Sustainability

Vector Engineering practices sustainable design wherever possible to reduce the negative impact on the environment.  A properly designed system can enhance and balance the facility life-cycle cost as well as the environmental impact.  It requires a practical and balanced approach to responsible stewardship of the natural, human and financial resources.  Vector’s awareness of environmental sustainable buildings systems has been developed through our involvement with a significant number of LEED™ Projects.

Staff at all levels are the essence of a company and full involvement enables their abilities to be used for client and company benefits.  We feel a desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process.  Our organization and its clients are interdependent and have a mutual beneficial relationship which enhances the ability of both to create value.  The key benefit is the ability to create value for both parties.  As a leader we establish unity of purpose and direction of the Company.  We create and maintain the internal environment in which employees can become fully involved in achieving the Company’s objectives.  We feel this role motivates our employees toward our goals and objectives.  Miscommunication is also minimized.

Continual improvement of the Company’s overall performance is a permanent objective of Vector Engineering.  This flexibility allows us to react quickly to opportunities.  Our key personnel make effective decisions based on the analysis of data and information.  This line of thinking allows us increased ability to review, challenge and change opinions and decisions.

Our Inspectors are also trained on environmental stewardship practices, procedures and policies for utility and road construction.  Environmental stewardship refers to responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices.  Our inspectors develop and implement BMP’s for mobile operations that are common on construction projects as well as earthwork including asphalt recycling, concrete mixing, crushing and the storage of materials as appropriate to control the individual situations these type of operations can create.  The inspector is constantly on the lookout for fuel and fluids leaking from the contractors equipment, if found will report the situation immediately to the Contractor requiring immediate repair.  The Inspector will ensure that all equipment working near watercourses are to be refueled a minimum of 100 m from that watercourse in case of spillage.

Our Inspectors ensure that all operators have spill clean-up supplies on site and are knowledgeable in their proper use and deployment.  The Inspector will ensure that all roads affected are cleaned of accumulated sediment at a minimum prior to predicted rainfalls.  We find that sweepers with vacuum systems are superior to other methods.  This constant dust control helps to keep particulate matter out of air which is a form of air pollution.  Equipment operators and truck drivers are monitored with respect to idling reduction.  There is no need for equipment to be idling if no trucks are being loaded and visa versa if trucks are idling in line waiting to be loaded.  All of the above keeps our Inspectors busy but is a rewarding step to preserving our environment.

We identify, understand and manage interrelated processes as a system, we feel contributes to the company’s effectiveness and efficiency in achieving its objectives.  This approach provides confidence to clients as to consistency, effectiveness and efficiency of the company.

Much of our work has inherent environmental benefits.  We have been involved with and have developed a specialty in the design of integrated stormwater management systems.  The objective of these designs is to manage urban stormwater runoff so watersheds behave like natural watersheds thereby protecting stream ecology.  Quantitative and qualitative improvements to stormwater runoff are achieved through reduction of quantity and through treatment.  We have been involved with a great number of projects where these improvements were realized through the design of raingardens, constructed wetlands, ground water recharge, separation and treatment of first flush of roadway runoff and stormwater detention.  We have also designed and supervised the construction of stream enhancements such as fish passageways, spawning beds and stream complexing for improvement of aquatic habitat.

Awareness of environmental sustainable building systems has been developed through our involvement with a significant number of LEED™ projects.  These include the South East False Creek Community Centre which achieved LEED™ Platinum and the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Athlete’s Village in which all 24 buildings in the Village achieved LEED™ Gold.  Our role in these projects was in the design of stormwater management systems and rainwater capture and reuse for irrigation and toilet flushing.

We strive to operate our company in an environmentally sustainable manner.  We have implemented a companywide recycling program which reduces waste.  Engineering offices have traditionally been heavy users of paper.  We have adopted policies to reduce paper use through digital filing and by printing documents and drawings only when necessary.  Paper used in our office for copiers and printers is made from recycled content.

Operational reductions in energy consumption are achieved through the use of high efficiency fluorescent lighting, by turning lights off when not in use and by the use of natural ventilation instead of air conditioning.  Further reductions in corporate energy consumption are achieved by the implementation of employee carpooling and the provision of secure bicycle parking to encourage employees to commute by bicycle.

We also provide the option of flex hours to support our employees in their child and elder care obligations.  We believe our support to employee carpooling and flex hours provides quality of life enhancements through the reduction of stress as well as reductions in carbon emissions.  To further reduce our carbon footprint we have installed an electric vehicle charging station for benefit of employees and clients with electric vehicles.

Our business drivers are underpinned by five key elements of sustainability:

Growing our business through sustainability is not only about our operations and end services.  We are also committed to best practice in governance, to creating a positive working environment for employees and to being a responsible partner for our clients, suppliers, communities and other stakeholders.

Financial

As an aggressive company in the engineering field we have a fundamental obligation to be profitable.  We cannot be sustainable as a business if we are not financially strong and meeting the needs of our company.  Our aim is to ensure that our sustainability vision and our financial objectives are aligned at all times.  We will develop performance management systems, set objectives, targets and key performance indicators that support this goal and deliver a successful and progressive business.  We need to be both profitable and sustainable if we are going to continue to satisfy our clients in the long term.

Governance

It is vital for us to behave well internally and externally.  If not, we will be criticized for not doing what we say and for not acting appropriately.  We do not want to be seen as just another company talking about things that we are not very good at ourselves.  Our company is highly valued because we are seen as a sound investment in the sustainability sector.

Our aim is to be clear about what we do, communicate clearly and show through leadership, transparent reporting and excellent performance management that we mean what we say.  We want our people to know our vision and actively promote it.

Social

We have a strong tradition in Vector Engineering for the way we look after our people and for our good community relations.  We want people to work for us because they share our values and trust us.  We want to continue to be respected by our neighbors.  We believe that being well regarded is a reflection of our balanced approach to business where we think about the way our decisions affect people inside and outside the company.

Our aim is to be recognized for the way that we work with and support our employees, our communities and all the people in them.

Community involvement is a cornerstone of our company’s philosophy.  Our firm supports many charitable foundations including Juvenile Diabetes, Children’s Hospital, BC Cancer Agency, Ride to Conquer Cancer, SPCA, Prostate Cancer, CKNW Orphans Fund, Canuck Place, Make a Wish Foundation, Surrey Women’s Centre and the Union Gospel Mission.  We also support the Tour de Delta Bike Race and various charitable fundraising golf tournaments and bonspiels.  Our employees are active volunteers within their communities for a wide range of organizations, such as APEGBC, Langley Emergency Program, CASARA (civil air search and rescue), Friends of Manning Park and Scouting.

Health and Safety

As a business we provide services that enhance general health and wellbeing.  Our people are a key part of our sustainability efforts.  We want work to be a positive experience for them so that we can achieve our sustainability vision.  Their health and wellbeing underpin our aspirations to become a more sustainable business.  Our aim is to achieve zero accidents and zero occupational illness cases, with our people going home in at least as good a shape as when they arrived at work.  We want our local communities to have the same trust as our employees in the care we take for their health, safety and wellbeing.

Environment

Resource efficiency is a win-win for our clients and ourselves.  We will grow our expertise in resource efficiency to develop better and more sustainable services for our customers and improve our competitiveness.  Our aim is to show that we have used the fewest resources in the most efficient way to produce the best possible service.  We want this to be recognized by our clients as a core part of our competitive advantage.

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