Concert’s Head Office Building Shows Real Progress in Waste Reduction

On May 09, 2019 under Sustainability

Concert has been actively working to reduce our environmental footprint as part of our ongoing sustainability efforts. To this end we track a variety of metrics, including waste.

Waste reduction efforts were undertaken at the Vancouver head office building in 2015, and over the next three years significant progress was made on reducing waste levels and diverting waste to recycling and composting (see the August 31, 2018 blog post here).

Colleen Lim, Property Management Assistant, provided an update on the building’s progress. “Urban Impact conducted a waste audit of our building in late 2018 and the results were very positive,” she says.

Similar audits that were conducted in 2016 and 2017 involved looking at one day’s worth of waste from the building. This included tenants on all floors, including Concert, Providence Healthcare and others. The waste sample was weighed and manually separated in waste and recyclables. The waste was then segregated into nine categories.

A higher percentage of garbage to total waste is considered good because it means more of what's in the trash is actually supposed to be there. Downtown buildings normally have 30-40% garbage in their total waste.

In 2018, we achieved a level of 61% garbage of total waste, with 1190 Hornby “in the top 5% of buildings in Vancouver,” Colleen adds. In fact, the percentage of garbage to waste has gown from 34% in 2016 to 49% in 2017 to 61% in 2018.

What’s even more compelling is the fact that Concert floors eight and nine were achieving even higher results:

Floor Eight: 2.1 kg garbage/2.54 kg total waste= 83% garbage
Floor Nine: 6.66 kg garbage/6.89 kg total waste= 97% garbage

The communications efforts involving improved signage that were begun last fall have clearly paid off, and with the move to floor six, we hope to show even greater progress. We still have lots of work to do, with soiled paper (paper towels) and recycled paper still showing up in larger amounts - but real progress has been made. Well done all!
 

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