Morguard: Sustainably Developing the Real Estate Industry

The Opportunity

Morguard, one of Canada’s largest integrated real estate companies, recognized the value of integrating sustainability into their operations for not only the social and ecological benefits but for the economic advantage gained through differentiating themselves amongst their competitors.

The Response

To integrate sustainability into their every-day practices, Morguard devised four phases of action:

  • Phase 1: a sustainability assessment and identification of best practices
  • Phase 2: the development of a sustainability strategy, vision and initiative prioritization
  • Phase 3: strategy implementation and engagement
  • Phase 4: communications and stakeholder reporting

The Process

Neil Pegram, the Morguard sustainability program lead, started with an internal review and an external analysis of best practices in the industry and then engaged The Natural Step Canada to help launch Phase 2 of their action plan. Subsequently, a 2.5 day sustainability training and strategic planning session was co-facilitated by Neil and Natural Step Principal Advisor Pong Leung to foster a common understanding of sustainability amongst senior management and to promote thinking about sustainability in a more strategic way. The workshop also focused on the development of a long-term vision to help move the company forward in its sustainability journey.
One of the highlights of the planning session was the “world café” style discussion which afforded participants the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations in a less formal and more exploratory way.

A range of employees and senior management, including Morguard’s president, were highly engaged in all sessions and a wide range of initiatives resulted. In particular Morguard’s Development team committed to developing only “green office buildings” that meet industry certifications in future engagements. Such a clear step in the right direction speaks to both the thoughtfulness and earnestness of Morguard’s drive to make the world a better place.

 

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