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Built for Sustainability

Canada’s building sector is the third highest source of emissions in the country. Heating and cooling systems use energy, so choosing and maintaining efficient systems is important. The materials we choose when building or renewing capital assets also matter. This page focuses on how environmentally sustainable actions are impacted by a co-op's physical assets (most significantly around energy use and emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants).

Energy use and efficiency

  • Lighting (LED lights over fluorescents, halogen or incandescent; timers or motion sensors to reduce on-time)
  • Keeping homes comfortable — heating and cooling (through passive solar design, use of insulation, etc.)
  • Additional Heating (flexible heat pumps over electric baseboard heating, or burning of fossil fuels; solar; geothermal, connections to neighbourhood energy utilities)
  • Reducing direct electrical consumption (by choosing low-energy appliances and offering alternatives that don’t require electricity at all)
  • Local energy generation


  • Provide space to host shared transportation options (e.g. car co-ops)
  • Provide connections/services for electrified transportation options (e.g. EV charging stations)
  • Sufficient storage spaces for human-powered transportation options (e.g. secure bicycle storage areas)

Reducing unnecessary water use

Pollution/use of resources

  • Consider lifetime analyses when selecting products (e.g. choosing less polluting, more sustainable, longer lasting, and easier to reuse or dispose of products)

Waste management

  • On-site composting facilities
  • Pickup locations and accessible service locations

For more information and links, visit our general environmental sustainability page.