We are committed to making the world a better place for our children to inherit. We are doing this in two ways.
First we’re reducing our environmental footprint. Second, we sponsor initiatives in the community from local environmental cleanups to campaigns to encourage residents to buy locally grown farm produce.
Reducing Meridian’s environmental footprint
We are committed to reducing, reusing and recycling. Here are some of the programs and initiatives currently underway:
Reducing greenhouse gases by saving energy
We have reduced our annual CO2 emissions by more than 1,000,000 pounds over the last five years, the equivalent of planting more than 3,000 trees and taking 245 cars off the highway.
Here are some examples of what we have done
- We have replaced old desktop computers with new, more efficient ones, saving more than $19,000 and approximately 332,424 KWH in just five years.
- We have migrated our physical servers to virtual servers, saving more than $100,000 in energy costs.
- All new branches are built with energy efficient construction and mechanical services. In new branches, for example, we have installed hot water on demand systems instead of hot water heaters that use more energy and take up more space.
- Automatic light timers and efficient lighting systems are installed in all new branch locations, which means that light is only on when needed.
- We are using LED exterior signage in all new branch locations to reduce power consumption.
- We are active participants in the Power Savings Blitz (PSB) program – a joint initiative between the Ontario Power Authority and local hydro suppliers which encourages installation of more efficient lighting systems. Under the program, 30 Meridian retail branches are:
- Replacing older T12 fluorescent lighting with T8 material, which is the current standard;
- Replacing magnetic ballasts with electronic units (also the current standard);
- Installing LED lighting in exit signs; and
- Insulating hot water tanks, where feasible.
- At our Toronto Corporate Office, 777 Bay St. location, restrictions are put in place by Canderel, the property managers, in which lighting, heating and/or air conditioning is reduced unless required after 6 p.m.
- We encourage car-pooling for employees traveling between branches to meetings. To reduce interoffice travel, we encourage telecommuting through video and telephone conferencing along with flexible work from home arrangements.
Saving trees through shredding, recycling and paper reduction programs
In 2009 alone, we saved more than 1,200 trees through our shredding and recycling program. We continue to look for ways to reduce paper. For example:
- We have eliminated paper pay cheque confirmation stubs and now make records available to employees online.
- We have reduced our need for employee recruitment print advertising by 90 per cent by recruiting online.
- All printers throughout Meridian are set at a default to print on both sides of a piece of paper.
- We are eliminating the need to print and sign reports at our branches by creating a system that allows Branch Managers to review and electronically sign reports online.
In addition to the initiatives outlined above, we take the environment into account in all of our activities. For example:
- Water efficient toilets are installed in all of our newer branches.
- Canderel, the property managers at our Toronto Corporate Office, have replaced all urinals in the men’s bathroom with waterless urinals. This eliminates the need to treat water, expend energy, and most importantly saves 240,000 gallons of water per year.
- We use low-emission paint in all company locations.
- We launched a “monitors for sale” program on two separate occasions, in which all old computer monitors were sold to employees at a discounted price. We were able to save on waste while also raising $2,000 for the Haiti relief effort, and $1,830 in support of United Way.
Thinking globally, acting locally
Our environmental commitment extends to the communities we serve.
In addition to sponsoring environmental initiatives, our employees become actively involved:
- Our Toronto Corporate Office participated in the 20-Minute Toronto makeover, in which employees cleaned-up College Park.
- A number of our Guelph employees annually participate in the Speed River Clean up each year to help raise awareness about the environment and promote the health of local waterways.
- Many of our Niagara Region employees volunteered at the Experience Niagara Market – part of The Niagara Food Festival – which promotes awareness and support of Niagara’s local economy by showcasing local growers and producers.