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Betting on Green Energy at OLG

It’s easy to see how committed Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is to climate action during Earth Hour. On March 28, for the fifth year in a row, the outdoor signs will wink off at participating OLG gaming sites across the province, while all non-essential indoor lights will be dimmed.

Thousand Islands

© OLG

OLG

OLG Casino Thousand Islands participating in Earth Hour © OLG

What you can’t see, however, are all the other ways this organization is lowering its environmental impact — like trimming energy consumption and choosing renewable energy from Bullfrog Power.

At OLG, lighting consumes the biggest share of electricity. So the organization got busy replacing energy-intensive incandescent bulbs with LED lights and compact fluorescents. According to Noel Padilla, OLG’s Sustainability Manager, those simple retrofits have shrunk total electricity use by three per cent since 2011 — even though their square footage has grown 19 per cent.

But that’s just the start. OLG expects to reduce energy use even further with new conservation measures like installing variable frequency drives for some of their air-handling units.

And the electricity they do use? OLG chooses green electricity with Bullfrog Power for OLG Casino Brantford, reducing its environmental impact.  For every kilowatt-hour the site consumes, Bullfrog Power injects the same amount of pollution-free renewable electricity into the provincial grid. The same is true for the electricity lighting up OLG’s entire digital signage network and for 60 per cent of the electricity used at the OLG Slots at Georgian Downs, which has been certified by LEED  (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

The organization also chooses green electricity for its websites: KnowYourLimit.ca and PlayOLG.ca.

When you add it all up, OLG has saved a whopping 15,903 tonnes of planet-warming greenhouse gases over the past four years. According to the U.S. Environmental Agency, you’d need more than 3,250 acres of forest to absorb that much carbon!

Gregor Campbell, OLG’s Policy and Social Responsibility Analyst, says these climate-friendly initiatives stem from a clear corporate commitment to the environment and close collaboration with eco-minded employees.

At OLG-operated gaming facilities, volunteer “Green Teams” are raising awareness, organizing events and finding ways to shrink the organization’s carbon footprint. “It’s a personal commitment,” says Noel.

A big thank you to Noel, Gregor and all the fantastic OLG Green Teams for making every hour Earth Hour! To make a difference in your workplace, check out the great resources at Living Planet @ Work including a new resource on championing renewable energy @ work.