Living Planet @ Work Company of the Month: OLG

© OLG

By Olivia Fernandez, Officer, Living Planet @ Work, WWF-Canada

What amazes me about Living Planet @ Work is the diversity of our program members. Our champions represent such a range of company sizes, sectors, resources, locations, capacities and more. Still, our tools are able to support their sustainable goals in a unique way.

Our program’s pillars – footprint reduction,  engagement in WWF campaigns and workplace giving to conservation –is the framework that provides each company with options and guidance on their sustainability journey.

This reminded me a lot of Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s (OLG) Bet On Green program and how its large network of sites function. The program was created in 2009 to help its over two dozen provincial gaming sites and corporate offices reduce their environmental impact. Since each site was so different – some in rural areas, some with an employee base ten times the size of others, some with larger buildings – OLG needed a sustainability framework that could be adapted.

"The Bet on Green framework is based on five pillars: Paper, Employee Participation, Public Engagement, Energy and Waste."

Bet on Green teams are guided by these common pillars, but work towards their specific goals with the help of Living Planet @ Work’s adaptable suite of tools. I connected with Noel Padilla, Senior Sustainability Analyst, and Yaakov Miller, Social Responsibility Analyst, who coordinate the program with volunteer teams at each site.  Below, they’ve cited some past and recent highlights that are a true testament to the Bet on Green program and committed teams across the province. Check out the list, but by no means complete, of the initiatives below!

Paper
• Sizes of online lottery tickets have been shrunk to reduce paper
• 98% of paper that is used at all sites is FSC and SFI-certified (Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative)
• Office paper use at all sites was reduced by switching to double-sided printing, e-memos, e-document storage and online form submissions

Employee Participation and Community Engagement
• Casino Sault Ste. Marie and the Sault corporate office have adopted Clergue Park
• The Point Edward Casino Polar Bear Dip and Sault Ste. Marie Corporate office dress down fundraisers raised $1,156  and $1,920, respectively, for WWF’s conservation work!
• All sites participate in Earth Hour and the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
•  Seven sites organized cleanups at their local communities during the spring
• Litterless lunches, and lunch and learns to promote recycling and proper waste management are regularly being held in some sites
• Slots at Grand River organized a campaign to encourage employees to make personal sustainability pledges, and recently hosted a  Green Heroes of the Month to award those who met personal pledges
• Thunder Bay established an organic garden with the produce donated to the local food bank

Energy
• All sites are making the switch from incandescent light bulbs to more energy-efficient LED and CFL ones
• OLG Slots at Georgian Downs became LEED certified, and one OLG Casino Brantford is in the process of achieving this certification as well
• Ten sites use light dimmers, eight sites use timers and sensors, and 13 sites have programmable thermostats to reduce energy consumption

Waste
• All sites recycle paper, plastic, wood, and metal waste
• Casino Thunder Bay, Slots at Western Fair, and the Sault Ste. Marie and Toronto corporate offices held e-waste drives, collecting over 2 tonnes of recyclable and reusable material from cassettes to cell phones to car stereos
• Ten sites replaced bottled water with reusable ones with each site eliminating over one thousand bottles every two weeks
• Slots Grand River has piloted source segregation of organic waste diverting an additional 15% of their waste from the landfill

Congratulations to the Bet on Green teams for their hard work in making these changes happen! The achievements reveal how sustainable change can occur in sites and organizations of all types, with the help of a strong framework and the right tools.

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