Toronto Bets on Green Buildings

Toronto Bets on Green Buildings

Brookfield LePage Johnson Controls brings in Paul Hawken

Catalyzing change for the betterment of business and the environment is the goal of an inspired event.

“The intent is to create awareness about the fact that there are alternatives to conducting business in a traditional manner that perhaps is not optimal for our environment or the ecology, and ultimately isn’t even optimal from an economics perspective,” says Gord Hicks, president of Brookfield LePage Johnson Controls (BLJC), which is presenting the second annual gathering dubbed An Inspired Event.

  Paul Hawken

“It’s really about planting the seed of thought to approach your business differently, to think differently, to challenge the status quo and to go about your operations, regardless of the business, in a manner that challenges the amount of waste you might have or how efficient you might be and how ecologically sensitive you are.”

Hicks says public demand is driving the need for business to innovate for a more sustainable future.

“People are starting to realize that we don’t have an infinite supply of air, water and land, and we’ve really got to start to think differently about conserving these resources,” he says. “And that awareness is forcing people to make choices when they go out to do business with organizations, and they want to do business with organizations that reflect their views.”

Those attending An Inspired Future will be able to network, engage and learn from leaders of various industries in Canada as well as keynote speaker Paul Hawken. The renowned environmentalist, entrepreneur, author and consultant has inspired Hicks through his book, The Ecology of Commerce.

Hawken’s approach is “very pragmatic and lends itself well to business because he advocates for solutions that are both ecologically beneficial and economically advantageous,” Hicks says.

  Peter Busby

Peter Busby, a leading North American architect and founder of the Canada Green Building Council, will also talk about innovations occurring in sustainable building design.

The 11th annual GLOBE Awards for Environmental Excellence will also be presented at An Inspired Future. Honouring excellence in environmental stewardship in Canada, the awards go to companies and industry groups that balance competitive business strategies with sustainable development.

An Inspired Future manifests BLJC’s mission to be a role model for sustainable operating practices and aligns with the company’s core value of sustainability. Hicks notes that the company is “constantly looking at ways to innovate around how we can operate more sustainably within our client sites,” which can involve engaging clients in changing approaches to service delivery.

“So we need their input and involvement and we’re hoping that through forums like this we can actually help them think differently about their operations and then facilitate us collaboratively moving forward and challenging the approach to services that we deliver.”

Hicks says that An Inspired Future is “one way that BLJC is trying to make a difference in our society.”

“We are genuinely focused, as a leader in business, to do what we feel is the right thing to do to help to proliferate this movement around sustainability and environmental protection.”

An Inspired Event takes place Feb. 6 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.

Why this Story Advances the Transition Agenda:
Real estate is responsible for 35 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions in Canada alone. In every country across the globe buildings represent a tremendous opportunity to decrease our carbon footprint by designing living or passive buildings and introducing energy efficiency measures into older buildings. As BLJC is demonstrating with retrofitting older buildings, sustainability can have economic advantages.  

Related Stories:
Real-Estate Industry Needs to Think Restoratively, Not Just Sustainably

HOK, Biomimicry Guild expand use of architectural design based on nature worldwide

Transsolar’s work highlighting opportunities in a world without oil

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This story was originally posted to the internal Brookfield LePage Johnson Controls news service, and appears here with permission. To learn more about generative news services for your organization, please contact peter(at)



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Lisa Bailey

Lisa Bailey came to Axiom News with reporting and editing experience at newspapers across southern Ontario. She has enjoyed a new approach to journalism based in appreciative inquiry and asking catalytic questions, and the variety of interviewing people from sectors as different as long-term care and engineering.

“It’s important to record history as it is happening, and that’s what journalism does. But there can also be deeper meaning," she says. "You can be forward-thinking and try to facilitate change for the better."

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