Environmental Employer Spotlight: Internat Energy Solutions

Julie Checknita, Employer Services | February-08-12
Innovating for Success


ECO Canada is excited to spotlight Internat Energy Solutions Canada, an independent engineering consulting company dedicated to the creation of a more sustainable economy, government and society.

We caught up with Engineering Manager, Livio Nichilo to learn more about Internat Energy Solutions and about what makes this organization unique.

How would you describe the company’s corporate culture and values?

Internat Energy Solutions Canada (IESC) is a relatively young company whose success to date stems from our ability to be innovative and adapt in a fast changing industry.  Our team is comprised of a multidisciplinary group of professionals who share a passion for making sustainability a way of life.

We are one of the first firms in Canada to specialize in greenhouse gas quantification and reduction strategies, and are motivated by new challenges stemming from the need to keep up with the latest technologies, policies and methods of analysis.  We invest a great deal in the professional development of our employees through a commitment to continuing education and exposure to international work in our sister offices in Europe and China.

Moreover, a substantial portion of our operating budget is consistently allocated to ongoing R&D projects that have enabled us to showcase our creativity.  This core culture allows us to stay true to our over-arching organizational values that include leadership, innovation, quality, independence, and integrity.

What makes your company unique in the industry?

At IESC, we focus not only on our own growth but also on the development of the industry as a whole.  Given the need for quick and decisive action to respond to climate change, and the associated necessity of behavioral and societal transformation, we are committed to sharing our knowledge, tools and know-how in order to help push our industry forward.  The first example of this in Canada is the development of our greenhouse gas analysis tool, Encompass™. 

The tool was designed to assist organizations in the planning and execution of multi-year sustainable growth strategies.  The tool, which we offer free of charge to professionals trained with us, is based on experience in European countries that have successfully integrated sustainable practices in their economic development strategy. It offers organizations a better understanding of where one's sources of direct and embodied GHG emissions originate, providing new information that can be used for enhanced strategic planning and decision making. 

While other greenhouse gas inventory tools exist and will be developed over the coming years, Encompass™ is the first to incorporate GHG quantification with multi-year reduction strategies and an assessment of one’s vulnerability to forthcoming regulations and fluctuations in energy prices. The tool is the fruit of nearly two years of research and development conducted by the innovative and hard working people at IESC, who are dedicated to develop effective carbon management solutions.  Sharing our tools and best practices on a large scale is now what we aim to accomplish in 2012.   

What type of environment does the company want to create for its employees?  How is this being done?

IESC provides an environment where professional development is strongly encouraged and financially supported. We see this as being the key to success for the organization, our employees, and the industry as a whole.  Professional development is achieved through further university training, certification for specialized knowledge, and accreditation for professional duties or taking time to join other international activities and organizations from around the world. 

Over the past two years all IESC team members have participated in these types of new ventures, allowing us to attract and retain high quality employees. Project team members share their newly acquired skills and experiences with others, fostering greater opportunities for learning in our day to day activities and projects.  This environment allows a relatively small organization like ours to compete with other, larger companies, by offering industry leading products and services backed by the highest quality personnel in the industry.

What have been the company’s greatest success stories so far?

We recently demonstrated the value of our Encompass™ tool and methodology with a high profile project undertaken at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.   The Harbourfront Centre is responsible for many arts and cultural events that enliven, educate and entertain the City’s diverse public.  Working with a non-profit, high profile organization like Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre presented several challenges in terms of limited financial resources; however, it  also provided us with some very important new opportunities. 

In helping develop Harbourfront Centre’s vision of sustainability and guide it toward a comprehensive organizational transformation, IESC was pleased to take a lead project role. Given the many affinities between the Harbourfront Centre grounds and the operations of a small municipality, the project with Harbourfront Centre became a perfect pilot project to demonstrate the capabilities of Encompass™.

Today, Harbourfront Centre is well on its way to achieving the project objectives and becoming a model for other public spaces intent on reducing their environmental impact. Equipped with the Encompass tool, IESC project team members helped prioritize actions while also ensuring that the notion of sustainability figured prominently in all aspects of organizational decision-making, at all levels, witnessed in the leveraging of pre-existing projects and strategy with the sustainability plan.

The results have ranged from leading initiatives in testing clean transportation options, integrating state-of-the art building-integrated solar technology, engaging event vendors to divert waste and taking steps to positively affect the space where millions visit on an annual basis.  Encompass™ has played a significant role in laying the foundation and providing the momentum needed to develop a long term organizational strategy which is now beginning to bear tangible fruit.

A copy of the projects methodology can be found on our website for download:

Encompass Pilot Project