Recognized as one of National Capital Region's Top Employers (2021):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 1, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why Hydro Ottawa was selected as one of National Capital Region's Top Employers (2021):
- Hydro Ottawa manages the Brighter Tomorrows community invest program, which focuses on three priority areas of education and capacity building; renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation; and health, safety and wellness -- and encourages employee involvement with a paid day off to volunteer and matching employee donations
- Hydro Ottawa invests in the education of current and future generations with tuition subsidies for job-related courses for employees, as well as academic scholarships for children of employees (up to $2,500 per child per year)
- Hydro Ottawa provides maternity and parental leave top-up payments for employees who are new mothers (to 90 per cent of salary for up to 25 weeks) and parental top-up for new fathers and adoptive parents (to 90 per cent of salary for up to 10 weeks) -- additionally, the organization offers a generous IVF subsidy for parents-to-be (up to $15,000)
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2020):
By Richard Yerema and Chantel Watkins, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jun 15, 2020)
Here are some of the reasons why Hydro Ottawa was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2020):
- As part of Hydro Ottawa's in-house "Go Paperless" campaign to encourage customers to move to electronic billing and payment methods, the company has planted over 14,000 trees in the Ottawa region
- Hydro Ottawa continues to expand its hydroelectric capacity as well as invest in alternative energy for the future, partnering with the City of Ottawa to install solar panels on eight municipal buildings, as well as plans for additional installations on former industrial sites in the city -- working towards its modest goal of becoming the "largest municipally-owned producer of green power"
- In addition to ongoing efforts to green its fleet (from vehicles to boom trucks), Hydro Ottawa recently established a partnership with FLO, the country's largest electric vehicle charging network, to install 100 Level 2 charging stations throughout the Ottawa area
Natural light and open spaces energize Hydro Ottawa staff
Dale Williams, manager, fleet and facilities at Hydro Ottawa, loves so much about the company’s new, modern main office and operations centres, designed to LEED Gold standards, that it’s difficult to pick a favourite.
Possibly it’s having different divisions together under one roof, making it easier and more efficient to meet with colleagues instead of travelling between different areas of the city. Or, it’s the sustainability features like the system for harvesting rainwater to flush the toilets or having a dehydrator for all organic waste.
“In moving to a new main office with a busy cafeteria and adding centralized four-stream waste management including organics on every floor, dehydrating is a big plus,” says Williams. “It reduces food waste by over 8,000 pounds in a year. And our water bottle refill stations avoid the use of over 200,000 plastic water bottles a year.
“Green technology and green processes were front of mind, right from the inception of the facilities and the grounds we built them on,” adds Williams. “All the construction materials and furnishings are environmentally friendly and the landscaping is low-maintenance so we’re not wasting water or using gas to mow every other day.”
When it comes to the environment, says Lyne Parent-Garvey, chief human resources officer, the new facilities are the link that was missing.
“A big part of who we are is about greening our communities,” she says. “Hydro Ottawa works with its customers to help them consume less energy and we generate clean, green power, whether it’s from hydroelectric or solar or landfill gas-to-energy in Ontario, Quebec and New York state. To walk the talk on sustainability, we have to do it right ourselves.”
The physical changes have also transformed how people work, says Donna Burnett Vachon, director, change and organization development. Before the move in spring 2019, one of the project’s taglines was “new ways of working”, with design decisions tied to guiding principles of collaboration, innovation and health & well-being, for both employees and the planet. The property is Wi-Fi enabled throughout so people can work where they’re most productive, in multiple places inside, or outside the buildings.
“Walls in the buildings are kept to the core so all our people have access to natural light,” says Burnett Vachon. “And we brought the cubicle walls down with a glass panel at the top to let light flow through, very different from our previous workspaces.
“We wanted to promote collaboration and being in a bright, open and modern space has done that. People are engaged and energized by it.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2021):
By Kristina Leung, Stephanie Leung, and Jing Wang, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 18, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why Hydro Ottawa was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2021):
- Hydro Ottawa participates in the Youth Futures program, created by the City of Ottawa and the University of Ottawa to offer employment opportunities for high school students from low-income families and communities
- An industry partner with Algonquin College's Applied Research Program since 2013, Hydro Ottawa initiated a project to develop a Live Line Simulator -- multiple cohorts of students worked and built upon phases of a prototype jacket, ultimately leading to a patent application in 2017 -- the live line simulation jacket is used to train powerline technician students and apprentices on how to work safely near high-voltage conductors
- Hydro Ottawa offers aspiring individuals an entry point into the workforce through various apprenticeship programs, such as powerline maintenance, power cable maintenance, and station electricity, to name a few -- the organization also provides journeyperson apprentices with nation-wide certification and covers preparation and certification fees