Tavares Group Consulting Inc. was pleased to attend the 2019 CANECT conference in Vaughan, ON from May 7 to 9. Staarsoft™ was among the many excellent exhibitors at this environmental compliance and best practices training event. Other exhibitors included Bennett Jones LLP, McMaster University, Environment Canada, Government Canada health, and many more. 

At booth 107, we came prepared with a sustainability solution to compliance needs, and our Sustainability Toolkit guidance prints flew out of the booth. If you missed us at the event, contact us to receive an e-version of the Toolkit!

CANECT offers a series of courses and discussion panels to various environmental professionals. These courses count towards the OACETT Continuing Professional Development program. Sandra Tavares, Principal, Tavares Group Consulting Inc., was one of four keynote speakers who shared their insight as part of the Environmental Management System Synergies: Improve Efficiency and Performance sessions.

Why should an organization pursue sustainability? Accountability and sustainability reporting requirements are increasing and becoming more stringent. The Staarsoft™ software and its Sustainability Toolkit approach are a Best Practice Model for integrating sustainability. It involves the synthesis of two management system standards — ISO 14001 and 45001 — and ISO 26000 Guidance for Social Responsibility which makes it applicable to all types and sizes of organisations operating in diverse geographical, cultural, and social conditions. “A centralised repository of sustainability initiatives is the solution for many organisations … Understanding and addressing gaps in a sustainability program ensures initiative success.” 

The Toolkit approach to sustainability facilitates improved performance using common techniques. Based on existing Management Systems (MSs), it organizes and streamlines the following:

  • CSR & Sustainability Drivers including Stakeholder Priorities 
  • Training & Communications, Performance Monitoring & Auditing 
  • Meaningful Reporting to Stakeholders 
  • Supply / Value Chain Influence

Improving Performance: Risk management via Stakeholder priorities

The Sustainability Toolkit approach helped Erie Thames Powerlines (now ERTH Power) with a Gap Analysis and identifying Baseline Metrics which: 

  • provided a framework to analyze sustainability issues
  • allowed the company to perform a gap analysis of current sustainability issues, and
  • led to the completion of a materiality assessment to determine   which metrics had the greatest impact on their stakeholders,   ensuring that action plans were created for the most important issues.

Improving Performance: Reporting to Stakeholders

The Sustainability Toolkit approach assisted Bruce Power in creating their first Sustainability Report in 2014 with Staarsoft™ facilitating the federally mandated and public licence renewal process by:

  • focusing on local community priorities,
  • explaining their robust Health & Safety mandate, and
  • identifying their environmental impacts, mitigation, and monitoring processes.

Improving Performance: Training and Communications 

The Toolkit provided KDC with a sustainability implementation standard that promoted uniformity across facilities and was easily applied by a diverse group of key personnel as part of sustainability program transition.

“The toolkit is enabling our company to apply the philosophy behind sustainability principles to what we do every day. Having a framework to shape and define our projects and actions within our sustainability goals makes the difference in being able to successfully put a plan into action to achieve our targets over time.”  Sonya D’Cunha, KDC’s Director of Sustainability

Len Griffiths and Sarah Gilbert of Bennett Jones LLP chaired the course, Environmental Regulation & Compliance 2019, which provided an update and overview of Canada’s environmental compliance. Topics of note in this sustainability discussion included spills and discharges, air regulations, protection of water, adverse effects on environment and community, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) as the key to the new Waste-Free Ontario Act, and Reasonable Care as a key to a due diligence defence.

Tavares Group Consulting Inc. and Staarsoft™ offer customizable and scalable solutions to assist organisations in their pursuit of corporate sustainability and sustainable development. Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) services include:

  • gap analysis/benchmark assessments, 
  • corporate responsibility and sustainability reporting, and associated assurance services and 
  • sustainability action planning and implementation software — Staarsoft™ — upon which the Sustainability Toolkit process presented in the CANECT EMS Synergies course is its basis. 

Contact us for a copy of the presentation, e-version of the Toolkit or a free demo of the Staarsoft™ software!