For the women working in the green building sectors for Enbridge, their commitment goes well beyond the standard job descriptions.
Most noticeably, they are recognized for passionately embracing community endeavours along the way.
“A great number of us are involved with many community/volunteered-based organizations,” says Mary Harinck, Energy Advisor, Commercial New Construction, at Enbridge.
She pointed to the group called Women in Construction (WINC), which is a non-profit organization of professional women that serves communities and individuals who are in need of help or in crisis.
Part of WINC’s mandate focuses on the unique strengths, network and resources that allows them to deliver solutions that transform environments to enrich and better the lives of those in need, thereby creating positive change.
“But there are many other outreach programs,” Harinck continued, “including Habitat for Humanity, board and committee involvement with home builders’ associations, Ride for Cancer and Big Sisters.”
As a result, there is a definite work/volunteer overlap, which creates an ongoing synergy with communities.
“These women at Enbridge are continuously contacted to help builders with any concerns or questions that may arise during their building process regarding the gas utility,” Harinck says.
For more than 15 years, Harinck says, Enbridge Gas Distribution has been actively promoting a portfolio of energy efficiency programs to help its customers save energy and money.
“Together, we’ve implemented energy savings that have allowed us to avoid producing 9.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, and have saved 5.3 billion cubic meters of natural gas.”
And that is all part of a dedicated corporate strategy. According to the company’s website, Enbridge has become a leader in the safe and reliable delivery of energy in North America and is proud to be recognized as one of the global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world.
“We generate energy, expanding our interests in renewable and green energy technologies,” the website says, “including wind and solar energy, geothermal and hybrid fuel cells.”
Both Harinck and Shannon Bertuzzi, Sales Manager, Residential Energy Solutions, at Enbridge, point out there are also many programs to assist builders with homes and making the buildings more energy efficient.
“We’re here to give you the resources you need,” says Bertuzzi. “More than ever, homebuyers are looking to builders to provide them with innovative, energy-saving solutions.
“That’s why we’re here to offer builders innovative programs and services that can help the homeowners save energy and money.”
One example is the Enbridge Drain Water Heat Recovery (DWHR) program.
“Forward-thinking home builders are equipping homeowners with a DWHR unit, which is an increasingly popular cutting-edge technology that helps reduce hot water waste,” explained Bertuzzi. “Valued at over $600, installing a DWHR unit will help new homeowners save on water heating costs. The unit is easy to install, maintenance-free, cost effective and proven and practical.”
Most recently, Enbridge has been introducing a new Savings by Design program, for both commercial and residential sectors; an initiative geared to more than routine energy efficiency.
“The objective is to achieve 25 per cent greater energy savings than current Ontario Building Code standards through an integrated design process,” Bertuzzi says. “We target not only energy savings but also the environmental impact.”
Its Integrated Design Process (IDP) involves the building owners and their design team working together at the outset of the building’s design phase, to identify the optimal mix of design elements and technologies to maximize environmental performance.
Before any design iteration is finalized, Enbridge will enlist energy modeling experts to estimate the potential natural gas and electricity savings.
“Maximizing the energy efficiency of your new buildings starts with the design,” says Harinck. “That’s where Enbridge comes in. We developed the Savings by Design program to help commercial builders and design and construct high performance buildings – without sacrificing style, service or comfort. Better for the environment. Better overall performance. Better for their bottom line.”
Subject to specified conditions, financial and performance incentives for the construction process will be available for participants in the Savings by Design program.
In the commercial area, there can be incentives and support for the three primary stages of the construction process.
“We will work with builders during the design, development and commissioning of the building, to help ensure the project meets its energy performance targets,” Harinck say.
In the residential area, there can be incentives for the two primary stages of the construction process.
“We will work with you during the design and development of your new homes,” says Bertuzzi. “And, like the commercial program, we help ensure your project also meets the energy performance standards.
“Savings by Design provides an opportunity for the developer/builder to obtain expert information and to explore options that are simple and profitable to their bottom line.”
And there are many qualified “women in green” waiting in the wings at Enbridge to help make that happen.