City staff recognized for environmental innovation
July 26, 2017 

City of Edmonton employees from five departments were honoured for their environmental efforts at the ninth annual Charles Labatiuk Awards today.

The employees were nominated for the awards by their peers or supervisors. Their initiatives span a wide range including: creating a rain garden, building a new storage system for used oil, and developing new policy requiring the City to set higher energy standards in new or renovated buildings. In total, 19 groups or individuals were nominated.

The Muttart Conservatory staff were recognized for devising and building a new stormwater harvesting system for the Conservatory that captures rainwater and holds it until needed. The unit is connected to irrigation tables to increase watering efficiency. The system harvests about 7,500 litres of rainwater a month, and has reduced demand for potable water by over 16 per cent.

The City’s Analytics Centre of Excellence assembled environmental data to make it interesting and educational for Edmontonians. They’ve turned data into citizen friendly information on mapping bike routes, and helped Parks and Roads Services develop a model to optimize turf maintenance across the city to save time and resources.

“I’m always so impressed by the quality of nominations and by the winners of the Charles Labatiuk Awards,” said City Manager Linda Cochrane. “Our employees understand the importance of reducing the impact of the City’s work on the environment, and they look for new and creative ways to do that. I’m proud of all of them.”

The late Charles Labatiuk was an Environmental Engineer in Drainage Services and Waste Management for 16 years. He was a leader in establishing one of the City’s first ISO 14001 programs, and was a passionate advocate for environmental considerations to be a routine part of City business.

The Labatiuk Awards support and reinforce the City’s values for sustainability. The  awards were handed out in a ceremony in City Hall July 26. The honourees receive a letter of congratulations from City Manager Linda Cochrane and a small gift of recognition.