Under new CEO, sustainability a winning game for Triovest

Triovest has recently placed a major focus on sustainability and if awards are any measure, the Toronto-based property manager is making great strides.

Last month, the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), a major real estate owner and one of Triovest’s biggest clients, singled out some of its property managers and three tenants “for excellence in energy performance and environmental sustainability” as part of its annual LEAP (Leadership in Environmental Advancement Program) awards.

400 St. MarysTriovest was a big winner: the company pulled in three awards out of nine categories judged by HOOPP, sharing top showing among property managers with Menkes.

“We were very pleased. HOOPP has been a great partner, they are fully supportive of what we are doing,” said Kim McInnes, Triovest’s president and CEO. “They understand that there is an economic cost (to sustainability programs) and they have been very helpful in terms of working with us.”

McInnes, formerly president of global operations and a 20-year veteran of Caisse real estate arm Ivanhoe Cambridge, joined Triovest a year ago.

Triovest’s green man

The property manager’s focus on environmental and sustainability also has a human face in the form of Philippe Bernier, Triovest’s newly hired director of sustainability. Bernier, formerly a senior sustainability consultant at Loop Initiatives, has been charged with creating a formal structure and measurement for the company’s developing sustainability programs.

“The No. 1 thing we have done is create a committee of sustainability, so we have a group of people who meet regularly on it, which we never had before,” explained McInnes.
An increased focus on sustainability, which is an added cost for property managers and owners, is a cost, acknowledged the Triovest chief, “but if you want to stay competitive, you have to do it.”

A big challenge, the company has found, “is that the metrics are all over the place.”

Creating and establishing sustainability standards, and measuring them, is Triovest’s current focus. “We have started to measure where we are sustainable and where we want to go. No. 2 is putting in place various sustainability programs from recycling to energy conservation to even building materials,” said McInnes. “We never did that before.”

Clients want it

The economic argument for sustainability is strong, said McInnes. “It is probably one of the most important aspects going forward because, quite frankly, from a competitive perspective in terms of both the tenancies and the markets, it is a big issue. A lot of tenants are demanding it, making it a part of their leasing requirements, and a lot of our clients, because they are pension funds, a lot of our clients are extremely focused on it.”

Pension funds, as major owners of Canadian commercial real estate, are becoming major drivers of sustainability efforts in part because they want to be seen as being environmental leaders by their membership.

“Our clients are actually asking for it a lot,” added McInnes. “It is good corporate governance. It is consistent with our shareholders’ core values – they are extremely focused on sustainability.”

Recent successes

HOOPP honoured Triovest’s property management team at the 18,103 Trans-Canada industrial building in Kirkland, Que., with a LEAP award in the Industrial Tenant Leader category for “showcasing strong tenant leadership in sustainability that pushed property managers to increase their own efforts.”

HOOPP also singled out Triovest’s team at 5799 Route de L’Aèroport located in Saint-Hubert, Que., in the Industrial Engagement Leader category for “their outstanding efforts in engaging tenants, including collecting tenant data and helping them set property targets,” Triovest said.

As well, HOOPP honoured Triovest’s staff at 400 St. Mary Ave., in Winnipeg in the Energy Saver category (shown in picture). The Winnipeg building achieved the greatest per cent reduction in normalized energy intensity in the portfolio among all HOOPP commercial properties.

The strong HOOPP showing is the sustainability highlight of 2014 for Triovest but its corporate website is studded with sustainability awards.

In the last two months, it has picked up an EARTH award from BOMA BC for 4321 Still Creek Drive, a six-storey office building in Burnaby, BC.;  was awarded The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) in the category 100,000 – 249,999 square feet for Centrium Place in Calgary and also received a BOMA BESt Certificate of Excellence; received the Service Excellence Award for Industrial Buildings from BOMA Calgary for Great Plains I, located at 5801 – 72nd Avenue SE in Calgary; received the President’s Award for Leadership in Sustainability from BOMA Calgary; and picked up a BOMA Certificate of Excellence for Foresters Centre  at 789 Don Mills Road in Toronto.

Triovest currently manages about 60 buildings across country.

It has approximately 550 employees with offices in Montreal, Toronto, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

Paul is a writer, editor and media trainer based in Toronto with over 25 years of experience as a business reporter. He has written for Canada’s major news services on…

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Paul is a writer, editor and media trainer based in Toronto with over 25 years of experience as a business reporter. He has written for Canada’s major news services on…

Read more

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