Sunlife among The Global 100 most sustainable corporations

Sun Life Financial Inc. is basking in the limelight as one of 13 Canadian companies earning a spot among The Global 100 most sustainable corporations for 2014.

This year’s honour marks the eighth year Sun Life has appeared on the rankings, which are published by Corporate Knights.

Mississauga Executive CentreTo make the list, companies across all industry sectors must qualify under a stringent, and diverse range of criteria. The 12 key performance indicators run the gamut from energy and water use, to employee compensation and corporate tax strategy.

“Being recognized on the Global 100 list validates our sustainability efforts,” Philip Gillin, senior managing director and head of Canadian Property Investments, said in a statement.

“Integrating sustainability”

“Integrating sustainability is part of our business initiatives, like our investments in sustainable real estate developments and renewable energy projects . . . ” added Gillian, who doubles as chair of Sun Life’s International Sustainability Council.

The company occupies approximately 2.7 million square feet of office space across Canada and says it actively monitors and manages the environmental footprint of its existing properties.

To date, 62 per cent of the firm’s commercial real estate has been awarded either a BOMA BESt or LEED EB (existing building) designation. In 2012, Sun Life achieved a LEED EB Gold designation for the Mississauga Executive Centre, a four-building complex.

In late 2013, Sunlife provided a $140-million term mortgage – the largest conventional mortgage investment in the company’s history – to developer Shape Properties for a sustainable shopping centre in Abbotsford, B.C.

The 600,000-sq.-ft. multi-level Highstreet Shopping Centre stacks retail and parking on 20 acres of land, using approximately one-third of the land area required for a project of its size with traditional surface parking.

In September, Sun Life also advanced two long-term loans worth $160 million to Enwave Energy Corporation, which provides steam-based heating and uses cold Lake Ontario water to cool more than 150 buildings in Toronto.

TD Bank also honoured

TD Bank, which also made the list, became the first carbon-neutral bank in North America. TD  uses an integrated approach to building design resulting in changes such as more natural light to reduce the need for electrical lighting and smart workstations where computers and lights automatically turn off when not in use.

In May 2012, the main branch of the TD Bank in Toronto put in a living roof, using Creek Sedge Grass to absorb rainwater and reduce run-off.

Another Canadian company on the Corporate Knights Global 100 list is Tim Hortons, which had four restaurants registered for LEED certification in 2012 and is currently working on having another five gain the certification. The firm’s goal is to have 30 LEED projects by the end of 2016.

Other Canadian companies to make the list: BombardierTeck Resources; Bank of MontrealCenovus EnergySuncor EnergyIntact Financial CorporationTELUS CorporationBCEEnbridge; and Encana.

The top 100 companies are selected from all publicly traded companies with a market capitalization of  more than US$2 billion.


A multiple award-winning reporter, writer and editor for more than 25 years, Charles Mandel most recently worked as the National Observer's climate change reporter. He is a former Atlantic correspondent…

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A multiple award-winning reporter, writer and editor for more than 25 years, Charles Mandel most recently worked as the National Observer's climate change reporter. He is a former Atlantic correspondent…

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