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 2019 Forum on the Workplace
Shaw Centre, 55 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON 
May 14-15, 2019  

BOMA BEST® Sustainable Workplaces
Benjamin L. Shinewald, Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada
The objective of this presentation is to explain how occupant behaviour inside workplaces is a key, overlooked factor in ensuring “green” real estate operations, though it also builds teams, attracts Millennials, etc.

Many organizations have a green mandate when it comes to building, occupying and/or leasing commercial/institutional space. As such, there are many sustainability certifications for commercial real estate including BOMA BEST, which is both made-in-Canada and the largest certification in Canada.

However, focusing on the building’s sustainability and ignoring the sustainability of the activities occurring within the building is like driving a “green” car with deflated tires or with the windows down and the air conditioning on. More and more, organizations realize that they must focus on their workplace activities as an essential next step in being sustainable – and Human Resources professionals increasingly need to respond to a labour market that demands sustainable employers.

It is for this reason that the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Canada created BOMA BEST® Sustainable Workplaces, the perfect tool to lead you and your organization to an environmentally sustainable workplace.

Not only will BOMA BEST® Sustainable Workplaces validate what you’ve already done, it will give you a road map to improve key performance indicators. The standardized framework requires you to benchmark, monitor and set goals in nine areas that you typically have some measure of control over:

  • Energy
  • Water
  • Electronic Waste
  • Recycling and Waste Diversion
  • Sustainable Spaces
  • Sustainable Travel and Commuting
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Procurement
  • Communication

BOMA BEST® Sustainable Workplaces also represents the next evolution in tenant/occupant engagement for property managers and building operators. It is widely acknowledged that tenants/occupants are the “final frontier” in sustainable building performance. Moreover, property managers and building operators frequently have a very difficult time engaging their tenants/occupants/customers in a positive, proactive manner. By engaging tenants/occupants with BOMA BEST® Sustainable Workplaces, property managers and building operators can provide something of great value to tenants/occupants while also driving up the sustainability of the building’s performance.

In this informative and interactive session, BOMA Canada CEO, Benjamin Shinewald, will elaborate on the drive towards sustainable workplaces, drawing on trends in Millennial engagement, feedback from a national pilot, and integration from a major interdisciplinary study based jointly out of the University of Waterloo and Wilfred Laurier University.

Sustainable Workplaces are the next “big thing” in commercial/institutional real estate, and this session will explain why.

Benjamin L. Shinewald, President and Chief Executive Officer, Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada
Benjamin L. Shinewald is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA), which represents thousands of property managers, asset managers and other members across Canada. Among other things, Benjamin’s responsibilities include BOMA BEST®, Canada’s leading sustainability certification for commercial real estate. During his tenure, BOMA BEST® has grown rapidly and is now expanding worldwide. BOMA Canada is also currently launching BOMA BEST® Sustainable Workplaces, the world’s first sustainability certification aimed at commercial tenants. Over his 6+ years at BOMA Canada, the organization has expanded tremendously and it continues to grow, with a wide variety of new programs underway. Benjamin represents BOMA Canada and BOMA BEST® at various national and international fora, including several Government of Canada-sponsored programs.

Prior to joining BOMA in 2012, Benjamin served as the CEO of Canadian Jewish Congress.

Earlier, he served in the Privy Council Office in Ottawa and practiced law in Toronto at Torys. Benjamin previously served as a Law Clerk to the Chief Justice of Israel and worked for the Leader of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong, the Canadian Mission to the OECD in Paris and the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club.

Benjamin has won various awards including an Action Canada Fellowship, which named him “one of Canada’s best and brightest emerging leaders,” and a European Union Visitors Programme Fellowship, which recognized him as a “young, promising leader.”

Benjamin was educated at the University of Toronto, the London School of Economics, the University of Manitoba and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His opinion pieces are regularly published in leading newspapers.

Demonstrating the Value of Sustainable Buildings for the Environment, Organizations, and Employees
Jennifer A. Veitch, National Research Council of Canada
The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate how human resources and facilities data can together build the evidence base to value sustainable buildings.

Sustainability is to meet the needs of the present without impeding the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Reducing carbon emissions from all economic sectors is critically important for future generations, but is often perceived as being uneconomical in the present day when financial calculations are based only on reduced energy bills and operational benefits. Taking this view misses the potential for both reductions in costs and increases in value associated with the effects of the environment on the people in it. It has been more difficult to establish the complete economic value of advanced buildings for organizations and to develop a solid business case based on organizational productivity gains. Nonetheless, it can be done by using rigorous research design principles to bring together facilities management and human resources data, along with building sciences and environmental and organizational psychology. Our team at the National Research Council of Canada has worked on this problem for over 20 years and we have a plan to continue to build the case through collaborative and strategic research.

Our approach uses a balanced scorecard to combine the benefits on energy and maintenance, with the effects on employee well-being, into an overall picture of the organizational productivity consequences of sustainable building practices. Our list of the people-related key performance indicators (KPIs) in the scorecard include absenteeism, employee turnover intent, self-assessed performance, job satisfaction, health and well-being, and complaints to the facilities manager. We have conducted field studies in over 45 buildings across North America to assess environmental conditions in concert with surveys, both online and in person, of over 6,000 individual employees. This work has generated systematic evidence that employees in green-certified buildings, on average, report higher levels of environmental and job satisfaction. More recently we analyzed archival employee survey data from the Royal Bank of Canada whose office staff are spread across green-certified and conventional buildings. There too, we found that most of the green-certified buildings were occupied by more satisfied employees than matched conventional buildings, and employees in some of them also scored higher on manager-assessed performance.

In partnership with the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), we determined that the effects of better buildings on these KPIs are at least as large as the effects of other organizational investments such as workplace health programs or performance bonuses, highlighting the importance of bringing together facilities management and human resources to build the business case for building investments.

We now focus our research attention on demonstrating these collateral organizational productivity benefits of specific building technology and design choices in Government of Canada office buildings as well as private sector buildings, including the Ontario Association of Architects headquarters. Such evidence will support specific low-carbon initiatives that deliver fully on the sustainability promise to meet the needs of present-day occupants, while preserving the environment for generations to come.

This presentation will include a summary of the results from our many studies, demonstrating tangible improvement of organisational productivity KPIs by workspace environmental conditions.

Jennifer A. Veitch, PhD, Principal Research Officer, National Research Council of Canada
Jennifer A. Veitch, PhD, is best known for her research on lighting quality, individual controls, and office design effects on organizational productivity. Jennifer has led National Research Council research into environmental effects on health and behaviour for over 25 years. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, the American Psychological Association, the International Association of Applied Psychology, and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). In 2011, she received the Waldram Gold Pin for Applied Illuminating Engineering from the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), and in 2018 she received the IES Medal Award.

Shaping the Real Property Workforce of the Future
Tracy Orr and Maria McKay
The objective of this presentation is to explore the major trends and critical HR challenges real property organizations face, with fresh thinking and leading practices for shaping the workforce of the future.

The future is already here. Is your workforce ready?

Five generations in the workforce. Extreme automation. Digitized ecosystems. Evolving employee expectations as accelerated reskilling becomes the norm. Workforce disruption is occurring at an unprecedented scale, as technology changes how work is performed and value is delivered to customers. You are familiar with the buzzwords but do you know what these rapidly evolving trends mean to the future of your workforce?

During this session, we will look into the future that is already here, how it defines a new workforce, and what strategies real property leaders can adapt to help deal with disruption and shift their organization to the desired future. Join experts with deep HR, public sector and real property experience for a dynamic discussion on the critical HR challenges the federal real property community must face, with fresh thinking and leading practices for shaping the workforce of the future.

Tracy Orr, Senior Manager, KPMG
Tracy Orr is a Senior Manager in KPMG Ottawa’s People and Change Advisory practice. With over 25 years of experience in large scale transformations, Tracy has extensive experience managing diverse programs/projects, strategic planning, overseeing outsourced service delivery, acquisitions, workforce transition, change management, knowledge transfer, contract negotiations/management and quality assurance. Her primary focus has been in designing and implementing outsourced service delivery models, and she has provided oversight for managing internal and external implications for the workforce, impact on collective agreements, strategic communications and significant change management.

Federal Science and Technology Infrastructure Initiative: Collaborative Science Workplaces
Catherine Ste-Marie1,Chris Gatt1, Hugues-Frédéric Brouillette2
1Federal Science and Technology Infrastructure Initiative
2Parks Canada
The objective of this presentation is to discuss the FSTII program’s approaches to managing and delivering in an enterprise change management environment.

The Federal Science and Technology Infrastructure Initiative (FSTII) is a 25-year strategy that will strengthen federal science in Canada. This initiative aims to provide federal scientists with facilities and tools that will improve collaboration and allow them to continue the important work they do on behalf of Canadians. The initial investment of $2.8 billion that was announced in Budget 2018 will provide leading-edge and adaptable laboratory facilities that are outfitted with tailored solutions for the IT needs of federal scientists. The FSTII will advance a whole-of-government transformation, bringing together scientists and creating the infrastructure needed to address the challenges of tomorrow.

This session will be a panel discussion focusing on the program’s approaches to managing and delivering in an enterprise change management environment.




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