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HOOPP honours sustainability leaders in 2023 LEAP Awards

Winners include Triovest, Menkes and GWL Realty Advisors

IMAGE: 840 Howe Street owned by GWL Realty Advisors
The exterior of 840 Howe St. in Vancouver, for which GWL Realty Advisors took home the Technology Innovator Award. (Courtesy GWL Realty Advisors Inc.)

The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) celebrated its 12th annual LEAP Awards, singling out sustainability efforts in its real estate portfolio by giving out 11 distinctions in 10 categories.

“We are pleased to see the steps our global partners have taken over the last year to help us manage the risks and opportunities that climate change poses on the HOOPP portfolio, helping us to achieve the targets laid out in our Climate Plan,” HOOPP senior managing director and head of global real estate Eric Plesman said in a statement.

“As a major real estate owner, we have a responsibility to improve sustainability performance in our portfolio and drive positive change throughout the industry.”

HOOPP’s portfolio includes approximately 60 million square feet of industrial, residential, office and retail space across Canada, the U.S. and Europe, with a value of $21 billion. Its climate plan has a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. HOOPP is also a founding member of Climate Engagement Canada and sits on its steering committee.

The LEAP Award winners

The GHG Performer Award was given to Triovest Realty Advisors Inc.’s Atco Centre in Edmonton for reducing natural gas and electricity consumption to achieve emissions reductions of more than 20 per cent since 2019, exceeding industry benchmarks.

Triovest also took home the Climate Leader Award for 1 Prologis Blvd. in Mississauga, where it implemented an advanced automated scheduling system for the building's heat pumps.

The GHG Manager Award was presented to Menkes Property Management Services for 4711 Yonge St. in Toronto, a 16-storey class-A building built in 1987 offering 390,000 square feet of office space. Menkes developed a decarbonization strategy for the building that included both short- and long-term actions, as well as securing external funding for the plan.

The company also won the Tenant Collaboration Award for One York St. in Toronto by offering engagement activities to influence behaviour and achieve additional energy reductions following a detailed energy audit.

GWL Realty Advisors Inc. took home the Technology Innovator Award for 840 Howe St. in Vancouver. The company was recognized for reducing natural gas consumption by 60 per cent by injecting waste heat into the building’s hot water loop. According to the company, this only increases baseline electricity use by three per cent.

The project was one of three regarding GWL Realty's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its building by 50 per cent by 2030.

Randy Felty, GWL Realty's senior project manager, told SustainableBiz the project would be replicable in similar buildings provided:

  • they have a central plant that cools during the winter while using natural gas or steam for heating;
  • they can be heated with 65 C water for most of the year;
  • the heating and cooling plants are in close proximity to each other;
  • and that the building has the space.

Knightstone Capital Management Inc. received the Stakeholder Engagement Innovator Award for the CampusOne, Parkside and Campus1 MTL student residences in Toronto and Montreal. The company created a financial literacy program including workshops, lectures and advisory sessions, to educate students on personal finance topics.

Mississauga-based Morguard Corp. took home the Sustainability Achiever Award for the Intercity Shopping Centre in Thunder Bay. The centre had the best overall performance on the Pillar Scorecard, HOOPP’s primary tool for tracking portfolio-level performance. It also received the 2022 Earth Award from BOMA Canada for its sustainability efforts.

Non-Canadian winners

Moda Tower, owned by Portland, Ore.'s Unico Properties, won the Sustainable Operator Award for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 300 tonnes annually through a retrofit of HVAC controls and lighting, as well as the installation of an energy information system.

Paris-based MARK's Grand Opera won the Sustainable Fund Award for partnering with non-profits to provide emergency accommodation, meals and help-centre services free of charge to 139 vulnerable women and children between summer 2022 and 2023.

The Community Impact Award was given to Greensboro, N.C.-based Bell Partners Inc. for its Liberty U.S. residential portfolio. Eight hundred volunteer hours were spent packing and preparing food, resulting in the donation of over 3,000 pounds of food and over 10,000 meals for families in need.

The runner-up was McCor Management (East) Inc.’s Mayflower Mall in Sydney, N.S. for creating interactive booths about sustainability hosted by students.

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