TORONTO, June 2, 2015 /CNW/ - Ontario Minister of Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray will present the bi-annual Greenest Chief Executive in Canada Award at this evening's Corporate Knights Gala at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The award recognizes a major Canadian CEO who is doing the best job of earning profits while preserving the planet. The 2015 winner is Gordon Hicks, CEO of Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions (BGIS), one of the largest real-estate management companies in North America.
"Gord Hicks is an inspirational leader, whose track record demonstrates how what is good for the environment can also be great for business," said Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights, which created the award in 2013. The heads of Canada's top green groups formed the judging committee that selected Hicks from a list of five finalists. "Off the clock, Gord has invested many hours working with fellow business leaders and the Ontario government over the past year to raise the level ambition for a greener, more productive economy," added Heaps.
Geoff de Bruijn, vice-president of corporate services and sustainability at Vancouver-based Telus, said his company has seen "significant savings" as a result of some of the energy and waste reduction programs inspired by Hicks through BGIS.
For example, BGIS is working with Telus on a waste-diversion pilot program in B.C.'s Lower Mainland, and has offered its expertise to help the telecom company reduce the use of herbicides at some of its remote sites in the province. "Hicks is a hands-on leader who often gets personally involved in the programs his company puts in place," de Bruijn said.
"He's convinced us to push the envelope in certain areas that we weren't otherwise doing," de Bruijn added. "In my dealings with him, what becomes quickly evident is his passion for the environment and sustainability overall."
Hicks also works with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on its annual Spring Things workplace campaign to help conserve the environment, animals and natural habitat. One of the seven judges for the award, WWF-Canada CEO David Miller describes Hicks as a "highly principled" person and leader – someone who acts on his values.
"It's exactly the kind of business leadership that we need, and that's clearly possible," said Miller, the former mayor of Toronto.
"He's able to look at the medium and long term, not just the next quarter. Sometimes that's the challenge in meeting a lot of sustainability goals, particularly with energy efficiency and carbon-reduction: Business leaders of public companies are forced to justify quarterly results, yet, we're talking about things that produce long-run efficiencies, savings, financial rewards and planetary rewards. The economics are all there. It's just not there in three months."
For a full profile of the 2015 Greenest Chief Executive in Canada, please go to: corporateknights.com/2015GreenCEO
How Canada's Greenest Chief Executive was Determined:
Nominations were open during the months of February and March to the CEOs of Canadian companies that have a minimum of $500 million in annual revenue. Corporate Knights received 26 valid nominations, which were winnowed down to five finalists based on how they performed against four key criteria (greenness of product/service, greenness of operations, greenness of chief executive pay, green impact beyond the company), with consideration given to ensure regional and industry representation. The final five were then evaluated by a panel of judges (comprised of the Corporate Knights CEO and leaders from six of Canada's top environmental groups) who cast their votes (1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice) to determine the overall winner.
The five finalists for the 2015 Greenest Chief Executive in Canada were:
- Max Cananzi, CEO, Horizon Utilities (leadership on renewables and between 30-60 per cent of executive bonus linked to green factors);
- Gordon Hicks, CEO, Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions (82 per cent of its revenues from green solutions and spearheading group of executives to engage with the Ontario government to advance the low carbon economy);
- Francois Olivier, CEO, TC Transcontinental (gets 95 per cent of its paper from certified and/or recycled sources and strong champion for environmental stewardship within forest products customers' community);
- Craig Muhlhauser, CEO, Celestica (fast-growing solar panel business and tracking toward 100 per cent waste diversion target by 2020);
- Ken Field, CEO, Greenfield Specialty Alcohols (leader in cellulosic ethanol production methods to turn corn crop waste and wild grasses into ethanol)
The seven judges for the 2015 Greenest Chief Executive in Canada:
- David Miller, President & CEO, WWF-Canada
- Steven Guilbeault, Co-Founder, Equiterre
- John Lounds, President & CEO, Nature Conservancy of Canada
- Peter Robinson, CEO, David Suzuki Foundation
- Ed Whittingham, Executive Director, Pembina Institute
- Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence
- Toby Heaps, CEO, Corporate Knights
Corporate Knights Greenest Chief Executive in Canada Award
Gordon Hicks, CEO, Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions
8.30pm – 9:00pm, Tuesday, June 2
Baillie Court, Art Gallery of Ontario
About Corporate Knights
Founded in 2002, Corporate Knights Inc. is an independent Toronto-based media and research company focused on clean capitalism.
SOURCE Corporate Knights Inc.
Image with caption: "Gord Hicks, CEO of Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions, has been named by Corporate Knights as the Greenest Chief Executive in Canada for 2015. A panel of leaders from Canada's environmental community selected Hicks from a strong short list that includes the CEOs of Celestica, Horizon Utilities, TC Transcontinental and Greenfield Specialty Alcohols. (CNW Group/Corporate Knights Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150602_C5763_PHOTO_EN_17394.jpg
For further information: Toby Heaps, CEO, Corporate Knights, [email protected], 416-274-1432