Suncor staff in Calgary rise to One-Tonne ChallengeNearly 30% of Suncor Energy's Calgary workforce has signed on to the company's 'One-Tonne Challenge' program, committing themselves to specific actions to reduce personal greenhouse gas emissions by 744 tonnes over the next year. This works out to an average of 3.3 tonnes for each of the 227 employees. The One-Tonne Challenge pilot has been so successful that Suncor is now looking for opportunities to roll it out to its Fort McMurray and Toronto offices.
Working with the non-profit Pembina Institute, the company has offered tips, resources and incentives to help its participating staff meet their commitment. Suncor employees signed up for the One-Tonne Challenge through the Institute's easy-to-use One Less Tonne web tool (www.onelesstonne.ca) which helps individuals choose specific, measurable actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions both at home and on the road.
Suncor offered employees a number of environmentally friendly incentives to take the One-Tonne Challenge, including Calgary Transit tickets and energy-efficient light bulbs. The company is also offering 50% off a home energy audit to any employee registered with the program.
Through an internal Web site as well, Suncor employees can access information about home energy audits, installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances, building an energy-efficient house, improving energy efficiency in personal transportation and using renewable energy.
"When it comes to taking action on environmental issues, small changes in how you live can make a big difference," said Shannon Morin, Suncor's environmental advisor, sustainable development, who oversees the program. "Our employees have shown that, by taking relatively simple steps at home and on the road, they can cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce air and water pollution and save money as well."
The One-Tonne Challenge supports Suncor's seven-point climate change action plan, elements of which include educating Suncor employees and the public about climate change, investing in renewable energy and introducing energy-saving technologies. The Challenge is also the company's direct response to the federal government initiative of the same name, which asks every Canadian to reduce their personal greenhouse gas emissions by one tonne annually.
It is estimated that individual Canadians produce nearly 25% of Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions - an average of five tonnes per person per year. The largest sources of personal greenhouse gas emissions are cars, heating, cooling and lighting homes, heating water and using household appliances.