Sustainable Biz Canada

HOOPP hosts sustainability conference and awards


The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) reinforced its commitment to real estate sustainability with a conference and awards presentation on June 8.

HOOPP president and CEO Jim Keohane speaks at the annual LEAP awards and sustainability event in Toronto June 8, 2017.

HOOPP president and CEO Jim Keohane speaks at its annual sustainability conference and awards event in Toronto June 8, 2017. (Image courtesy HOOPP)

“The purpose of the conference is to get our partner companies together and talk about their successes and challenges, as well as trends and innovations,” said HOOPP director of real estate management and sustainability Derek Billsman. “The theme of the conference was ‘evolution,’ which was particularly topical given the rapid changes in technology, climate change, regulations and demographics.”

The conference was held at HOOPP’s new home, Menkes DevelopmentsOne York Street, a LEED Platinum mixed-use development in Toronto’s South Core financial district. It was split into five sessions and featured a variety of guest speakers.

Aclima chief strategy officer Chris Pyke provided an overview of the history of green building while also looking at where things are now and what they’ll look like in the future. GreenSoil Investments managing partner Susan McArthur led a panel about the evolution of green buildings, the rapid pace of technology changes and how disruptors will affect sustainability.

Unico Properties sustainability director Brett Phillips talked about his firm embracing solar energy. HOOPP senior portfolio manager Nick Macrae moderated a panel on tenant-landlord collaboration in relation to sustainability.

Property managers were also given an opportunity to pitch their innovative sustainability improvement ideas to HOOPP Real Estate decision-makers for implementation. The winner was Triovest Realty Advisors Inc., which is adopting a solar energy strategy for its Alberta portfolio that can be rolled out into its other properties.

Sustainability survey

HOOPP commissioned Canadian market research firm Leger to conduct an online survey of 1,561 Canadians last month, and the results were discussed at the conference. The survey measured Canadians’ awareness and attitudes toward environmental sustainability resources, practices and programs at home and in the workplace.

Not surprisingly, 90 per cent of respondents indicated they care about environmental sustainability. However, only 51 per cent were familiar with the concept of smart cities and just 47 per cent were familiar with the concept of LEED-certified buildings and homes.

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Ontario Minister of Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray gave a keynote address in the evening, and HOOPP president and chief executive officer Jim Keohane also spoke.

“HOOPP develops healthy, efficient and high-quality buildings,” he said. “In Ontario alone, we have over 16.4 million square feet of development and have invested over $4 billion.”

Keohane also said real estate produces regular monthly income and is a good source of inflation protection which aligns perfectly with HOOPP’s need to provide pension benefits for its more than 300,000 active and retired members.

HOOPP LEAP Award winners

HOOPP LEAP (Leadership in Environmental Advancement Program) Awards were presented in the categories of performance, collaboration and innovation for the sixth year. The winners were:

Low Energy Leader: Medium Building

130 Eileen Stubbs Ave., Dartmouth, N.S., East Port Properties Ltd.

Low Energy Leader: Large Building

ATCO Centre, Calgary, Triovest Realty Advisors Inc.

Energy Saver

4711 Yonge St., Toronto, Menkes Property Management Services Ltd.

Water Winner: Office

Eau Claire Place I, Calgary, Triovest Realty Advisors Inc.

Water Winner: Retail

Quinte Mall, Belleville, Ont., 20 VIC Management Inc.

Waste Minimizer

5500 Explorer Dr., Mississauga, Ont., Menkes Property Management Services Ltd.

Sustainability Achiever

ATB Place, Edmonton, Triovest Realty Advisors Inc.

Tenant Leader: Office

Ricoh Canada (5520 Explorer Dr., Mississauga, Ont.), Menkes Property Management Services Ltd. 

Tenant Leader: Retail

Walmart (New Sudbury Centre, Sudbury, Ont.), Morguard

Tenant Leader: Industrial

DIRTT Environmental Solutions (Starfield Logistics Centre, Calgary), Triovest Realty Advisors Inc.

Sustainability Innovator: Technology

Coquitlam Centre, Coquitlam, B.C., Morguard

Sustainability Innovator: Stakeholder Engagement          

ACT National Waste Program, 20 VIC Management Inc.

Sustainability Champion

Esther McConaghy, Morguard

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Steve McLean

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Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot Canadian Bands and has taught reporting to college students. He is based in Toronto.

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