PowerStream Inc.

PowerStream Inc.

May 24, 2012 07:46 ET

PowerStream Designated as 'Smart Commute GOLD Workplace'

Successful Employee Commuter Programs Earn Electric Utility Another Accolade

VAUGHAN, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 24, 2012) - PowerStream's exceptional leadership and commitment to the environment has earned the utility another accolade for the various environmentally-friendly commuting options the company offers its employees.

Metrolinx, through its Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Smart Commute program, Wednesday recognized the outstanding work done by PowerStream in providing its employees with commuting alternatives by designating the company as a 'Smart Commute GOLD Workplace' for 2012. This designation follows the utility winning the 'Smart Commute Employer of the Year Award' for North Toronto, Vaughan in November 2011 for the second time in three years.

As an active participant in Smart Commute, the utility has proven to be a leader in offering commuter options to its employees through several initiatives including its vanpool program. PowerStream, one of only three companies in Ontario currently offering vanpools to its employees, has 36 staff using four vans to commute to and from work, resulting in the removal of 31 vehicles off the road every rush hour, saving 163 tonnes of smog causing emissions from polluting the air over the course of the year.

In addition to vanpooling, the company also provides employees with several carpooling choices and promotes participation in annual commuting events such as "Clean Air Commute Week" and "Bike to Work Day". More than 100 PowerStream employees are currently involved in approximately 42 carpools, which helps to further reduce air pollution by saving over 17 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from being released into the atmosphere. PowerStream vanpool and carpool initiatives are part of a suite of programs aimed at reducing staff vehicle emissions 10 per cent by 2013.

The company has also added to its fleet, two 100 per cent electric, zero emissions Nissan LEAF™ vehicles, 'fueled' by the product that the utility distributes to its customers. One of the electric vehicles has been assigned to staff for carpool use while the other vehicle, usually showcased at the company's head office, is used for events.

"We are proud to recognize PowerStream's outstanding commitment to improving the employee commuting experience," said Brian Shifman, Executive Director of Smart Commute - North Toronto, Vaughan (NTV). "PowerStream achieved the Smart Commute GOLD Workplace standard due to its innovative transportation efforts with programs such as carpooling, priority parking, vanpools and electric vehicles."

"This is another example of the recognition PowerStream continues to earn in providing a safe, fulfilling and green work environment that educates and promotes to its employees the importance of living an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, which includes commuting to and from work," explained PowerStream Board Chair and Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. "It is always appreciated when we can be acknowledged by organizations such as Metrolinx who understand how important it is for companies to become pro-active in providing commuting options to its employees."

PowerStream designated as 'Smart Commute GOLD Workplace'

"Our Smart Commute initiatives are consistent with our vision of being a socially responsible company, committed to the environment and sustainable growth," Brian Bentz, PowerStream's President and CEO added. "It is an honour to be recognized for our employee commuting initiatives but the greater reward is helping to motivate and inspire other companies to provide their employees with more innovative commuter programs that achieve significant positive outcomes for the environment."

In addition to the Smart Commute recognition, the Ministry of the Environment has deemed PowerStream to be one of 'Ontario's Environmental Leaders' (2010) and the Electricity Distributors Association presented the company with its 'Environmental Excellence Award' in 2012 and 2010.

About PowerStream

PowerStream is the second largest municipally-owned electricity distribution company in Ontario, providing service to more than 335,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. The communities served include Alliston, Aurora, Barrie, Beeton, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Markham, Penetanguishene, Richmond Hill, Thornton, Tottenham and Vaughan. PowerStream is jointly owned by the City of Barrie, the City of Vaughan and the Town of Markham.

About Metrolinx

Metrolinx is the Province of Ontario's regional transportation agency for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). The organization's mission is to champion, develop and implement an integrated transportation system for our region that enhances prosperity, sustainability and quality of life.

About Smart Commute

Smart Commute is a program of Metrolinx and the municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). To date, more than 200 employers with 524,000 employees have signed on to the Smart Commute program. For more information, visit www.smartcommute.ca.

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