Employers Win by Helping Employees ‘Smart Commute’: Direct Energy recognized by Metrolinx as ‘Smart Commute Employer of the Year’
November 21, 2008 Leave a comment
Toronto, Canada – Smart Commute held its second annual ‘Employer of the Year’ awards last night at St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto. Ten workplaces from Hamilton to Newmarket to Ajax were recognized for their outstanding efforts to help employees get to work by walking, cycling, taking transit, carpooling and telework instead of driving in their areas. One exceptional leader – Direct Energy – was chosen as the regional ‘Employer of the Year’.
With programs to help employees carpool, take transit, cycle and telework, Direct Energy has been leading the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing healthy transportation choices while working to improve employee job satisfaction and recruitment.
“Direct Energy’s green team has moved forward on smart commuting initiatives this year, integrating them into our company-wide sustainability plan, and we’re honoured that our achievements were recognized through these awards” said Gloria Phibbs, Direct Energy’s Manager of Health, Safety, Wellness and the Environment for North America. “More than 500 staff completed the Smart Commute transportation survey at our GTA offices. We responded by introducing popular options like the Carpool Zone group which helps staff connect to share the ride, and we’re exploring employee vanpools, transit pass discounts for staff, and extending telework options.”
“Congratulations to Direct Energy and all of our Smart Commute winners,” said Rob MacIsaac, Chair of Metrolinx. “These employers are leading by example in helping to green the community and make better use of our transportation infrastructure investments.”
Other winning employers include aircraft landing gear manufacturer Messier-Dowty, vaccine producer sanofi pasteur, transportation consulting firm MMM Group, publisher Pearson Canada, Husky Injection Molding Systems, the City of Toronto, the City of Mississauga, the Town of Oakville and the City of Hamilton.
Winners were selected by an independent panel of community members from various sectors across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Nominations were evaluated on the employer’s commitment to the program, leadership in their communities, innovation and results.
Smart Commute is a joint venture between Metrolinx and area municipalities. About 100 employers with over 250,000 employees have signed on to the Smart Commute program. Members of the public can also access services such as the Carpool Zone online ridematching service at http://www.smartcommute.ca.
Choose Your Way. For more information about Smart Commute visit http://www.smartcommute.ca.
Metrolinx is a Crown agency of the Province of Ontario, operating within the legislative framework of the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority Act, 2006 and the provincial Growth Plan. For more information visit our website www.metrolinx.com.
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For more information, please contact:
Ryan Lanyon Jacquie Menezes
Team Lead, Smart Commute at Metrolinx Senior Associate, Public Affairs and Media
416-874-5933 416-874-5923 or cell 647-289-4523
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Backgrounder – Smart Commute Awards
Smart Commute Awards
The Awards were introduced in 2007 to officially recognize employer members or partners who have put forth exceptional effort in implementing their Smart Commute programs. The award will recognize outstanding commitment, leadership, innovation and results.
Smart Commutes from across the GTHA nominated their top employers and ten local ‘Employers of the Year’ were selected:
• Smart Commute Durham – Messier-Dowty
• Smart Commute Toronto-Central – City of Toronto
• Smart Commute Northeast Toronto – Direct Energy
• Smart Commute North Toronto, Vaughan – sanofi pasteur
• Smart Commute 404-7 – MMM Group
• Smart Commute Central York – Pearson Canada
• Smart Commute Mississauga – City of Mississauga
• Smart Commute Brampton-Caledon – Husky Injection Molding Systems
• Smart Commute Halton – Town of Oakville
• Smart Commute Hamilton – City of Hamilton
A regional ‘Employer of the Year’ was selected from the ten local winners to recognize the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area’s top Smart Commute employer. The 2008 winner is Direct Energy from Smart Commute Northeast Toronto.
In addition, a Smart Commute Champion award was given to individuals who have shown exceptional dedication to the program. The 2008 recipients of the award were the following municipal staff whose work led to the creation of the regional Smart Commute program:
• Jeff Brooks, Principal Planner, Durham Region
• Greg Stewart, Program Manager, City of Toronto
• Loy Cheah, Manager of Transportation Planning, York Region
• Matthew Williams, Transportation Planner, City of Mississauga
• Wayne Chan, Manager of Transportation Planning, Peel Region
• Melissa Green-Battiston, Transportation Planner, Halton Region
• Jillian Stephen, Manager of Strategic Planning, City of Hamilton
For more information on the successes of the recipients, visit http://www.smartcommute.ca/awards.
Smart Commute Awards Review Panel
The Smart Commute Award winners were selected by an independent review panel comprised of community members from various sectors across the region. This year’s panel was led by Metrolinx Chair Rob MacIsaac and consisted of representatives from the following:
• Durham Sustain Ability
• Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT)
• Town of Newmarket
• University of Toronto – Mississauga
• Oakville Transit
• Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
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