TELUS Garden – the greenest office building in North America
July 25, 2016
With $12b annually in revenue and 13.7m customer connections, TELUS is Canada’s fastest-growing telecommunications company. TELUS’s newest office tower, TELUS Garden is one of the first LEED Platinum office buildings in North America, with energy consumption 80 percent lower than similar buildings.
With this flagship project and other efforts, TELUS is close to achieving its objectives to reduce energy use by 10 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent by 2020. But there are challenges ahead.
“We’re doing extremely well on the second metric,” said Andrea Goertz, Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer at TELUS. “We’re at 18 percent.” On the first metric, the company is a victim of its own success. “Because we’re experiencing significant growth, we’re challenged to meet that goal,” she said.
“Any new data centres we’re building, such as the one we recently completed in Kamloops, is one of the greenest facilities in North America. We’re also piloting a few ideas across some of our existing data centres, such as putting solar panels on the roofs, and looking at ways we can include wind turbines on some of our cell towers.”
Fifteen years after its first CSR report, TELUS is at the forefront in sustainability for its sector. In 2015, TELUS was named a 2015 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporation (37th, up from 70th in 2014 and one of only 12 Canadian companies to make the list).
Goertz says that, for any small businesses hoping to embark on similar sustainability strategies, collaboration is key. So is having all stakeholder groups on the same page, consulting employees for their input and ideas, and ensuring that sustainability is a priority from the top down.