The Minto Group has been applauded by the Canadian Secretariat for the Asia Pacific Partnership (APP) on Clean Development and Climate for its role in the Canada-led Zero Energy Housing (ZEH) project.
The APP, which officially concluded in April, was a public-private partnership of seven countries – Canada, Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the United States – that sought to accelerate the development of clean energy technologies among Asia-Pacific countries. Spanning two years, the ZEH project was recognized as one of only 20 projects commended for exemplary contribution to the Partnership. Minto was one of the first builders to participate in defining the project.
At Environment Canada’s request, Minto was Canada’s representative in Washington, D.C. in February 2011, making a presentation on zero energy homes on a community scale to the 112th United States Congress. This officially launched the ZEH project and led to The Alliance to Save Energy inviting Minto to participate in the session titled “Getting to Zero Energy Buildings” in Brussels, Belgium at the 2011 Energy Efficiency Global Forum in April.
Minto’s profound contribution and expertise at international events in Mexico, China, US and Australia was highlighted, with appreciation for its assistance provided to fellow team members. Minto provided the green homebuilder’s perspective in the APP BATF (Buildings and Appliances Task Force) discussion in Australia. This influenced the Australian government to consider forming its own ZEH Coalition based on the Canadian experience. Similarly, this discussion resulted in the Australian Sustainable Built Environmental Council forming a Task Group on Zero Emissions Residential that will provide the framework and programming for the Australian industry. The construction of an Australia-Canada zero energy home demonstration is also now underway.
Minto was the only APP BATF project proponent to offer an open workshop on the margins of GLOBE 2010 – an international conference dedicated to the business of the environment – when Canada hosted several task groups. Every country sent delegates to attend the Minto Technology Charette. Throughout their participation in the initiative, the Ottawa-based company also has contributed expertise to the development of tools, products and building practices to ensure that the builder’s perspective is captured.
Finally, Minto’s Ampersand neighbourhood in the Chapman Mills Town Centre in Ottawa was highlighted as an excellent example of the company working in collaboration with the APP countries to explore the feasibility of moving beyond a single green home demonstration to constructing zero energy homes on a community scale. Ampersand, which has occupancies scheduled for late 2011, will continue to be studied in regards to technologically enhanced building and zero energy community construction.
Minto received other sustainable building recognition in April, when it was identified as one of Aon Hewitt’s “Green 30” Canadian organizations that received high scores from their employees on their company’s environmental stewardship. Some of the initiatives that led to Minto’s ranking were its internal Green Team who are responsible for identifying opportunities to reduce energy consumption for both new and existing properties and Minto’s annual Environmental Report which highlights its conservation achievements, including $4.7 million in energy and water savings in 2010. The Green 30 list appeared in the May 2-9 issue of Maclean’s.