LoyaltyOne Showcases Commitment to Sustainability
December 9, 2009, marked the official opening of LoyaltyOne’s new customer call centre in the heart of Mississauga’s financial district. Though it’s not uncommon for a company to move or renovate its office space, this building proves a lot different than a typical space expansion or paint job. Rather, LoyaltyOne—operators of the Air Miles Reward Program—chose to put their money where their committed-to-sustainability mouth was, by creating a space built towards gold and silver LEED certification.
CBJ was invited to attend the event and tour of the facilities, along with 150 Air Miles customer care centre associates, Ottawa-Orléans MPP Phil McNeely, Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion and Mississauga City Councillor George Carlson. Also commemorating the 50,000-square-foot centre were environmental leaders, including members of the Ontario solar industry.
The crowning achievement of the call centre is easily the rooftop solar installation, where 800 solar panels generate 165 kilowatts of power per year. To date, this is the largest solar array in Canada and is said to produce enough electricity to break even, putting onto the power grid as much as the facility takes off.
The solar panel roof is a significant achievement, but LoyaltyOne wasn’t satisfied to stop there. The building’s interior is just as environmentally conscious, with features that reduce energy usage by 15 per cent and water usage by 30 per cent. The company has incorporated solar tubes in the ceiling to bring in daylight, recycling for organic materials, motion-sensor lights and water that is heated with solar thermal energy. Even the parking lot has preferential parking spaces for fuel-efficient cars.
As you make your way around the office, it becomes clear just how much care LoyaltyOne put into the design of the building—not only for the planet, but also for its employees. Walls are colourful. Ceilings are 20 feet high to give the sense of openness. The kitchen is fully equipped with the state-of-the-art appliances. Comfortable seating areas are scattered throughout. And a games room, complete with a big-screen TV, team-building video games and pool table, waits for staff who are on their break. Every last detail shows thoughtfulness.
LoyaltyOne has certainly done its homework. The company has investigated what is needed to qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and has officially applied for gold and silver standings, for the interior and exterior respectively.
For Bryan Pearson, president and CEO of LoyaltyOne Inc., this new building is a dream come true. As someone who sees his company as an industry leader, the ceremony confirmed his vision. “We strongly believe that businesses have a role to play in protecting the environment,” he said, addressing the crowd.
“This launch is the culmination of a grassroots initiative started by a group of associates whose actions have grown into a culture of environmental consciousness.”
“Sustainability is engrained in our business at LoyaltyOne and we are constantly seeking out ways to reduce our own carbon footprint and our impact on the planet,” Pearson continued. “We are proud that 300 Air Miles customer care centre employees are now working in one of the greenest facilities in Canada.”
Not all companies can build 800-panel solar roofs on top of their office buildings, but there is definitely a page we can all take from LoyaltyOne’s book. There are little changes everyone can make—all it takes is a little mindfulness and commitment. As Pearson said, his company’s initiative started as a small, grassroots movement. Look how far they went. CBJ congratulates LoyaltyOne for their efforts and we look forward to seeing where the company goes from here. CB
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