We went with green for our new office. And the interior designer had nothing to do with it.

As our vision states, we are “BC’s leader in helping organizations save energy.” Our business focus is 100% on Energy Management.  We help clients manage energy, reduce GHG emissions and mitigate the negative environmental impacts of building operations.

Our commitment goes beyond what we do for other companies: it extends to how we operate our business.  We are committed to reducing the impacts of our work by using recycled and biodegradable materials and office products, reducing waste and composting, tracking and offsetting GHG emissions of staff travel and building operations, and creating a culture of conservation and wellness for our staff.

Each year our Sustainability Team sets and track actions towards improving how we work.  Our Sustainability Framework takes into account the following 5 priority areas.

Energy Efficiency

Renovations

As a part of the 2010 renovations we installed LED downlights, dimmable T5 lights and occupancy controlled T8 lighting systems in the boardroom and private offices.  The office layout was designed to maximize exposure to natural daylight. We purchased Energy Star appliances and have optimized our DDC system to reduce HVAC energy consumption.

Renovations resulted in a 33% more energy efficient office than a typical office.

Advanced Energy Office Project

As a part of BC Hydro's Advanced Energy Office Demonstration project, we completed a lighting and controls retrofit for our own head office.  This included the installation of new fluorescent luminaires throughout that are individually controlled and dimmed at each workstation via the user's PC.  In addition, lights are controlled via occupancy and daylight sensors. Read more about our Advanced Energy Office Project.

Lighting energy consumption reduced by 65% compared to typical office.

Monitoring and Tracking

An energy dashboard at our head office entrance shares consumption information with staff and visitors.  Our plug loads, lighting and heat pumps are separately metered and charged directly to us which allows us to monitor and report on energy related projects and campaigns.

GHG Reporting

On an annual basis we track, report and offset our greenhouse gas emissions. Throughout the year we work to reduce our emissions. We encourage staff to use alternative commuting options, have implemented several waste reduction processes and continue to identify ways of reducing paper use. When we switched to 100% recycled paper for our printer in 2010, we cut out paper emissions in half.  We have achieved a 23% drop in our GHG emissions since our tracking began in 2008/9.  This occurred during a period of increases in our business and staffing.

Clean Commuting

Prism promotes clean commuting. Our head office is equipped with a secure bike room and shower facilities. We participate in Bike to Work week and have organized several clean commuter challenges. Activities include “clean commuter” pledges, a breakfast celebration and prize draws.  Approximately one-third of our staff regularly bike, carpool or take public transit to work.

June 2014 Bike to Work week: Staff completed 62 separate trips and collectively rode 538 kms.
 

Purchasing

Building Materials and Renovations

The Prism head office features recycled and environmentally friendly building materials. Before moving into our new head office space in 2010, we undertook a major renovation. We reused office walls, doors, glass, cabling, carpeting and the IT equipment to reduce waste. We used low VOC paints and non-toxic new carpet tiles, thereby reducing the need for creating new products and the amount of waste entering landfill. Read more about our green office.

In 2013 we completed a review of all our office products and created a policy to purchase recycled and/or eco-friendly products whenever possible.

Waste Reduction

Recycling and Composting

Our office Sustainability Team worked with the building manager to set up an extensive recycling and organics composting system for all offices and the café in the building.  The system includes the recycling of batteries, electronics, paper, plastics, glass and CDs. In our 2010 renovations we installed a water filter rather than providing bottled water. 

Paper Products

We use 100% post-consumer recycled paper and we send most reports and correspondence electronically. We have paperless meetings and have eliminated paper faxes.

Switched to 100% recycled paper for our printer in 2010 and we cut our paper emissions in half.

Sustainability Culture

Staff Engagement

Prism employees formed the office Green Team in January 2011, which was formalized as the Sustainability Team in 2014. The team is made up of staff from all of Prism’s departments and are given staff time to work on initiatives. They meet quarterly to discuss ideas, set goals and to coordinate the latest green projects and campaigns. Activities range from a monitor and computer shutdown campaign to developing and reviewing company policies and gaining support from Bentall Kennedy to convert a parking spot into an office vegetable garden.

Summer 2014 staff lunches at company meetings were supplemented with vegetables from our garden.