Changing systems for a better world reflects how we see today’s transition to a low-carbon future. A move that can no longer be performed in isolation but by adopting a holistic approach that includes building systems, technology, and people.
“We are all experiencing the impacts of climate change. Organizations are setting targets, and we, as a consulting firm, want to be part of the solution”, says Robert Greenwald, P.Eng., President of Prism Engineering.
“We are updating building systems so that they can operate using less energy and generating lower emissions. We are applying innovation and technology to solve problems differently than we had in the past. And we also recognize the need to change organizational systems, which includes setting policies, running programs, and changing the ‘culture’ of how we use energy,” he explains.
The new purpose statement is part of the development of our 5-year strategic plan and was defined with the participation of all staff.
“It is the result of several internal meetings that have been held since last year and involved benchmarking assessments, focus group activities, leadership workshops and surveys,” explains Sarah Smith, M. Urb., Sustainability Team Leader.
Greater focus on carbon impact
For 33+ years, Prism has been driven by the mission of supporting our clients to achieve energy efficiency and improve building performance to reduce their impact on communities and the environment.
“We were successful at achieving energy savings of 20, 30 and even 40% for energy projects for many years. But that is no longer enough, and we need to consider the carbon impact of the energy sources that we are using”, explains Robert. “This means a greater emphasis on transportation (vehicles and fleets) and more integrated solutions that can deliver 70, 80 and even 90% carbon reduction”, he adds.
The new purpose statement also meets a change in the mindset of building owners and energy managers. With greater awareness of sustainability, carbon emission reductions, and climate change, clients are now thinking beyond short-term payback criteria.
“What hasn’t changed is the need clients have for a trusted partner to advise on solutions that work. We take pride in having long-term relationships with them and we are always looking for ways to add value to our work, ” says Robert.
Larger umbrella of services
Extreme weather events and the need to increase resilience to climate change, the accelerated EV evolution, the changes in regulation and how to get support to move projects forward are some of the work we have increasingly done to help clients transition to a low-carbon economy and prepare for a changing climate.
“We have our roots in energy management, but there has been a growing need to respond to clients and the industry with other services,” explains Sarah. “Our purpose statement also needed to be adapted to reflect the expansion of our services over the years,” she adds.
By applying an integrated approach with a larger and more multidisciplinary team, Prism today is uniquely positioned to support clients to meet those multiple objectives.
“We can support them with a more holistic set of services to help them achieve their climate goals and make significant progress in improving performance and decarbonizing their operations,” says Sarah.
Prism staff during event to release our new purpose statement. From left to right: Brian O’Donnell, Founder; Robert Greenwald, P.Eng., Principal and President of Prism Engineering; Sam Thomas, Principal and Kootenay Branch Manager; Maia Penco, Senior Mechanical Designer; San Khangura, Senior Electrical Designer; Stephen Kooiman, P. Eng., M.A.Sc, Mechanical Team Leader.