During FY14, we continued to work with our landlords to understand waste practices at a sample of our offices across the country. This included reviewing the results of waste audits conducted by our landlords. In our head office in Toronto, we improved our waste diversion from landfills to recyclable sources – from 77% from October to December, to 80% from January to March. This means that 3% more of our waste was diverted from the landfill to recycling, organics and reuse programs, thus reducing pollutants generated by landfills.
In FY15, we will identify ways that we can track this data on a more consistent basis for our offices and with a higher degree of detail so that we can build a plan to reduce the amount of waste we generate and increase our recycling efforts. We will continue to leverage our Sustainable Events Guidelines to reduce the environmental impact of our events and increase the social and economic benefits provided to the communities in which our events are hosted.
Because of the nature of our business, reducing paper consumption and waste is a key priority. We track consumption by monitoring the amount of paper we purchase. In FY14, net paper consumption was reduced by 15% to 43,953,000 sheets in comparison to 51,868,000 in FY13. This represents a net reduction to our greenhouse gas emissions of 90 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, and reflects year-on-year reductions to our paper use since we began measuring this data in FY2012.
We also implemented print on demand or ‘secure print’ on the multi-functional printers at our major offices. Documents that are not printed are purged daily, thus resulting in the reduction of our paper waste. We are currently measuring the impact of these efforts as part of a detailed paper management study so that we can refresh our Sustainable Paper Procurement and Usage Policy in FY15. During FY14, we also reduced printing equipment by 6 copiers and 15 printers in our head office. We are in the process of working out a strategy for our printer and copier fleet for FY15.
To supplement our waste reduction practices we have modified our national procurement practices for new electronic equipment to include energy efficiency, e-waste, hazardous materials usage, packaging, and paper-use criteria. As a part of this process, vendors are asked to present product roadmaps that include highlights of their go green strategies and related results. We also use standard industry practice e-waste procedures by working with vendors that reuse or recycle our used electronic equipment (e.g. computer hardware, electronic devices).
During FY14, many of our staff received laptop upgrades: in keeping with our e-waste procedures, the previously owned laptops were returned to the supplier to be reused. We also encouraged staff to recycle their used cell phones and batteries through programs coordinated by our local CR committees.