Alberta’s Best Workplaces: Best Workplace For The Environmentally Conscious
OEM Remanufacturing proves that an environmental ethic can lead to savings
Best Workplace For The Environmentally Conscious
Head office: Edmonton
CEO: Craig Priddle
Number of Alberta employees: 100-750
Job Openings: 2
Photograph Jonathan Vander Veen
The very basis of OEM Remanufacturing’s business has an environmental tinge to it: rebuild engines and powertrains using a mix of repaired, reused and new parts. But the company takes its responsibility to the environment a few steps further, and in the process is saving itself a boatload of money.
Jesse Grieder, vice-president of safety and human resources, says OEM has been at the top of its game, using greenhouse gases as a metric to measure its success and looking to its employees to innovate and maintain high environmental standards.
OEM maintains its standards with a free exchange of ideas at all levels. The company encourages everyone to come forward with any idea they have for minimizing its environmental footprint. “We’ve got a straightforward policy with ideas. Employees meet and put ideas down. No idea is a bad idea,” says Grieder. “We implement the heck out of them.”
OEM implements numerous environmental strategies planned by its Green Team, a committee of employees who specifically look at company practices, collaborating with the rest of the staff to find ways to maximize profit and be greener in how it does business from day to day.
Some of the strategies OEM has implemented include double-sided printing, a ride share program, the tracking and reduction of electricity consumption, and an awareness campaign on the company TV system encouraging environmentally conscious practices.
A significant project in the works that exemplifies the utility and innovation of OEM’s projects is its wastewater processing system. The plant, when complete, will treat and recycle wastewater at the company’s facility, eliminating pumping and transportation costs. Treating wastewater in-house will significantly scale back on the amount of oil and grease flowing from the company’s headquarters and into the local sewer system.
“We said, ‘What can we do about that?’ and did a lot of research and best practice analysis,” says Grieder. “What we’re doing now is installing a process that reduces both the impact on the environment and our costs on a monthly basis.”
OEM is also thinking ahead, with bigger plans for its treatment facility in the form of a second phase of its water system – one that collects and purifies rainwater.
Further, working with the City of Edmonton, OEM has managed to collect clean wood, industrial waste and general garbage from its operations and divert 89 per cent of it from landfill.
And the company is open and transparent about its efforts, measuring and reporting progress in quantifiable terms. “It’s important for us to speak the lingo of the industry and the world when it comes to tracking and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” says Grieder. “Greenhouse gas emissions are a way it can be measured, tracked and reported, to show them how successful we’re being.”
Integrated Sustainability Consultants, Calgary
True to its name, Integrated Sustainability Consultants works on green projects through alternative renewable fuel projects in Alberta, B.C. and Ontario. The company conducts a self-audit which keeps it accountable for all its work toward sustainability.
Lafarge Canada, Calgary
Lafarge’s mandate entails construction protocols in all its projects that are in line with sustainable development practices. The company takes into account biodiversity, water consumption, and responsible sourcing when planning and implementing its projects.
Manasc Isaac Architects, Edmonton
Manasc Isaac strives to minimize environmental impact by recycling paper, plastics, metals, and glass. The company uses vermicomposting (with worms) for its rooftop gardening projects, and cuts on paper use by using tablet technology in its offices.
Royal Glenora Club, Edmonton
The Royal Glenora Club implements a thorough recycling program in its restaurant and administrative offices, avoiding paper cups and plates, disposing properly of oil and grease, and sorting its garbage so that paper is shredded and recycled.