We are excited and proud to be publishing our second annual sustainability report. Our Sustainability Model – the SEE Model – was developed by our employees to integrate sustainability into our business decisions. The SEE Model depicts all of the important elements of managing a sustainable business and gives a sense of the level of complexity that is involved to do it right. It is our hope that the many stories which make up this year’s report will bring to life our approach to sustainability.
Elsewhere in the report you will find our sustainability goals. I am pleased to report that during 2014 we made some very good progress towards each of these goals. We said that we would grow and strengthen our business, and 2014 saw us expand our footprint across North America by purchasing the remainder of N-Viro®, our biosolids treatment business, and by commissioning a third emulsion manufacturing plant in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
We have grown our waste diversion business. Organic Resource introduced its Used Cooking Oil collection and processing service, which takes this valuable waste material and converts it to a biodiesel fuel. Furthermore, throughout 2014, we worked closely with the City of Toronto to process 41,000 tonnes of wood waste, which resulted from the winter’s ice storm and turned it into mulch.
We are also focused on sustainable energy management. From reworking the lighting systems in our plant in Portland, to Norjohn Contracting being recognized for using alternative paving methods in Haldimand County to upgrading the oil heater at the Walker Brothers Asphalt plant, we were able to make material reductions in energy usage.
It is also our goal to nurture a sense of belonging for our employees. We made very good progress in 2014 in rolling out to many of our locations our new in-house training program, “above & beyond,” which aligns employees with the company’s value principles and creates a sense of belonging. This report showcases stories of the involvement of our employees in supporting the needs of our communities.
We have learned over time that building a sustainable business never really reaches an end point, but rather needs to be viewed as a work in progress, with an ongoing commitment by all of our employees to provide energy, innovative thinking, and a willingness to shape our future. I hope you enjoy the report.