Tucked away in the south end of Barrie is a modern example of a sustainable office space that incorporates a wide range of environmental principles. Busch Systems Canada is a Barrie-local recycle and waste bin manufacturer, and the building showcases how the business’ commitment to environmental practices expands well beyond waste management and diversion.
The office décor makes use of reclaimed materials– including the main board room tabletop (a centrepiece). Other common spaces in the building incorporate reclaimed materials for furnishing and flooring, and windows were locally sourced. The front entrance of the building and the area behind the boardroom each boast a living wall. These walls naturally clean and cool the air and contribute to the appearance of the space. Designed and installed by Green Over Grey, the 1,000 plant living wall behind the boardroom covers 210 sq. ft.
President and CEO Craig Busch describes the living walls this way “Looking after our people, caring for plants and cleaning the air naturally without the use of toxins helps us reaffirm our ongoing commitment to people, planet and profit.”
Lights in the building are on motion sensors and LED bulbs are used in the main office. On Wednesday’s the entire office observes “lights off Wednesday” at which time staff rely on the natural light that filters into the building due to careful window placement.
Water conservation is not overlooked. Toilets are all low flush, and a plan is in the works to re-institute a greywater capture system to divert storm water collected from the building roof to irrigate the on-site community vegetable gardens. To reduce single use water bottle use, plans are underway to install a Reverse-Osmosis system to allow employees to refill reusable water bottles with confidence. Vegetation has been placed around the perimeter of the parking lot to improve water quality and protect the natural area behind the property.
Upstairs, a newly-expanded printing room allows Busch to have more control over sustainable sourcing for ink and paper (FSC), and helps to save money and to ensure recycling is maximized. Any batteries used at Busch are recycled. Employees self-sort recyclable material generated at their desks and bring it to the company-wide recycling station for collection by a local waste management company. Food waste diversion is the next project and plans are underway to have a food waste collection system in place for the office by Summer 2018. Even the company chosen to keep the office clean uses environmentally-friendly cleaners and follows environmental principles.
Busch recycle and waste bins themselves are manufactured with recycled content whenever possible. Any scraps that result from customization of bins are collected and sent back to the manufacturing facility for incorporation into the manufacture of new bins.
The ethic at Busch incorporates all three pillars of sustainability (social/environmental/economic) and the business makes a point of giving back to the community in which it operates. Visit their website to find out more about Sustainability efforts and Community involvement.