Voices.com on Sustainability
There is no question that the challenges we face as a global community are daunting: population growth, water scarcity, loss of habitat and climate change, to name a few. The good news is that people everywhere, and by extension, the organizations they work for, are taking notice and are making an effort to create change.
Leaders of Canadian companies are learning a new discipline, one that allows them to lessen their environmental impacts and contribute to a new economy by the development of innovative products and services and gain market advantage. This discipline is broadly known as sustainability.
Sustainable development is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
From reducing our operational footprint and developing environmentally friendly products and services, to reinvesting in our community, we are focused on fulfilling meaningful environmental goals.
Reducing Our Operational Footprint
To adapt to a challenging business climate, Voices.com launched it’s global offices in the LEED certified green building, The Convergence Center located on the Research Park campus at the University of Western Ontario. Surrounded by beautiful forests and vegetation native to Southwestern Ontario, Voices.com continues to be situated in scenic vistas within close proximity of the Thames River. Voices.com’s former home, the 65,000 square foot, 19.5 million dollar building christened “Convergence Centre,” lives up to its name by providing an area where people, their ideas and discoveries converge to serve the people of London and the world.
Some of the building’s features include:
- LEED Gold – A green building targeting the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standard of the Canada Green Building Council.
- Sustainable site – bicycle racks and shower/change room, designated spots for car pooling, naturalized stormwater management to control run-off, durable ‘white roof’ to reduce cooling loads.
- Water efficiency – ultra-low water consumption with dual flush, photovoltaic, and waterless systems, native species landscaping to eliminate irrigation requirements (including trees of the Carolinian region of Canada).
- Energy and atmosphere – significantly exceeds national energy efficiency standards, using energy modeling, building sensors and controls, natural lighting and heat recovery systems.
- Material and resources – nearly 50 per cent of building materials regionally sourced with nearly one-third from recycled materials, and a majority of construction waste was diverted from the landfill (reused or recycled).
- Indoor environmental quality – Carbon dioxide monitoring, operable windows, low-emitting furniture, paints, glues and other materials, ‘green guard’ certified furniture.
Developing Environmentally Friendly Services
Sustainability inherently requires innovation because organizations cannot solve the specific sustainability challenges they face by doing what they have always done.
Research has shown that organizational and technological innovations that yield both bottom-line and top-down returns. Companies that operate in a manner that’s environmentally friendly lowers costs by reducing the inputs required to function. The process generates additional revenue from better products and enables corporate organizational innovation.
Voices.com has learned that sustainable business practices not only help the environment, but also improve profitability by supporting greater efficiency, reduced waste, less liability exposure, improved community relations and more.
Reinvesting In Our Community
Companies can expect an increase in productivity as a result of a comprehensive sustainability strategy, largely because employees increasingly want to work for companies that are doing their part for communities and the planet.
The Triple Bottom Line
The triple bottom line is another, and sometimes more accessible way for business owners to look at sustainability. The term, coined by John Elkington, founder of SustainAbility, a sustainability consultancy, proposes that organizations of all sizes focus on the three pillars of people, planet and profit. This concept is sometimes expressed as a three-legged stool that comprised of the environment, society and economy.
Voices.com selected a single priority; to operate a paperless office – on which to focus our efforts and help direct our plans to leave a smaller footprint.
Up To The Challenge
The sustainability challenge is just that – a challenge where the team at Voices.com is playing its part. Solving sustainability challenges requires deep collaboration; inside and across departments, functions and with both community and government. We’d like to wrap up by opening an invitation to other companies through collaboration with others, including customers, vendors and government.
Voices.com welcomes the opportunity to be your partner in business as well as working with you and your organization down the path toward environmental sustainability.