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Sustainability

Bird Construction has been building on a tradition of trust through dedication, collaboration, customer satisfaction, and value creation for over 100 years. Bird’s approach to sustainability is a reflection of its commitment to the core company values of safety, people, teamwork, professionalism, integrity, and stewardship. These values guide us in all we do and ensure that, as an organization, Bird provides sustainable value and accretive contributions to its clients, employees, shareholders, and the communities in which Bird and our employees live and work.

As of September 2020, Bird and Stuart Olson officially joined forces to create a leading Canadian construction company. Informed by leading industry standards and best practices, the combined entity is consistently striving towards maximizing its social and environmental impact, as well as highlighting the strong corporate governance framework in place that ensure accountability and stewardship across all of its operations.

A message from Teri McKibbon

President and CEO

Sustainable building practices, robust health and safety standards, substantial community investment, authentic Indigenous engagement, and strong corporate governance are at the core of everything we do. This is why I am proud to share our first Sustainability Overview, which highlights the great things Bird has accomplished from coast to coast.

Bird’s long-term strategic vision is rooted in our belief that the construction industry plays an important role in providing sustainable, innovative, and lasting solutions for not only our clients, partners, and employees, but for the communities in which we live and work. Global events of this past year remind us of just how intrinsically linked we all are.

Over the coming years, we will continue to develop, execute, and deliver on our Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance Strategy, which will include the release of a more substantive report. I look forward to our future as an organization, industry, and collective, as we work together to create a stronger future for us all.

Portrait of Teri McKibbon
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Build Green

Pursuing opportunities to utilize sustainable building materials and minimize resource waste

Bird is committed to sustainable construction. We have partnered with our clients to deliver complex and innovative building systems that meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®), Green Globes, Passive House, and Zero Carbon building requirements. By utilizing sustainable building materials and minimizing resource use and waste, we can realize both environmental and cost benefits. Over the last decade, Bird has delivered over 200 projects that are built to LEED requirements or have acquired LEED certification. Bird has LEED Accredited professionals across Canada and is a proud member of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).

Mass Timber

Mass Timber projects offer low carbon solutions using a renewable resource as a primary construction material. Through sustainable forestry, wood-based materials capture carbon and offset total CO2 emissions.

Bird is a North American leader in wood construction with extensive expertise, experience, and supply chain knowledge. We are investing in low-carbon building solutions such as mass timber to reduce the environmental impact of the construction industry. With an in-depth understanding of the benefits and limitations of different mass timber and engineered wood products, we can deliver on efficient design strategies to maximize structural efficiencies.

Learn more about our expertise in mass timber projects

$1B+

Completed/Under Construction

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20+ Projects

Completed/Under Construction

Interior of building showing wood details
Interior walkway

Prefabrication

The offsite fabrication and assembly of specialty modular skid units can mitigate site safety risks and improve overall usage and waste of consumables. Offsite fabrication and modularization contribute to our sustainability goals:

  • Waste minimization and lower waste removal costs
  • Improved project schedules as fabrication and module assembly occur in parallel with site development and piling programs
  • Improved quality due to a controlled module yard environment
  • Reduced site execution risk, including reduction in traffic to remote project sites
  • Improved safety performance
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced site laydown space requirements
  • Reduced onsite power consumption
  • Recyclability of steel
Interior of prefabrication shop

Stack Modular

The Company’s investment in modular construction, through its 50% partnership with Stack Modular, contributes to Bird’s overall environmental sustainability focus. The sustainability benefits of modular construction include:

  • Greener process than conventional construction
  • Generates up to 90% less construction waste
  • Consumes less energy during the construction process and during operation
  • Projects can be completed 30 - 50% faster than conventional construction
  • Delivery of sophisticated construction facilities to remote locations and urban areas
  • Minimizes site disturbances (reduced noise, dust, traffic)
  • Controlled manufacturing conditions reduce the risks of safety incidents
  • Less material exposure to inclement weather
  • Ease of construction on urban or congested sites
  • Advantages of repeatability
  • Can exceed Energy Code compliance
AQSARNIIT HOTEL AND CONVENTION CENTRE
Image courtesy of Bill Williams 
Interior of hotel room
Lobby interior
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Work Green

Delivering innovative solutions for sustainable construction

Building Information Modeling (BIM)/Virtual Design and Construction (VDC)

Niagara Falls Schematics

As sustainable construction evolves as a key focus for the industry and our clients, we continuously look for innovative solutions that can improve our capability in delivering projects that have a low-carbon footprint and use unique energy systems to reduce waste and cost. BIM and VDC allow us to use advanced construction intelligence to identify areas of opportunity, such as green solutions for projects, or options for modularization and pre-fabrication.

VDC allows for better communication of the design intent as well as the development of fully co-ordinated project documentation. VDC co-ordinates everything from early conceptual massing models to highly developed, thoroughly documented 3D models in the development of a Digital Twin of the physical project.

Learn more about our BIM/VDC projects

Niagara Falls Auditorium

Centre for Building Performance

Infographic showing heat exchange system Example of dashboard

Our Centre for Building Performance (CfBP) is dedicated to assisting construction teams, designers, and clients to better integrate building systems in an effort to construct smarter, more efficient, environmentally-friendly buildings. CfBP offers a variety of services from equipment and building systems testing to software development and integration of the best equipment throughout the building. The range of innovative solutions offered by the CfBP has the potential to optimize the sustainability of building systems and minimize environmental impacts. This in-house service enables both our clients and our teams to work efficiently and effectively throughout every step of the construction process.

The involvement of the CfBP ensures that specific project needs are anticipated and addressed. With today’s staggering amount of options when it comes to smart building technologies, the CfBP assists project teams in making sure that the right systems are considered to support ideal outcomes. This eliminates infrastructure redundancies, which not only saves time and money but also makes a building more energy efficient. These building performance solutions can reduce overall capital budgets by optimizing building systems and infrastructure while ensuring a high-performance building and faster occupancy handover.

Post-occupancy, in-house designed solutions provide valuable insights that help simplify building management and maintenance decisions, reduces operating costs, and improves efficiency. Clients have ownership of their own data, providing access to real-time information. Through their mobile devices, clients are able to see what is causing building issues, thus driving better and more effective building maintenance decisions, and ensuring all systems are operating at optimal capacity.

Exterior of the MacKimmie Building

Waste Management

Bird is committed to being a responsible environmental steward, maintaining the highest standards in public health and safety in an effort to protect the quality of the global environment, and reducing our carbon footprint. Our team co-ordinates the development and implementation of environmental protection programs, both onsite and in our offices. Programs are maintained, revised, and updated as necessary to minimize negative environmental effects caused by company activities. Green measures are implemented as part of site execution plans. The primary focus is on waste avoidance, with clear procedures established for the reduction of waste, the re-use of materials, and the recycling of all possible waste. When practicable, preference is given to products made of recycled and renewable materials, organic and water-soluble products, and environmentally-friendly products that have a minimal negative impact on the environment.

Winnipeg Waste Management Pilot Study

Diverting waste from the landfill is a priority for Bird. Our aim is to save energy and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases through recycling and waste diversion. Indirectly, this lowers the cost for each project. Some of our offices have been tracking waste management and remediation efforts at both their offices and project sites. We are proud of their efforts and are currently investigating a national waste management strategy.

2,874

Mature Trees

2,820,063

Litres of Water

2,250 Cubic Metres

of Landfill Airspace

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Enough saved timber resources to produce 35,613,469 sheets of newspaper

Enough fresh water to meet the daily needs of 37,601 people

Enough to meet the municipal waste disposal needs of 35,158 people per month

Wooden stairs leading to water

Supply Chain Management

Aligned, standardized practices are essential to driving a holistic sustainability strategy. The Corporate Supply Chain Management (SCM) team is developing a consistent company-wide strategy for supply chain and asset management, ensuring standardized SCM practices that align with our core values.

An essential element of our sustainability strategy is tracking our greenhouse gas emissions. Taking concrete steps towards minimizing our impact on the environment starts with assessing our carbon footprint. We are measuring and reducing idling times across our fleet, tracking air travel and reducing miles travelled where possible. The team is committed to expediting the roll out of emissions tracking across the company.

Guiding Principles
Supply Chain Management Principles
Supply Chain Management Principles
Supply Chain Management Principles
Supply Chain Management Principles

98%

Canadian Suppliers
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55+

Indigenous-owned
Businesses Supported
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>$50M

Procurement Spend with
Indigenous-owned Businesses
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Live Green

Providing a safe, inclusive workplace that supports physical and mental wellbeing, promotes professional development, and encourages positive community engagement.

Our employees are the drivers of our longevity and success, and we are committed to investing in their development and wellbeing. Bird pursues a holistic approach to employee health and wellbeing, striving to create an empathetic culture that goes beyond providing physical health benefits to one that considers the mental health and psychological safety of all employees. A healthy workplace promotes safety and overall wellbeing, and the essential components of supporting our people include advancing their professional development, strengthening our neighbourhoods, and creating inclusive, respectful, and equitable working environments.

Health and Safety

Bird's approach to safety continues to evolve in response to new technologies, tools, strategies, and challenges such as COVID-19. Bird promotes a culture of personal responsibility for safety wherein safety considerations are interwoven into the very fabric of operational processes and every person at every level takes ownership for safety. From planning to execution, effective communication, documentation, orientation, training, and ongoing review and analysis of all work activity are vigorously undertaken to ensure continuous improvement in all facets of operations.

Safety and production are viewed as complementary objectives, and both are pursued in order to achieve and sustain a positive and safe work environment. A team-based safety commitment is essential in order to achieve successful business outcomes and ensure that high quality work is delivered on schedule. The creation of a collaborative and participative safety culture requires going beyond the technical aspects of safety such as process engineering, hazard identification, and compliance with legislation. Person-based approaches must be integrated into the organizational safety strategy to promote an ingrained culture of personal responsibility for safety.

At Bird, ensuring that all work on our sites is executed to exacting quality standards begins with our commitment to creating and sustaining a culture in which the identification, assessment, and elimination or control of hazards and risks is incorporated into every aspect of our operations. This is a cornerstone of our operational philosophy and approach. Ensuring that all workers leave our job sites every day just as healthy and safe as when they arrived is a shared commitment. By working collaboratively with our employees and subcontractors, we minimize risk and create the appropriate conditions for the safe execution of construction activity - on time, on budget, and to our client's satisfaction. We believe this shared commitment is critical to our overall success. It is how we work.

COVID 19 Posters
COVID-19 Response

The health and safety of employees is paramount and, as a result of the pandemic, Bird has increased health and safety initiatives that meet or exceed guidance from applicable public health authorities. Bird continues to communicate on a regular basis with all employees and has highlighted the additional support offered by the provider of the Employee and Family Assistance Program to support employees and their families during this time. The Executives and Directors want to acknowledge the efforts and sacrifices that our employees have made to ensure that Bird is operating safely and effectively, while delivering upon its project commitments through these unprecedented times.

11,492

INSPECTIONS
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ACROSS

150

SITES

March - December 2020

Men in safety gear on site
Person grinding metal
Workers in hard hats looking at crane

Indigenous Relations

Bird values the creation of inclusive, respectful, and equitable working environments. We are committed to delivering our projects in a socially responsible way that is mindful of human rights and local residents. Bird's National Indigenous Engagement Policy aims to ensure a consistent and culturally appropriate approach that respects the diversity of the Indigenous landscape in Canada, while considering the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action #92.

Bird's National Indigenous Engagement Policy is built on four pillars:

  • Building respectful relationships and promoting open communications and cultural awareness
  • Being proactive in employing a qualified workforce that strives to be representative of the Indigenous communities in which Bird works
  • Seeking to increase business opportunities for Indigenous partners and build capacity in the Indigenous business community
  • Investing in community programs that support Indigenous cultural awareness, skills development, and business capacity.
Bird employee posing with a piece of art work and a member of a First Nations community at an event
Orange shirt day event

Community Connections

Bird is committed to contributing to the communities in which we live, work, and build in a manner that is socially responsible, mindful of human rights, and respectful of local residents. Through donations, scholarships, fundraising activities, and volunteer work, Bird employees consistently demonstrate a passion for giving back. Bird supports national charities, health care foundation initiatives, food and clothing banks, community festivals and events, youth and community sports, and much more.

Bird volunteers serving food at charity event

Human Capital Development

Bird values the importance of creating inclusive, respectful, and equitable working environments. Bird is committed to promoting employment equity by providing a workplace environment that treats all employees with respect and dignity. We need to reflect the diversity of Canadian society in our workforce, and believe in proactively managing the special measures outlined in the Employment Equity Act. In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at the company are based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. The company does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race or colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, genetic characteristics, pardoned conviction, disability, sexual orientation, or any other prohibited ground. When there is under-representation, Bird will give preference to equally qualified candidates who are members of the designated groups stated in the Employment Equity Act.

At Bird, we are committed to an open and transparent learning culture that promotes continuous improvement and shared accountability. We believe that commitment to our employees' success leads to collective success, and our goal is to provide quality training that is beneficial, accessible, affordable, and timely. Bird encourages all employees to take an active role in their own self-development by continually seeking to improve their skills and education. As a result, Bird offers tuition reimbursement to help share the cost of external, work-related educational programs. A variety of training materials, both on-demand and scheduled, are provided through Bird's intranet portal. There is also regular peer-to-peer training and information sharing, such as the weekly Quality Lessons Learned presentations that share best practices from site situations.

1,509

28%

+30 Hours

9,454

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Full Time Staff

Women

Training Per Employee

Courses Available

Bird and Stuart Olson combined for 2020

Bird and Stuart Olson combined for 2020

Minimum Target for 2021

Bird and Stuart Olson combined for 2020

Group of people in PPE
Insulator program participants

Stakeholder Engagement

Bird's communication policy emphasizes transparency, inclusivity, and integrity, in keeping with the company's core values and mission statement. Bird regularly communicates with internal and external stakeholders on a range of issues, endeavoring to deliver clear and informative messages about the company and its operations. Bird is continually seeking new ways to engage with stakeholders, utilizing a range of methods and media to reach the widest possible audience.

Follow us on Twitter               Engage with us on LinkedIn               Join us on Instagram

Group of people celebrating safety award
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Commitment to Governance

Bird endeavors to be at the forefront of industry efforts to be responsible, responsive, and innovative corporate citizens. A strong culture of ethical conduct is central to good governance at Bird. The Company and its Board are committed to conducting their activities in accordance with the highest standards of business ethics. These standards are intended to provide guidance regarding ethical issues, to assist in recognizing and dealing with ethical issues, to provide mechanisms to report unethical conduct, and to help foster a culture of honesty and accountability.

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The policies that enshrine these values in the way we work include:

  • Code of Ethics
  • Respectful Workplace Policy
  • Disclosure Policy
  • Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy
  • Whistleblower Policy
  • Information Security and Cybersecurity
  • Insider Trading and Blackout Policy
  • Competition Laws Compliance Policy
Exterior glass facade of building
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The Board of Directors and the management of Bird are committed to a strong corporate governance framework. Our corporate governance policies and practices are intended to ensure the interests of our stakeholders are at the center of all decisions we make.

Our principal corporate governance documents can be found through the following links: