We See Community
At QuadReal, community is where we thrive. Communities can be physical or virtual – it’s about thinking holistically about the places we live, work, shop and visit. Community is all around when you seek to embrace spaces as opportunities for connections. Throughout this year, the QuadReal team will release a series of themed messages connected to how We See Community all around us.
Accelerating Progress and Meaningful Change
Opportunities are abundant for communities everywhere. Looking ahead, it is clear that cities and their buildings will have a significant part to play in meeting the needs of people and the planet amid this new opportunities.
At QuadReal, we know the choices we make today will shape tomorrow’s cities. It is why community is at the heart of everything we do. Meaningful community-building means advancing and even accelerating the quality of life for the people whose lives we touch.
How Our Community Engagement is Driving Sustainability
Choosing Locally-Grown Food for Lower Emissions
By opting for locally-grown food, we reduce the energy needed to transport it from the farm to our plates. QuadReal transforms underutilized spaces into small-but-mighty gardens for residents and tenants to grow their own produce, making it easier for individuals to have locally-grown ingredients in their everyday meals.
Discover Clean Mobility Solutions
By choosing clean transportation options such as walking, rolling and cycling, we can reduce our carbon footprint and enhance our health and wellbeing. QuadReal’s focus on active transportation goes beyond just reducing emissions, as we aim to help people discover their cities and connect with their communities in new and meaningful ways.
Bringing Nature Back into Cities
Green spaces are more than just scenery to admire. They play a vital role in our health and wellbeing, help combat climate change and provide habitat for urban wildlife. At QuadReal, we create green spaces in our communities to support a healthier, happier world for tenants, residents and guests to enjoy.
Supporting Local Biodiversity and Pollinators
Biodiversity is the beating heart of our planet’s health and our own. Did you know that creating a safe haven for pollinators like bees, birds and butterflies can help support our ecosystem? Studies have also shown that spending time in nature has profound health benefits. QuadReal is committed to supporting pollinator ecosystems in local communities.
Prioritizing Wellbeing with Active Transportation
Cycling, walking, running or using a wheelchair is a clean and quiet way to travel that reduces air and noise pollution. Plus, it creates opportunities for urban wildlife to thrive. Learn how QuadReal tenants, residents and guests can check with the property team for on-site facilities that support active commuting.
Protecting Local Freshwater Sources
Water is a precious resource that sustains us in so many ways. By learning about the issues affecting local lakes, streams and glaciers, we can work together to preserve our water sources. At QuadReal, we strive to optimize our water use through efficient equipment and tracking consumption. Want to learn more about our water conservation efforts? Let us show you how we are making a difference.
Reduce Waste Through Upcycling
It is always tough to say goodbye to our cherished items, especially when we know they still have life left in them. That’s why repairing and repurposing our old items can be a fulfilling and sustainable option. When we choose to repair instead of discarding our belongings, we significantly reduce the amount of landfill waste. Learn how you can extend the lifespan of your products using resources in your city.
Building a Caring Community
Giving back to our communities can improve our own mental health and wellbeing? Research has shown that helping others can boost your mood, increase self-esteem and reduce stress levels, all while supporting others in your community. QuadReal teams are dedicated to making a positive impact in the communities where we operate. Through charitable fundraising, donation drop-offs and other initiatives, we aim to align our priorities with the priorities we see in our communities.
Go Green with QuadReal
Achieving a low-carbon future means optimizing existing buildings that will sustain us for years to come. QuadReal is driving towards a greener future with a range of initiatives, including the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at our Canadian properties. We also continually pilot new technologies and pursue deep retrofits to reduce our carbon footprint. As most buildings we manage are already built, we are dedicated to innovative solutions to make existing building stock low-carbon as we strive towards a sustainable future.
Turn Everyday Meals into a Positive Impact by Choosing Local
Opting for locally-grown fresh produce not only benefits our health, but also has a positive impact on the environment. By choosing local, we significantly reduce the distance that food needs to travel before it reaches our plates. In Canada, an astounding 92% of the produce we buy travels an average of 1500 km, requiring substantial energy to maintain freshness, and releasing harmful emissions along the way. By opting for locally-grown foods, we can take a positive step toward reducing our impact.
At QuadReal, we recognize the importance of making local produce part of our everyday meals. That’s why we’re transforming underutilized spaces on our properties into shared gardening areas for our tenants and residents. These areas include raised bed gardens and small plots, providing individuals the opportunity to grow their own food close to home. This helps improve access to local foods and encourages a deeper connection with our food choices.
Our commitment to promoting local eating extends beyond reducing emissions from food transportation. We aim to inspire individuals to rethink their everyday meals and foster a deeper connection to the foods they eat.
Reducing Your Carbon Footprint with Active Transportation
Taking clean, active transportation, like walking and cycling, can help us make the most of our city, encouraging us to better connect with our communities while promoting a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. It also has the added benefit of reducing our carbon footprint, with transportation accounting for approximately 22% of CO2 emissions nationwide.
At QuadReal, we understand the importance of active transportation in creating vibrant communities. That’s why we are committed to supporting it at our properties with our end-of-trip facilities. This includes secure bike rooms available to all of our office and residential communities, as well as showers and changing rooms in many of our office buildings, making it easy for our tenants to incorporate active transportation into their daily routines.
Our focus on active transportation is about more than just reducing our carbon footprint. By promoting walking, cycling and rolling, we aim to help people discover their city through a new lens, and make real connections along the way.
Contact your property or community team to learn more about our end-of-trip facilities, so you can take on your emissions-free journey with ease.
Tackling Climate Change with Green Spaces
Green spaces in cities play a vital role in climate action
Urban forests can lower temperatures in cities by as much as 25% by alleviating the heat island effect. On top of enhancing our wellbeing, parks and trees help remove harmful pollutants and reduce the amount of carbon in the air.
To support the growth of our urban forests, we have been working with Tree Canada (treecanada.ca), a national non-profit organization dedicated to planting and nurturing trees in rural and urban environments. Every time an intern joins the QuadReal team, we plant a tree in their name!
Allowing trees to thrive in cities is key to addressing climate change. QuadReal will continue exploring nature-based solutions at our properties to help the environment and encourage people to reconnect with the natural world.
Show your appreciation for urban trees today.
Exploring How Nature Impacts Our Health and the Environment
The connection between biodiversity and wellbeing
According to the World Health Organization, “biodiversity refers to biological variety in all its forms, from the genetic make-up of plants and animals to cultural diversity.” The more diverse our natural world, the stronger and more resilient it is. Human health is inextricably connected to ecosystem health, whether it is clean air, water, food availability and more. Read below about the benefits of being outdoors, as well as the importance of pollinators.
Pollinator + Human health
One out of every three bites of food you eat is there because of pollinators. Between 75% and 95% of all flowering plants rely on pollination. Bees, birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps and small mammals provide pollination services to over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1,200 crops. By planting native species in your garden, you are creating a refuge for pollinators such as bees. In addition, research shows that spending time outdoors gardening helps reduce stress and improves one’s physical health! Since 2018, QuadReal has been working with Alvéole to place beehives on the roofs of our buildings across Canada. To date, we have over 55 hives, which are home to approximately 2.8 million bees.
Parks + Mental Health
Being in a natural outdoor environment just two hours a week can have profound benefits to our physical and mental health. Researchers found that simply spending time in a park, woodland or beach has a direct positive link to improved health and wellbeing. The more time we spend at a forest or lake, the more likely we are to care about its preservation.
QuadReal is a proud partner of BC Parks Foundation, whose mission is to enhance and sustain British Columbia’s provincial parks by promoting public support.
Transform Your Commute and Boost Your Health: Switching to Active Transportation
Start a new adventure with active transportation
Active transportation means using your own power to get from one place to another. Whether cycling, walking, running or propelling a wheelchair, introducing ways to be active outdoors has numerous benefits for both you and the environment.
Physical and mental health benefits
Here are just a few benefits of being active outdoors:
● Increased cardiovascular fitness
● Increased muscle strength and flexibility
● Improved joint mobility
● Decreased stress levels
● Reduced anxiety and depression
Active transportation contributes to a clean and quiet commute. The environmental benefits are linked to our own health and wellbeing.
● Reduced air pollution: High traffic leads to elevated pollutants in the air. On humid days, pollutants remain in the air, leading to both short and long-term health issues.
● Reduced noise pollution: High and sustained levels of noise from traffic can cause low-level, sustained stress in urban dwellers.
● Urban wildlife thrives where there is less pollution. Let’s share our cities with birds, butterflies, squirrels and other wildlife which help make our urban places livable.
If you are a QuadReal tenant, resident or guest, contact the property team to learn about on-site facilities that may support your active commuting choice. Some of our office locations offer showers and change rooms, and many others provide secure bicycle parking.
Connecting with Water for a Healthier Planet: Let’s Protect Our Resources Together
Cherishing the waters around us
Canada’s lakes, rivers and oceans are a thing of wonder. From coast to coast, we revel in the beauty of this land’s waters—from a small stream that finds its way to Lake Ontario to the glaciers that help feed the Bow River in the Rockies. How can we collectively protect our water resources?
The Great Lakes
● The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system in the world, accounting for 20% of the world’s freshwater.
● The Great Lakes were formed thousands of years ago from glacier melt during the end of the last glacial period (about 11,000 years ago).
● Only 1% of water is renewed each year due to rainfall, which means the waters in the Great Lakes are mostly non-renewable.
● Canada has approximately 200,000 km2 of glacier coverage in the Arctic and the West.
● On the Athabasca Glacier in the Rockies, it takes 150 to 200 years for snow to turn to ice, then travel the glacier’s six-kilometre length and melt at its toe.
● By 2100, scientists predict glaciers in Alberta and British Columbia will lose 70% of their 2005 volume due to climate change.
How we use water in the built environment
In the built environment, water is used for domestic purposes such as drinking, bathing and cleaning. It is also used in operation of certain mechanical equipment. In all the ways water is used, and where it is under the building management’s control, we aim to ensure it is done efficiently through tracking use and installing high-performing equipment and fixtures. Many of QuadReal’s properties also feature landscaping with native species, which require no pesticides and require less water.
Let’s connect to protect
Finding a connection with nature–especially bodies of water–can help create a sense of calm and tranquility, which many of us crave for a greater sense of wellbeing. We invite you to think about how to connect with your local water body. Learn about the issues that affect a lake, stream or even a glacier. Together we can help care for the water on which we all depend.
Reducing Our Environmental Impact by Repairing and Repurposing
Giving your household items a fresh start
Each year Canadians throw thousands of tonnes of furniture into landfills. That does not account for textiles, appliances and other household and commercial waste. While it may feel good to declutter our home or office, it often comes at a high cost to our natural environment, including the quality of our air, water and land.
The problem is big–so what is the solution?
Repair, don’t dispose
Giving life to a new household item can be fulfilling and helps reduce waste. Furniture can be reupholstered and wooden pieces can be refinished. For small appliances, consider visiting a Repair Café, where a knowledgeable community member will help fix your microwave or toaster and extend its life, and save you money.
Dropping off your items at a nearby charity store might seem like an easy solution, but your old belongings may not end up in someone’s home. Instead, call the charity first and see if they have a need for your used item. If your goods are very old or not working, it may not be a good fit for the store.
Case Study: Commerce Court diverted 108 tonnes of office waste in 2017
QuadReal partnered with Green Standards to divert office furniture and other durable items. The property team had three office spaces which were vacated with the furnishings left behind. By working with Green Standards, the team was able to divert 99% of the content, which included office desks, chairs, artwork and office supplies.
We invite our residents and tenants to send us ideas to increase waste diversion and repurposing at our buildings.
Spreading Kindness and Giving Back for Better Mental Health
More than a helping hand, we see a caring community
QuadReal teams across the globe collaborate to find ways to give back to the communities where we work, live, and shop. From charitable fundraising events, to collecting care packages, to donation drop-offs, we are committed to community buildingClick here to enter text. through national campaigns and local engagement year-round.
Harnessing the power of kindness for mental health
Researchers around the world have proven that giving is better than receiving by finding the link between wellbeing and the benefits of volunteering. A 2020 UK-based study found that people who volunteer reported greater life satisfaction and rated their overall health better than those who do not volunteer. According to the Mayo Clinic, volunteering helps give purpose to life, nurtures existing relationships and improves physical health.
We invite you to contact your property team to learn about what is happening this season at your residence, shopping centre or office building.
Innovating for Sustainable Buildings and a Low-Carbon Future
Embracing innovation for a sustainable future
Did you know that QuadReal properties across Canada offer electric vehicle charging stations? It is a simple but effective amenity that supports residents and tenants who drive electric vehicles.
When it comes to tackling our own carbon footprint, the QuadReal team continuously pilots new technologies while also continuing to pursue deep retrofits to achieve greater operational efficiencies.
Most of the buildings we will be managing over the next 50 years are already built. It is therefore critical that QuadReal and its industry peers continue to seek ways to make Canada’s existing building stock low-carbon. We believe we can collaborate and innovate toward a more sustainable future.