Killam Cares | Our ESG Initiatives

A caring spirit lives here.

At Killam, our definition of success includes the amount of good we can do for our people, our community, and our planet. Like any business, revenue and profit matter to us—but unlike many businesses, we measure our value by more than just a balance sheet. When you rent with Killam, you play a part in making a difference in so many ways.

Community Matters

 An important part of being a responsible corporate citizen is giving back to the community we are a part of. 

Every year, Killam donates nine furnished suites to hospitals in cities across the country, providing comfortable accommodations to families as they support loved ones through medical treatment.  

Killam provides financial support for various charities in the communities we serve, with an emphasis on supporting employees, tenants and organizations focused on shelter and families.  

Killam employees are involved in various community events and charities. In recent years, this has included Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, the Halifax Pride Parade and Doors Open Halifax, to name just a few.

Killam’s board of trustees join together annually to support a charity or community organization. Since beginning the initiative in 2010, board members have donated $900,000 in total to various charities including the Janeway Children’s Hospital in St. John’s, Saint Mary's University, Mount Allison University, The Halifax YMCA and the Charlottetown and Summerside Boys and Girls Clubs. In 2018, the board of trustees donated $100,000 to the University of Calgary's Libin Cardiovascular Institute.

Affordable Housing

Everyone deserves a comfortable place to call home. It’s why Killam supports affordable housing alternatives in its communities.  ​

Killam partners with non-profit housing agencies such as Housing First, Nova Scotia Health Authority-Mental Health Division, Shelter Nova Scotia, YWCA and Phoenix. These relationships, along with partnerships with multiple provincial government housing boards, provide more than 600 subsidized units to previously under-housed individuals. We have a long-term commitment to provide quality, affordable units.  

Killam’s Tenant Assistance Program offers short-term rent relief for tenants who are undergoing temporary financial hardships. Qualifying residents can receive up to six months of reduced rent.
 

Renewable Energy and Efficiency Initiatives

Killam is committed to reducing its environmental footprint and investing in energy efficient solutions for our buildings.

We seek to continuously improve and maintain our buildings, with a focus on reducing waste, energy and water use. To achieve this, we have been finding practical solutions for different properties that make the highest impact in reducing the environmental footprint. Our portfolio of over 200 properties provides opportunities to invest in projects that improve the long-term sustainability of our assets, while generating average annual returns of more than 20%. 

Investment. With $5 million dedicated annually to energy-efficiency projects, Killam invests over 10% of its overall capital budget in gaining operating efficiencies, lowering operating costs and reducing its impact on the environment.

Dedicated Resource. Killam employs a full-time energy-efficiency specialist to expand Killam’s green initiatives in all our buildings.

Water Conservation. Killam has completed the installation of low-flow toilets in more than 9,100 units in our portfolio. Since the program started in 2015, over 600 million liters of water have been saved by Killam and our tenants. As well, newer developments such as Saginaw Park, which opened in 2018, are submetering water usage.

LED Lighting Upgrades. Killam invested $2.1 million in lighting retrofits in 2018, and completed the retrofit across the entire portfolio with LED lighting in Q2-2019. With over 5 million kilowatt-hours being saved annually, buildings are not only consuming less electricity, Killam has seen improved lighting levels and reduced maintenance costs with the LED program.

Solar. Killam has operational solar thermal heating systems at four properties. These systems together save approximately 2,800 gigajoules (GJ) of natural gas used to heat domestic hot water. Killam plans to install additional solar photovoltaic (PV) power generating panels in 2019. As the cost of solar continues to decline, Killam will scale solar to more properties. As not all properties are suitable for onsite solar or have limited roof area to meet energy needs, we are exploring purchasing offsite renewable electricity. Killam is also incorporating a solar PV heating system on its current  8-unit Shorefront development in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. 

Efficient Heating. Killam has several programs underway to reduce heating costs and lower its impact on the environment. Large-scale boiler room overhauls using high-efficiency heating and pumping equipment are frequently being undertaken in the portfolio. Each year enough boiler upgrades are completed to save 15,000 GJ of natural gas use annually.

Supporting Our Employees

A Collaborative Culture.

Our employees are our most important asset. Supporting our people both at work and in their communities is a priority at Killam.  

Scholarships are available to children and grandchildren of Killam employees who pursue post-secondary education.

Killam’s employee unit purchase plan rewards employees with a 50% investment match after two years of service.

Killam promotes employees’ involvement in the community by providing a full day of paid leave per year for employees to volunteer with a charity of their choice. 

Killam invests in employee education, including bringing staff together on a regular basis for training, accessible online training and coaching programs; providing financial assistance for further education; and supporting employees to pursue the Certified Property Management certification.

Killam values communication with employees, producing quarterly newsletters, hosting team summits and senior management staff visits.

Killam encourages health and wellness across the organization, and holds an annual company-wide team fitness challenge.

Killam provides ongoing safety training and education to all of our employees.

Killam’s Employee and Family Assistance Program provides counseling and support for employees and their family members experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, grief and other common issues.

Our more than 600 employees exemplify Killam’s Core Values and are the key to resident satisfaction. In our 2018 employee survey, 94% of respondents said they are willing to give an extra effort to see Killam succeed.

Tenant Satisfaction

We want our tenants to love their home. So we’ve committed ourselves to providing outstanding customer service and building a sense of community at our properties.  

Killam hosts community events at our buildings across the country, including holiday parties, resident barbecues, meet and greets, pizza parties, and movie nights.

We invest in community enrichment, including supporting community gardens, the installation of playground equipment, new or enhanced community and fitness rooms, and upgraded recreational facilities and equipment at seasonal resorts.

Killam’s online resident portal, along with a mobile app version, and corporate website, including the online live chat option, has expanded communication options for existing and prospective residents.

We survey residents to measure our success in meeting expectations and to identify areas for improvement. In 2018, we received a satisfaction rating of 88%(1) compared to the national average of 75%(2).

(1) Results from 2018 CRA Independent Resident Survey
(2) 2018 Avison Young National Multi-Residential Tenant Survey

Our Sustainability Policy | A Commitment to ESG

Killam is a leader in ESG practices within the Canadian real estate sector, and has developed a sustainability policy that emphasizes our commitment. The policy applies to all Killam employees. It is recommended by the Governance Committee and approved by the Board of Trustees. The following is Killam’s commitment to ESG, included in the ESG policy:

  • Invest in new technology and initiatives to increase sustainability and lower our carbon footprint across the portfolio with a focus on reducing waste, energy and water usage.
  • Support and invest in our employees through training and development opportunities and providing access to a safe and positive workplace.
  • Provide outstanding customer service and a sense of community at our properties.
  • Support community initiatives in the communities in which we operate, with an emphasis on affordable housing.
  • Establish and implement robust governance policies and practices.
  • Report annually on our ESG programs, new initiatives and performance against targets.
  • Review our annual ESG benchmark ratings (from various industry bodies) and target areas for improvement each year.
More Information | Environmental, Social and Governance

Please click here to view Killam's 2018 Environmental, Social & Goverance Report.