Maintaining a healthy workplace environment
As a socially responsible organization, we implement prevention strategies to protect the health and safety of our employees and minimize environmental risks related to our activities.
Water and Indoor Air Quality
- Preventative water quality and indoor air-quality assessments are completed in our owned and leased buildings to identify potential issues and implement corrective actions as needed.
- In general, providing potable water that meets criteria outlined in the “Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality” is the responsibility of the local city or municipality. Any testing completed by CBC/Radio-Canada is verification that these standards are being met within our owned or leased facilities.
- In 2013–2014, a total of five water-quality and six indoor air-quality tests were conducted. Very few issues were identified, and those that were identified were immediately corrected.
Due to health and environmental risks associated with the use of asbestos in building construction pre-1980s, CBC/Radio-Canada’s Asbestos Management Program (AMP) ensures there is a process in place to regularly reassess sites owned by the Corporation with known asbestos.
- These reassessments help ensure that asbestos-containing materials, such as pipe insulation, tiles and drywall are in good condition. They also help identify areas requiring removal or remediation, and ensure the proper disposal of any hazardous material.
- Ten assessments were completed in 2013–2014. A typical reassessment is performed for the purposes of long-term management of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM). Minor abatement was required at two Transmission sites and was completed.
- In 2007, Health Canada instituted a National Radon Testing Program to evaluate the levels of radon in federal buildings. The purpose was to identify federal workplaces with radon levels above the Canadian Radon Guideline of 200 Bq/m3.
- Radon detectors and instructions were provided by Health Canada, who were also responsible for the laboratory analysis and results. All radon tests are conducted for a 3-month period.
- All testing completed in CBC/Radio-Canada facilities since 2007 found radon levels significantly below Health Canada’s limits for radon detection in buildings, except for the Caraquet (NB) site, where exceedances were measured slightly over the 200 Bq/m3 threshold. In response, an action plan was immediately triggered to resolve the issue. Management and employees on site have been informed, and a corrective measure is currently in progress.
Species at Risk
- An environmental risk that must be considered and analyzed is the impact of our activities on local wildlife or other species at risk living in the local habitat. This is particularly of concern in the Transmission Division, where our infrastructure is found in or near national parks and in other inaccessible and remote areas of the country where many of these species reside.
- In response to this issue, CBC/Radio-Canada carries out assessments to identify at-risk species that may be affected by our operations and takes appropriate corrective measures.
- Although no assessments were completed in 2013–2014, when required, these evaluations identify potential species at risk, allowing us to prevent harm through the adoption of mitigation measures, and ensure our compliance with the Species at Risk Act.
Environmental Site Assessments
- Preventative Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) are conducted to determine risk levels (and restoration costs, as needed) associated with potential contamination on our properties.
- In the last year, a total of two Transmission properties were assessed through Environmental Site Assessments. In addition, two soil remediation programs were implemented; and seven building hazardous material surveys were completed.These activities were mainly related to the preparation required for sale of property or site decommissioning.
- Within the Real Estate Services portfolio, three ESAs were assessed and completed. There were no building hazardous-material surveys completed, nor were there any soil removal programs required. As with the Transmission Division, these activities were mainly related to the preparation required for sale of property or site decommissioning.
Internal Compliance Reviews
- We regularly undertake internal compliance reviews to identify building-related environmental risks, and to determine how compliant our facilities are with existing procedures and applicable regulations. These reviews are completed in accordance with our internal audit plan.
- In 2013–2014, the corporate internal compliance program was revised as part of the implementation of the new electronic Environmental Management System (EMS).
- A full environmental internal audit was completed at CBC/Radio-Canada Montreal. No major non-compliances were raised.
- Internal environmental reviews were completed for CBC Winnipeg, CBC St. John’s and CBC Calgary.
Training and Communication
In 2013–2014, training was provided to CBC/Radio-Canada employees and contractors on various environmental topics including:
- Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and checklist
- Spill response, both general and specific to petroleum storage tanks
- Fuel storage tanks, fuel delivery and transfer area training
- Environmental emergency response procedures (EERP)
- Asbestos, halocarbon and mould awareness
- Storage tank awareness and storage tank environmental emergency response plan
- PCBs Awareness and Transportation of Dangerous Goods
- Eco-Friendly Drivers Training
We also participated in various annual environmental events and activities including:
- Earth Day
- Clean Air Commuting
- Canadian Environment Week
- Bike to Work Day / Month
- Earth Hour
- National Waste Reduction Week
Additional training is being explored for 2014–2015.