A new tower for OMERS meant new furniture for local non-profits

INDUSTRY
Pension Plans, Corporate Real Estate

COMPANY SIZE
3,000

HEADQUARTERS
Toronto, Ontario

OMERS prioritizes sustainability and waste reduction through a partnership with Green Standards to divert no longer needed furniture and equipment from landfill through donations to non-profit agencies in Toronto.

truck sending furniture to landfill

LANDFILL DIVERSION RATE (491.5 TONS)

0%

Saving money

IN-KIND DONATIONS

$0

Green Standards provides free furniture donations to registered non-profits

NON-PROFIT BENEFICIARIES

0

Green Standards donates office chairs to non-profits and charitable organizations

EMPLOYEES WORTH OF FURNITURE

0+

SQUARE FEET OF OFFICES

0+

METRIC TONS OF GHG OFFSET

0

Challenge

OMERS was consolidating 3 offices into a single newly constructed tower. When they moved to their new head office they needed furniture that supported more collaboration, but didn’t want their old materials to go to waste. With over 1400 employees being relocated, it created the need for a more complex, multi-channeled disposition strategy.

As part of the transition, they strived to responsibly decommission 400,000 square feet of office space, to ensure excess furniture and equipment would be kept out of landfill and channeled into local communities. OMERS was focusing efforts on getting their employees settled in the new space and lacked the time and resources to sustainably manage the decommission process.

“It was a complete turnkey solution, meaning that we simply contacted Green Standards and they took the exercise from there and were able to assure us that the furniture would not end up in the landfill.”

Andrew McAllan

Head of Real Estate Management

OMERS/Oxford Properties

Solution

By combining donation, resale, and recycling strategies with turnkey project management, Green Standards maximized asset recovery, streamlined community donation, and virtually eliminated waste.

Green Standards took responsibility for the entire process, including the dismantling, removal and relocation of each item, and coordinating between the movers, buyers, local non-profits and specialized recyclers. It also provided documentation and in-depth environmental and social impact reporting to help OMERS capture and review the outcome of the project.

Result

By working with our Circular Economy-Inspired program, OMERS was able to repurpose valuable products with a 99% landfill diversion rate on 400+ tons of surplus assets. The majority of items – including tables, desks, chairs, shelves, fridges, and dishwashers – were either resold, recycled or donated, reducing costs, while benefiting the environment and local community groups.

Asset Distribution

Resale

Donation

Recycling

Relocation

Landfill

Beneficiary Spotlight

The MukiBaum Accessibility Centre is 1 of 17 beneficiaries that received furniture and equipment donations from OMERS. MukiBaum provides inclusive, community-focused support to children and adults with autism and/or other complex developmental disabilities and their families.

Thank you for the truly amazing donation of key furniture! The individual work tables,  file storage and chairs will go immediately to use by our staff and the participants of the program. As a non-profit as well as an NGO, these fantastic donations directly help us in continuing to support the people we serve and their families.

Jameson Wood
Senior Coordinator of Operations and Programming, MukiBaum

In the Media

OMERS Turns Waste Into Change in Toronto
Announcement
Insights
Green Standards wins REmmy Award at CoreNet Gala
Announcement
Award
Trevor Langdon among Canada’s Clean50
Announcement
Award

The OMERS model can work for your company and community.

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