Building Sustainability

Office Tower Waste Reduction Soars to New Heights in Downtown St. John’s

East Port Properties Limited and its tenants at Scotia Centre are making heroic strides, implementing meaningful and measurable workplace waste diversion practices – and achieving success every step along the way.


Located on Water Street in downtown St. John’s, NL, Scotia Centre is an 11-storey building that is home to more than 190,000 square feet of office space and more than 350 employees.  As you would expect, a building of this size can generate a significant amount of waste over the course of a year.  And with a commitment to measure the numbers annually, East Port Properties was determined to let nothing go to waste.

With successful recycling programs for paper and cardboard, beverage containers and toner cartridges already in place, it was second nature for the tenants at Scotia Centre to step up and incorporate even more waste diversion initiatives into their daily work routine.  Some highlights include:

  • introducing a fluorescent light bulb recycling program in 2008;
  • launching a battery recycling initiative in 2009;
  • adding mixed containers to their current recycling program in 2011; and
  • offering an electronic waste recycling program in 2012.


Within four short years, the numbers were telling a powerful story.  Scotia Centre’s tenants not only had achieved a 72 per cent diversion rate through their combined recycling efforts, but they had also reduced total annual waste generation by 29 per cent to 150 tonnes.  By 2013, a continued focus on waste reduction and reuse programs, as well as employee education, saw waste generation decrease by an additional 17 per cent to 113 tonnes. 

Impressively, the road to sustainability didn’t end there.  

Determined to do more, East Port Properties engaged our team at MMSB to conduct a building waste audit to examine the amount and types of waste that were still making its way to landfill.

The audit identified the potential to increase diversion by an additional 15 per cent through the management of organic material.  Naturally, Scotia Centre leapt at the opportunity to initiate a building-wide collection program to compost organic waste.  In 2014, with all tenants participating in the new program, Scotia Centre achieved – drumroll please – an 82 per cent waste diversion rate. And that’s not all – East Port Properties has also obtained Level 3 certification from BOMA BESt (Building Environmental Standards), a national environmental standards program that evaluates energy and environmental performance of existing buildings.

 “Initiating our recycling programs not only helped reduce Scotia Centre’s effect on the landfill, but it also helped to instill a sense of pride among staff and building occupants. Tenants enjoy getting involved in the community through the workplace and take part in our recycling programs with enthusiasm!” 

– Kim Saunders, Property Manager, East Port Properties.

While they may seem like big shoes to fill, we hope that businesses and offices across Newfoundland and Labrador will be inspired to follow in the footsteps of the team at Scotia Centre. By taking action, one environmental step at a time, together our efforts can make a difference.  

Are you inspired to take to waste diversion to the next level? Learn more and get started today with MMSB’s Green Your Office Guides.

One thought on “Building Sustainability

  1. Very impressed with the level of diversion that staff and management at Scotia Centre have achieved. Well done indeed! I also continue to be impressed by the team at MMSB who work with companies throughout the region to complete waste audits and identify effective ways to reduce and divert waste. I encourage all companies to reach out to the MMSB for assistance, you will be glad you did!

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