Certifications & Awards

More than ever, third-party sustainable building certifications and awards are critical to help properties improve marketability, reputation, occupant recruitment, retention rates, and relations with the community. Our team of certification specialists manage the process from start to finish to deliver superior results by providing strategic recommendations to guide property managers in achieving their desired certification level. Further to this, we offer correlated services such as energy, water, and indoor air quality audits as well as development of environmental policies needed for most certification programs.

Learn more about some of the certifications and awards we help our clients achieve:

BOMA BEST® 3.0
BOMA is the Building Owners and Managers Association, an association dedicated to members of the commercial real estate industry. There are eleven local BOMA chapters across Canada.

The BOMA Building Environmental Standards (BOMA BEST®) 3.0 certification honours existing buildings in Canada that excel in the following areas:

  •  Energy
  • Water
  • Air
  • Comfort
  • Health and Wellness
  • Custodial
  • Purchasing
  • Waste
  • Site
  • Stakeholder Engagement

Since 2006, CD Sonter has project managed BOMA BEST® certifications and re-certifications for office buildings, enclosed shopping centres, open air retail establishments, light industrial facilities, and universal facilities. Notably, we project managed the highest scoring BOMA BEST® office building certification on record and have led countless clients to achieve Platinum certification. We have been active members of BOMA Canada’s BOMA BEST® Technical Committee since it was established in 2013. Attesting to our expertise, our participation in the Technical Committee supports BOMA Canada’s mandate to ensure that the BOMA BEST® 3.0 program remains clear, up-to-date, and on the cutting edge of industry best practices.

Let us help you achieve BOMA BEST® certification for your property to ensure it gains the recognition it deserves in Canada’s largest environmental certification program for existing buildings.

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BOMA Certificate of Excellence / The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) Awards

Setting the commercial real estate industry standard for almost 20 years, the Certificate of Excellence is administered by the 11 BOMA Chapters across Canada each year. The award has set the standard for commercial real estate excellence, celebrating exemplary properties that exceed building management standards and the management teams behind them. The Certificate of Excellence is backed by a rigorous certification program. Entrants must be BOMA BEST® Certified and are subject to an onsite judging by industry peers. Buildings are judged based on completion of a written submission, including the following components:

  • Building Description
  • Building Standards
  • Community Impact
  • Tenant Relations & Communications
  • Energy Conservation
  • Environmental, Regulatory,
  • Sustainability & Waste
  • Emergency Preparedness & Life Safety
  • Training for Building Personnel

The highest scoring property in each Certificate of Excellence category is eligible to further compete nationally and internationally for BOMA Canada’s and subsequently BOMA International’s The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) Award.

CD Sonter has helped countless clients receive this recognition at the local, national, and international levels. Notably, in the last five years, we have project managed submissions for the vast majority of Canadian properties who have won BOMA International TOBY Awards, including winners in the: Historical Building, Industrial Office Building, Medical Office Building, Office Buildings, Suburban Office Park, and Retail categories.

Retaining CD Sonter to write your property’s submission is more than just bringing a skilled writing team on board. We approach your program with a fresh perspective to capture all of the best practices in place, we ask pertinent questions to help tell your story, and we also bring to the forefront initiatives that are unique and leading-edge that internal teams may take for granted.

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BOMA Calgary TC Energy BOMA Excellence Awards

BOMA Calgary established the TC Energy BOMA Excellence Awards to recognize companies, teams, and individuals who raise the bar for service excellence. Following are the categories that Calgary property management teams may apply for:

  • Property Management Team of the Year
  • Building Operator of the Year
  • Operations Team of the Year
  • Chief Engineer/Operations Manager of the Year

As a highly specialized award process, CD Sonter will assist the property management team in creating the most successful submission possible in order to accurately reflect the hard work that is being done throughout the year.

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BOMA EARTH Awards

The Earth Award is BOMA Toronto’s opportunity to recognize buildings and their teams for excellence in environmental management. BOMA BEST® certificate recipients are automatically entered into BOMA Toronto’s annual Earth Award program. The top scoring BOMA BEST® building in each asset class is presented the Earth Award on an annual basis. Winners are eligible to move on to the BOMA Canada national awards and if successful, on to the BOMA International awards.

Within the other BOMA Chapters and at the BOMA Canada and International levels, the Earth Award is presented to eligible to properties that have made meaningful efforts to address environmental issues at their site. Judging is based on a written submission including the following sections:

  • Building Description and Summary
  • Reduction of Environmental Risk
  • Indoor Air Quality and Green
  • Cleaning
  • Recycling
  • Energy Conservation
  • Water Conservation
  • Interior Finish
  • Green Purchasing Policy
  • Occupant Communications and
  • Education
  • Case Study

CD Sonter can assist properties in writing an Earth Award submission for the BOMA local Chapter, Canada, and International levels.

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3RCertified

3RCertified™ is a national certification program offered by the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) for office buildings, retail stores, shopping centres, industrial facilities, hotels, restaurants, educational establishments, and hospitals. 3RCertified recognizes organizations that take a leadership position in waste reduction and diversion. The program criteria aim to capture the various ways an organization integrates its solid waste diversion and management program into operations and planning. As the program grows so will the 3RCertified database of externally verified diversion, capture and per unit reduction rates, which allows participants to better understand and benchmark performance.
Participating organizations achieve certification levels based on established criteria and third-party evaluation.

We have specific experience in facilitating 3RCertified™ projects, having worked with Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd., Centrecorp Management Services Ltd., Cushman & Wakefield, Menkes Property Management Services Ltd. and Oxford Properties Group to achieve Gold certification. Retaining us to take on the role of project manager translates to a seamless process for your team.

Additionally, we are recognised by the RCO as approved Waste Auditors to conduct waste audits that meet the 3RCertified requirements.

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Fitwel®

 Fitwel® is the world’s leading certification system committed to building health for all. The program optimizes buildings to improve health and productivity outcomes by targeting improvements to workplace design and operational policies. The Fitwel® Scorecards include 55+ evidence-based design and operational strategies that enhance buildings by addressing a broad range of health behaviors and risks. Health and wellness are addressed as an interconnected system with no single dominant category or area of focus, and as such all strategies are voluntary, with no individual prerequisites.

The program is available to new and existing commercial buildings and provides specific, incremental changes that will foster a healthier workplace, regardless of size, construction year, or location. The program includes seven Health Impact Categories:

  1. Increases Physical Activity
  2. Promotes Occupant Safety
  3. Reduces Morbidity and Absenteeism
  4. Supports Social Equity for Vulnerable Populations
  5. Instills Feelings of Wellbeing
  6. Impacts Surrounding Community Health
  7. Enhances Access to Healthy Foods

Gaining certification:

  • Improves the health of your tenants, employees, visitors, the surrounding community.
  • Signals to occupants, prospective tenants, leasing agents, investors, and others that your building prioritizes wellness within its design and operations.
  • Ensures your company is leading the industry on the next frontier of sustainability.

CD Sonter has experience project managing the Fitwel® Certification process. We will facilitate from the initial analysis, to evaluation and preparation of audits and policies, to the full assembly of the application package.

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BOMA 360

The BOMA 360 Performance Program is an international standard for operational best practices in the commercial real estate industry. The program aims to take a holistic approach by evaluating all major areas of operations and management. It is sponsored by BOMA International and evaluates buildings against industry best practices in six major areas:

  • Building operations and management
    Energy
  • Environmental/sustainability
  • Life safety, security, and risk management
  • Tenant relations/community involvement
  • Training and education

Building owners and managers are always seeking ways to differentiate their buildings against other properties in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The BOMA 360 designation signals to owners, tenants, and prospective tenants that your building is managed and operated to the highest standards in the industry.

BOMA 360 recipients report that the designation has been a key factor in attracting and competing for tenants; achieving operational savings and efficiencies; establishing new operation or management policies or procedures; and gaining recognition from owners, tenants and the community. Independent studies conducted by Kingsley Associates report that BOMA 360 buildings earn higher scores in nearly all tenant satisfaction categories. Furthermore, a study conducted by CoStar reports that BOMA 360 buildings have higher tenant retention rates and command higher rental rates than similar buildings without the designation.

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Cleaning Industry Management Standard Green Building (CIMS-GB)

The Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) is administered by ISSA (also known as The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association) and the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences (AICS). The program represents the quality management standard for the cleaning industry.

CIMS-Green Building (CIMS-GB) is recognized as a premier certification program for cleaning operations wishing to certify their comprehensive green cleaning program and sustainable cleaning services. CIMS and CIMS-GB Certification are built around six areas of management best practices, which set the foundation for high-performance, customer-focused, and sustainable cleaning organizations:

  • Quality Systems
  • Service Delivery
  • Human Resources
  • Health, Safety and Environmental Stewardship
  • Management Commitment
  • Green Buildings and Service

CIMS-GB provides property managers, building owners, and service providers with a framework for identifying and implementing a green cleaning management system that will improve performance in terms of sustainable product usage, improved occupant wellness, asset preservation, and waste diversion.

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Feasibility Studies / Gap Analyses

As experts in Sustainability Awards and Certifications, CD Sonter can assess your site and complete a Feasibility Study or Gap Analysis to provide an overview of the initiatives and programs that would need to be implemented or maintained in order to earn a specific score or achieve a high-quality submission (depending on the award of interest). This service is relevant for clients looking to assess whether to proceed with a particular award or certification.

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Other Environmental Awards

Do you need help with any other environmental award program or submission-writing opportunity that is not on this list? Please contact us and we would be happy to review this with you.

This includes corporate environmental standards, local award programs, provincial recycling council awards, or any others that are relevant to you as a Property Owner or Manager.

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Niche Service Offerings

Ensuring that we are always offering the latest and most relevant services to our clients is a top priority for CD Sonter. We are consistently innovating our service offerings to provide you with the support you need to run a truly sustainable property.

Take advantage of our new service offerings introduced for 2020, including the following:

  • Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Certification
  • Sustainability Program Assessment and Guidance
  • Sustainable Procurement Audit and Strategy
  • Sustainability Policy Development / Review
  • Annual Sustainability Plan Mapping
  • Sustainability Contractor Compliance Consulting

Please click here to view the full details on our new service offerings.

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We’ve partnered with clients to:

  • Audit over 1.6 billion square feet of IC&I space.
  • Achieve 50% annual savings in waste management fees for a 7 million square foot retail portfolio.
  • Achieve a 99% Diversion rate for a 200-employee facility.