ecobee Citizen

How We’re Making a Difference (and Why It Matters)

by ecobee on 04/17/2019 in Better Planet

4 min read

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The world celebrates Earth Day once a year. Here at ecobee, having a positive impact on people and the planet guides our work every day. Our vision to help each other live eco-friendly lives began when we recognized the environmental potential of Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats: smart technology could help us make smarter energy decisions.

Since our company’s earliest days, we’ve been empowering homeowners to go green by minimizing their energy use, which in turn, allows communities to make collective strides in the fight against climate change. And we’re always interested in finding ways to do more.

This planet positive vision is one of our core values. We don’t strive for sustainability because it’s trendy—we champion green behaviors because we’re building a better tomorrow, and how we care for the planet reflects who we are.

Here’s a look at how our team is transforming communities into sustainable cities—between the hours of 9 to 5 and beyond.

Supporting Data and Science

We know scientists use observation to understand the planet. We also know smart home technology is a rich source of high-quality energy data that can be a game-changer for scientific discovery—but only if researchers have access to it.

Our Donate Your Data program invites customers to voluntarily opt-in their smart thermostat’s data so it’s available to scientists, researchers and public advocates who are focused on improving energy efficiency. Using our products to help scientists do great things is our way of making a positive impact on climate change.

how to save on energy bills

Since the program’s launch, more than 65,000 people have opted in, and scientists from over 30 institutions are using the data to inform research on critical efficiency topics, including:

• Improving infrastructure and energy response during black-outs and natural disasters.

• Measuring human comfort to assist with senior health and independence.

• Reducing the need for new power plants.

Discover the power of your data. Sign up today.

Shrinking Community Footprints

We at ecobee believe the sustainable future is for everyone, no matter where they call home. Everyone should be able to benefit from energy savings and improved comfort.

But the fact is, many people living in public housing have no control over energy use in their homes. Buildings are often inefficient and centrally heated, resulting in wasted energy. We saw this as an opportunity to jump in and help.

We partnered with the The Atmospheric Fund to make Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) buildings more energy efficient by donating Smart Thermostats and Room Sensors to nearly 800 families. The scope of impact was substantial: the entire city of Toronto benefitted from reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and TCHC residents now have temperature control in their apartments—for the first time ever. “People’s eyes lit up,” Fatima recalls. “That’s what makes every ounce of this effort worth it.” To learn more, watch this video.

Stay tuned: we’re launching more public and affordable housing initiatives across North American communities soon.

Group of volunteers, including ecobee employees, posing for a group picture while taking a break from building homes.

Empowering Planet Positivity

In the race against climate change, every action matters, and embedding planet positive values into all aspects of ecobee’s company culture is how we join the fight.

Our people are our greatest asset, so we created ecobee Acts, a program that encourages employees to pursue their personal convictions and become active members of their communities.

One of the ways ecobee Acts comes to life is through volunteer days: every quarter, employees are encouraged to spend a day giving back to others. Whether it’s cooking for families at the local Ronald McDonald House or building Stop Gap ramps to help with citywide accessibility, our team is excited to get involved. With over 100 volunteer hours contributed to more than 30 organizations, we’re proud to say we’re just getting started.

Five ecobee employees wearing ecobee "Hi" t-shirts painting a wooden accessibility ramp the colour blue

ecobee employee David Arias describes volunteering at Habitat for Humanity as an “incredibly enjoyable and fulfilling” experience. He spent the day working with families on their future properties. “The homeowners expressed their gratitude for our service. It’s a tremendously powerful feeling knowing I was part of bringing about such positive change in the lives of the families we worked with.”

Planet positivity inspires how we work, too. One example is how we repair and recertify returned products.

When tech companies receive returned products, they often end up in landfills where plastic and electronic waste can pile up for centuries. We knew there had to be a better solution – one that creates a circular economy by reusing resources and recovering value. When a product is returned to ecobee, we choose to fully repair and re-certify them, and then re-use them in our business.

Over 10,000 ecobee thermostats have been re-certified and reused—that’s over 2,600 pounds of salvaged plastic and electronic waste.

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