Manitoba’s business community stepped forward with the objective of increasing energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of public and private commercial buildings within the province. In a commitment of unprecedented collaboration, Manitoba businesses pledged to achieve this goal through best practices, resource sharing and tenant-landlord engagement.
Summerhill helped Manitoba Hydro develop the Manitoba Race to Reduce. competition. The Race, which began in January 2017, is a friendly corporate challenge to provincial office building landlords and tenants in buildings over 30,000 sq. ft. The objective is to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut the total collective energy use in participating office buildings by at least 10% over four years.
The Manitoba Race to Reduce includes a number of guiding principles to ensure the program’s success:
- Participation—Landlords and tenants publicly commit to working together to achieve reductions
- Collaboration—Participants are encouraged to work together to coordinate initiatives, share successes and best practices
- Resources—Manitoba Race to Reduce provides a plan of action and tool kit of technical advice to encourage behavioural changes and positive team building among landlords, tenants and their employees
- Measurement—ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® allows buildings to measure and track energy and water consumption as well as GHG emissions. This online tool compares year-over-year progress with themselves, the entire portfolio and similar buildings across the country.
- Recognition—Annually, participants will be publicly recognized for their efforts and results
- A challenge to office buildings throughout Manitoba to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs by improving efficiency
- Energy- efficiency goals driven by best practices, resource sharing, tenant-landlord engagement and annual awards for best highest achievements
- Commercial buildings representing 7.6 million sq. ft. of office space have registered so far
Once building landlords and tenants register for the Race, they receive a “Race Kit” guide for introducing and implementing energy-efficient programming within their workplace. The steps of the process include:
- Tracking/reviewing their building’s energy consumption
- Understanding how their building is using energy
- Identifying opportunities for improvement
- Setting short-term and long-term energy reduction goals
- Developing a strategy for implementing the selected measures
- Tracking their progress and making modifications
- Getting recognized for their efforts at an annual awards ceremony
In its first year, the Manitoba Race to Reduce proved an enormous success with 31 major Manitoba commercial office buildings (representing 7.6 million sq. ft. of office space) registered. The number of participants included almost 400 tenants and tens of thousands of employees.
With more businesses joining the program as the word gets out, Summerhill and Manitoba Hydro are confident that collaboration and participation on this scale will achieve, and even exceed, the projected results in the coming years.
With more businesses joining the program as the word gets out, Summerhill and the Manitoba business community are confident that collaboration and participation on this scale will achieve, and even exceed, the projected results in the coming years.