Partnership Profile: Alvéole
Rooted in environmental and community impact, urban beekeeping partnership takes flight
A Responsible Company
At QuadReal, being a Responsible Company is a foundation that guides our approach to serving the company’s stakeholders: employees; tenants, residents and partners; clients; communities; and the environment. Specifically, our stakeholder commitments to communities and the environment are integral parts of our ESG (environmental, social and governance) aspirations. QuadReal has a teamwide dedication to integrating ESG across all levels of the company.
Alvéole is a Canadian organization that installs urban beehives across North America and Europe. The team aims to promote sustainability awareness through engagement at schools, businesses and organizations. The shared goals of advancing sustainability and community engagement makes a partnership between Alvéole and QuadReal a natural fit.
Supporting Urban Beekeeping
Urban beekeeping has increased as a response to the rapid decline in honey bee populations worldwide. This is a cause for concern since bees are one of many pollinators contributing to one-third of the world’s crop production—and ultimately, the food on our plates. Through Alvéole’s beekeeping initiatives, we are able to refocus this global issue as an important opportunity to:
- Contribute to the maintenance of honey bee populations and to the pollination and health of urban vegetation in Canada by integrating sustainable best practices across our commercial portfolio
- Repurpose underutilized space at our properties to support the practice of urban beekeeping
- Foster engagement and education among QuadReal tenants, local schools and colleagues through a sustainable project.
QuadReal’s relationship with Alvéole began in 2018 at 10 properties and has since grown to nearly 30 locations in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Mississauga, Vaughan, Ottawa and Montreal. After carefully installing the hives at our buildings, Alvéole sends dedicated, professional beekeepers to care for them seasonally and throughout the year. The partnership doesn’t end there. The hives provide a touch point for the team to lead hands-on educational, interactive programming to connect with QuadReal tenants and employees, which ties back to two other stakeholder groups under our Responsible Company commitment.
Building Sustainable and Connected Communities
Each year, Alvéole’s beekeeping team delivers over 50 workshops to the QuadReal community in the form of lunch and learns, beeswax candle-making, honey extraction workshops and hive-opening experiences. Similar to a social media feed, QuadReal beehives have their own MyHive page where beekeepers share photos and updates so that customers and colleagues can stay informed on the activity in any given hive. These events extend beyond QuadReal’s tenants and employees—Alvéole has partnered with our teams to extend their reach in the community. For instance, on Earth Day 2021, the team at Intact Place in Calgary, Alberta invited several classes from a local elementary school to attend a virtual workshop to enrich the students’ curriculum. The visit was well-received by both teachers and students, setting the stage for a new community outreach tradition.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, QuadReal teams were devising new ways to continue engaging our customers and employees as buildings went quiet, reinforcing established relationships as a top priority. Fortunately, the Alvéole team was already well-versed in leading virtual events, and pivoting beekeeping workshops to a virtual-only environment was seamless. While more people were working remotely, virtual events became family activities as people involved their kids at home.
Small Bees, Big Impact
QuadReal’s partnership with Alvéole has resulted in over 50 active colonies across the portfolio. Each season, there are roughly 2.6 million bees from QuadReal properties pollinating urban blooms across Canada.
Each hive yields dozens of jars of local honey. Approximately 5,000 jars are produced from the hives at QuadReal properties alone. Each jar of honey is unique; they are gifted to tenants just in time for the season of harvest.
QuadReal’s partnership with Alvéole has been valuable on so many different levels. Not only are we reconnecting our community of tenants and colleagues with nature through various beekeeping initiatives, we’re also reminding them of the positive impact they can make individually. The work we have done with Alvéole has inspired deeper, more meaningful conversations around sustainability and ESG, and we’re thrilled that this partnership continues to bring our community together.