Mountain Equipment Co-op
MEC headquarters' rooftop patio in Vancouver, British Columbia   (Photo credit: Ed White Photographics)

Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2016)

Here are some of the reasons why Mountain Equipment Co-op was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2016):

  • MEC developed a unique "MEC Green Building System and Policy" which draws upon the foundations of the Canadian Green Building Council, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the US Green Building Council and the International Living Building Institutes Living Building Challenge 2.0 to help improve building design and performance -- across the co-operative, numerous green building features have been incorporated at its store locations, including the use of reclaimed building materials, green and living roofs, geothermal heating systems, rain water collection, and solar hot water and solar photovoltaic power generation
  • As part of its green building program, MEC hosts annual Green Building Systems audits to identify areas for improvement and regularly conducts building tours for schools and community groups to help educate and stimulate ideas about green building in the wider community
  • At store locations across Canada, MEC conducts at least two annual employee-led "dumpster dives" to understand where they are generating waste and identify opportunities for further improvement -- across the co-operative MEC and its employees have introduced many impressive initiatives to reuse and reduce waste where possible, including the reuse of bike tubes that are cut into rubber bands, the reuse of cardboard for packaging and shipping products and the popular "sushi-roll" style packaging for MEC products that eliminates unnecessary packaging -- MEC was also one of the first retailers to eliminate the use of plastic shopping bags back in 2008 and as a result of its many initiatives, has consistently achieved waste diversion rates of over 90 percent since 2007
MEC employees working on the TNT mountain bike trail on Mount Seymour in North Vancouver, British Columbia   (Photo credit: Berglind Hafsteinsdottir)


Major Canadian hiring locations Langley BC, Halifax NS, Edmonton AB, Burlington ON, Vancouver BC, Victoria BC, Calgary AB, North Vancouver BC, London ON, Winnipeg MB, Toronto ON, Montréal QC, Longueuil QC, Barrie ON, Québec QC
Full-time employees in Canada 737
Employee green team Environmental Integrity Committee (comprised of one senior staff and up to four floor personnel)
Senior executive who oversees initiatives Director of Sustainability
Green highlights gear donations, gear swap program (enables member to trade or sell their unused gear), equipment rental program (from canoes to snowshoes), longstanding equipment repair services (over 8,200 repairs last year), bicycle tube recycling (and reuse when cut into elastic bands for in-store use), ongoing program to work with designers and product managers to source more environmentally preferred materials for MEC branded products (including 100 percent "Bluesign" materials, increasing use of recycled materials, PVC-free products, organically grown cotton, to name a few initiatives)
Commuter amenities secure/sheltered bicycle parking
In-house environmental audit yes
External environmental audit yes
Publishes sustainability report yes
Some of the green community initiatives Nature Conservancy of Canada, Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society, Ecology Action Centre (Nova Scotia), Nature Canada (initiative to help connect urban Canadians to nature), Kids in the Woods (after school program in Toronto to get kids outdoors), MEC Howmewaters (supports projects dedicated to preserving Canada's fresh water systems), Commuter Challenge, Bike to Work Week, Leave No Trace Canada, Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, Alpine Club of Canada, Protect Our Winters, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), 1% for the Planet, Conservation Alliance, Parks Canada, and many more
Head office LEED Pending
Other location LEED Gold
Building footprint includes PV solar panels, rainwater collection, green roof, solar water heating, geothermal heating/cooling, reclaimed building materials, other building accreditation (BOMA etc.)

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