2018 ELPH™ Awards

Environmental Leadership Awards for Personal Care, Pharmaceuticals, and Healthcare Products

ELPH Awards: January 31, 2018

On January 31, 2018 EAG hosted the first annual ‘Environmental Leadership Awards’ celebration designed to recognize innovation, excellence and progress within the PersonalCare, Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare products businesses. As one of the early companies established to advise and assist businesses improve their processes and adherence to all levels of government guidelines. EAG wanted to recognize the efforts brought about by those demonstrating their enthusiasm for, and commitment to leadership in contributing to the betterment of our environment. This year six companies submitted applications for consideration: Apotex Inc., Compugen, Daniels, Patheon Inc., Sanofi Pasteur, Ste. Anne’s Spa. The winners were presented with plaques and a beautifully crafted ELPH mascot display trophy. Thank you to Eli Lilly for hosting the event at their head office facilities in Toronto.



Their Story:

Ste. Anne’s Spa is sitting on 400 acres of picturesque countryside located in Grafton, ON. A number of services are offered from a relaxing spa experience, wellness classes, and offer a relaxing meeting space of corporate offices. Ste. Anne offers unique products, STE ANNE’S SKIN NOURISHMENTTheir mission is to produce high-quality, effective natural skin care based on 100% pure botanical ingredients that provide the skin with the needs to thrive optimally.

Water: Ste. Anne’s Spa has already been using a natural reed bed system for processing its water waste and safely returning it to the local aquifer. We are now in the process of upgrading our system to a new biological water treatment system to match our expanded facilities and our commitment to ecologically safe wastewater treatment. Ste. Anne’s has replaced most of its public toilets with low-flow versions.All of our shower facilities are water-conserving. Our lawns are irrigated on an as-needed-only basis.Our laundry system uses cold water and eco-friendly cleaning products.Our new laundry facility is next to the main Inn, which will remove the need to transport our laundry back and forth, reducing energy consumption and pollution.

Energy: Ste. Anne’s has mostly completed a lighting retrofit project which has converted over 80% of light bulbs to LED. We are committed to being mercury-free in five years. We have incorporated energy star appliances into our new kitchen. Our signage encourages our guests to “turn off the lights” when not needed (which is also a reminder to our staff!) We are tracking our energy use, so we can gauge our effectiveness.

Waste reduction:After our first waste audit confirmed that food waste was the most significant actionable component of our waste stream, we strengthened our composting program, buying more green bins and educating kitchen staff on compostable materials. We have a design nearly completed for a new composting facility as part of our farm operations which should be able to divert roughly 80% of our food waste (which represents about 60% of all our waste by weight). We should see a truly measurable decrease in waste (as much as 30 metric tonnes per year!) and waste removal fees once this program is fully operational.

Green space: Our lawns and gardens are herbicide-free, and our gardens are an integral part of the Ste. Anne’s healing experience.


Their Story:

Apotex has over 6,000 employees at our three campuses (Signet, Etobicoke, and Richmond Hill) in the Greater Toronto Area. All of our employees are dedicated to Apotex’s purpose of helping patients worldwide. As an organization with a large number of employees, we are always seeking ways help our employees achieve social and environmental impacts beyond their roles. We regularly engage with our employees through social and environmental causes that have tangible impacts both within Apotexand within our communities. Using a variety of engagement methods and continually improving, we are able to provide our employees with fresh information and opportunities to make a difference and achieve real impacts.

One significant area of engagement at Apotex is our environmental programs. We are an impactful member of the communities we live and work in and our environmental initiatives aim to promote positive environmental performance. The backbone of our engagement efforts begins with a group of engaged and passionate employees that form the Apotex Environmental Committee. The Committee is made up of employees from all three sites volunteering a part of their time to develop, plan, and execute the variety of initiatives and engagements throughout the year.

To kick off each year’s engagement we begin with publishing the spring issue of our triannual APOgreen publication. APOgreen is a publication by the Apotex Environmental Committee that updates all employees on everything that is related to sustainability inside and outside the company. Articles are written by a number of volunteers and include topics such as past engagement outcomes, applicable environmental news, and corporate environmental initiatives. This communication ensures our employees are informed in between our larger in person engagement events.

The first big annual engagement event is Earth Week, coinciding with the week of Earth Day, in April. During Earth Week the committee hosts a range of activities including informative cafeteria sessions, waste sorting activities, and fundraising for environmental charities. We conclude Earth Week with our annual tree planting event which has been running for over 10 years. During the 2017 tree planting event where Apotex Partnered with Partners in Project Green, over 600 trees were planted which is enough to offset approximately 120 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Our second large scale engagement event is our annual Bike to Work event in June. This event is designed to engage employees to adopt alternative transportation to lessen their environmental impact while living a healthier lifestyle. Employees are encouraged to ride to work and are rewarded with a healthy breakfast and the chance to win prizes.  Prior to the event communications are sent to all employees to help them with possible cycling routes and ways to stay safe.   Feedback from participants has been very positive and employees who have never ridden to work before are now doing so on a regular basis.

The last event of the year is our Waste Reduction Week (WRW) campaign. It’s a week-long event that engages the employees on proper waste disposal methods and ways to reduce the waste generated both at home and at work. We engage the employees during lunch hours at each of our four cafeterias where Environmental Committee members help employees to properly sort their waste and provide waste disposal information. We also provide materials from municipalities and tips to reduce waste at home. We have received some positive feedback on how informative this event has been.

All of our activities leave our employees more informed and aware of ways to contribute positively at work and at home. We have seen a year-over-year improvement in aspects such as proper waste sorting techniques and more knowledgeable employees. We estimate that we engage over 2,000 employees at our events throughout the year and this number is growing. These engagements not only allow us to help our employees but also provide them a chance to help us continually improve. We receive feedback and comments during the events which we reflect and act on for upcoming events. We are proud of our employee engagement efforts and we are always seeking ways to improve through learning from other organizations and our employees.

Featured Event Speaker: Dr. Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

On January 30, 2018, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) released her 2017 Greenhouse Gas Progress Report, Ontario’s Climate Act: From Plan to Progress, to the Ontario Legislature.

Thank You to the Judges

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