five students across the region (that is now being exported to other parts of the province) to research support for electric vehicle development at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).
• The company's head office building in Ajax was constructed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification (pending) -- and the company recently expanded its solar panel installation to over 400 panels on the building's rooftop, generating enough power for approximately 20 average households.
According to Fred Damiani, Veridian's Manager of Human Resources, sustainable education is key to the promotion of a 'green' corporate culture. "Along with murals situated throughout the company's LEED-eligible corporate headquarters that describes the building's green efficiencies and technologies, a weekly email is sent to employees that includes details on conservation programs, incentives and tips that can help staff manage their electricity use at work and at home, and contribute to a culture of conservation in Ontario," said Damiani.
Veridian has a number of employee programs to reduce its own energy consumption and environmental footprint. These programs range from extensive recycling programs to incentives for employees to use public transit. The company has also implemented fleet programs to reduce idling and purchased hybrid and electric vehicles, including two Chevrolet Volts.