Turning Waste Into Change

Video transcription

Lisa Chandler
Vice-President, Development

When OMERS moved to our new head office, we needed furniture that supported more collaboration, but we didn't want our old materials to go to waste. So we partnered with Green Standards to donate our equipment to local communities.

It was over 400,000 square feet of office space. It was over 1,400 employees and we were spread out in three different buildings so if you think about how much space that is, and how much furniture that is, it was going to be a lot to decommission.

Andrew McAllan MBA
Head of Real Estate Management

Sustainability has long been an important element within both Oxford and OMERS and it's part of our bigger corporate social responsibility, not just to the broader community but to the 480,000 people that rely on us to pay pensions. And this was part of that. Being able to reuse our furniture particularly for worthy causes, was a very important consideration for us.

Lisa Chandler
Vice-President, Development

We realized quite early in the process that we were not going to be able to reuse all of our furniture. So we started to talk to Herman Miller about how they had worked with other Fortune 500 companies in order to dispose of their furniture.

Trevor Langdon
Green Standards

We really try to engineer this whole process around identifying what is the best end destination for every piece in that inventory and let's make sure that that furniture is going there. So we had six or seven volunteers actually come and help offload furniture from trucks redeployed into this space and set it up for the organization to use.

Jameson Wood
Senior Coordinator of Programming and Operations
MukiBaum Accessibility Center

So what we do here is we design individualized programming for developmentally disabled adults. And today we received the furniture donation from OMERS which includes all kinds of amazing furniture that will go directly to use in our day programming.

Andrew McAllan MBA
Head of Real Estate Management

It was a complete turnkey solution, meaning that we simply contacted Green Standards and they took the exercise from there and were able to assure us that the furniture would not end up in the landfill.
Trevor Langdon
Green Standards

With inkind donations for an organization like MukiBaum, money that they would spend on furniture is literally dollars coming out of their programming budget. So for OMERS to be able to step in and donate furniture it saves MukiBaum that expense and literally channels those dollars directly into their programming budget.

Lisa Chandler
Vice-President, Development

We're keeping over 400 tons of furniture out of the landfill by donating it to agencies like MukiBaum. I have great pride in this. I think it's an amazing feeling to be able to see furniture that we sat in or we worked at being used by somebody else. I know there's 15 other organizations that we've also been able to donate furniture to. And I think it's a great thing that we're doing.

Talia Keter
Manager of Fundraising and Marketing
MukiBaum Accessibility Center

This has been an incredible day, from the joy on the people we serves faces, to the joy in our staff to the joy of the volunteers. Everyone I've passed all day has had a smile on their face and just been so happy to be here and help and realize the potential of this. Thank you OMERS we're so happy you came today.

TEXT CARD:

“Through Green Standards & Herman Miller, OMERS diverted 492 tons of Office Waste from landfill while facilitating nearly $100,000 of in-kind donations to non-profits and communities in the Greater Toronto Area.

Turning Waste Into Change”

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