In recent years, awareness in our environment has moved to centre stage around the world. Warming oceans, melting ice and more severe and frequent hurricanes are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. This awareness stretches into the cars we drive–electric vehicles are no longer on the fringe and demand for more organic, locally sourced food, is getting higher each and every year. This trend is persistent, even if those choices are more expensive. In big urban centres, like Toronto, we’ve seen a push to add more bike lanes, expanded pedestrian walkways and transit dedicated roadways.

It seems like Canadians recognize the economic and social importance of sustainable development. We see it everyday, consumers are making demands of retailers to reduce waste and on businesses to make more energy efficient products. Companies are starting to recognize the value of incorporating social and environmental impact alongside company performance. In fact, sole proprietors, retailers and tech powerhouses are lining up for B-Corp status. These are the innovative companies that value people, planet and profits. They are the companies that want to be a force for good in Canada.

So, this is where we stand. We have a consumer, with a desire to reduce waste and support environmentally focused companies, making good choices in their everyday purchases. This trend has led to many companies finding strength and alignment in sustainability. Yet, when it comes to our living accommodations we are, for the most part, out of sync. We’re not building in a way that is sustainable for the environment.

On one hand, the cost of developable land is extremely high, materials and construction costs continue to reach new limits and an onerous government tax structure and development charges add to a cost that is for many, out of reach. Many developers must do everything in their power to reign in expenses, keeping costs down so they can sell units at a reasonable price per square foot, and turn a profit. Unfortunately, sustainability and energy efficiency comes with a price tag and the costs of any innovation or end-user benefits will only reap financial rewards well after the developer has moved on from the project.

With a long history in condo development and sales, the Key team recognizes that the only way forward is to construct and operate buildings that will limit water and energy use, reduce waste and carbon emissions and combat the effects of climate change. These lofty goals require rewriting the entire process; from financing to sales to tech enabled connectivity. A model that favours end users and isn’t focused on a quick profit is required. As long term co-owners, Key is uniquely positioned to invest in environmental methodologies and create well thought out communities with sustainability and a higher standard of living at the forefront.

It’s an aspirational goal that’s well within our reach. The future of our planet is at stake. You can learn more about our model here.