PowerStream named "Smart Commute Employer of the Year"

Employee vanpool and carpool programs earn utility award for the third time in six years

Alaska, UNITED STATES


TORONTO, Nov. 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the third time in the last six years, PowerStream has been named the 2013 Smart Commute Employer of the Year for North Toronto, Vaughan (NTV). The award was presented to PowerStream at the 7th annual Smart Commute Awards event held Thursday evening at St. Lawrence Hall.

The award recognizes companies that are doing their part to encourage their employees to travel smarter, cleaner and better by considering alternatives to single occupancy commuting including cycling, transit, carpooling, vanpooling and walking.

PowerStream, with over 27 per cent of its employees commuting to work using a smart commute method, removes at least 1,000 single occupancy vehicles (SOV) from the road each month, which has helped to prevent over 280 tonnes of CO2e from being emitted into the atmosphere each year since the company introduced their Smart Commute program in 2008.

One of PowerStream's more successful Smart Commute initiatives has been the company's employee carpool incentive program. Employees, who work at PowerStream's head office in Vaughan and commit to carpooling, are provided with one of the building's highly-coveted indoor parking spaces.

In addition to carpooling, PowerStream has developed an extensive employee vanpool program that has seven vans providing a total of 54 employees with an environmentally-responsible way to get to and from work each day by eliminating 47 vehicles from the road each rush hour.

QUOTES

  • "We are honoured to be receiving this award again in 2013. Over the past seven years, our employee commuting programs have been gaining incredible traction with more staff participating every year," said Frank Scarpitti, PowerStream Board Chair and Mayor of the City of Markham. "I thank and congratulate our employees for their ongoing commitment and support to this initiative, which has made this achievement possible."
  • "PowerStream continues to be recognized as an environmental leader in all facets of their business." explained Brian Shifman, Executive Director of Smart Commute – North Toronto, Vaughan. "Their involvement in Smart Commute serves as an outstanding example of how an employer can assist employees in getting engaged in using environmentally-friendly commuting options."

BACKGROUND

  • In addition to 2013, PowerStream was named Smart Commute Employer of the Year for NTV in 2009 and 2011.
  • The Smart Commute Awards were introduced in 2007 to officially recognize member employers and partners who have put forth exceptional effort in implementing their Smart Commute programs. These awards acknowledge outstanding commitment, leadership, innovation and results in promoting sustainable commuting.
  • Smart Commute Transportation Management Associations nominated their top employers and one from each area was selected by an independent review panel. From among those, one regional employer of the year was chosen.

ABOUT SMART COMMUTE

Smart Commute works with employers to encourage alternatives to driving alone to work and school. There are currently more than 300 GTHA organizations – with 700,000 commuters - that are designated as Smart Commute workplaces. Smart Commute is a program of Metrolinx and the municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area whose goal is to ease gridlock, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while making commuting less expensive and more enjoyable. More information about the program is available at SmartCommute.ca.

ABOUT POWERSTREAM

PowerStream is a community-owned energy company providing power and related services to more than 360,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the Cities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan.

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