Skyline Group of Companies Aligns Annual Sustainability Report to the SDGs
Over the past 24 years, Skyline Group of Companies, based in Guelph, Ontario, has grown to become one of Canada’s leading asset acquisition, management, development, and investment firms. As Skyline continues to expand its presence in communities across Canada (now totaling 160+), it maintains its commitment to developing strong, supportive, and sustainable communities, as well as creating meaningful value for all its stakeholders.
Skyline’s Co-Founders—brothers Jason and Martin Castellan and their friend R. Jason Ashdown—continue to lead the company along with CFO Wayne Byrd. Their extensive industry expertise spanning several decades served as the foundation of a unique company culture rooted in professionalism, respect, integrity, drive, and efficiency (P.R.I.D.E.), which are the key values and behaviours demonstrated by Skyline’s 1,000+ staff members from coast to coast. As a local and national business leader, Skyline recognizes its responsibility to integrate, maintain, and enhance sustainability across its business operations. With the understanding that each community has its own unique sustainability needs and challenges, Skyline works directly within its communities across Canada to support and promote environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and ethical governance.
Skyline’s focus on the SDGs
In 2022, Skyline committed to aligning its company-wide sustainability reporting to the SDGs. To support this work, Skyline’s Sustainability Taskforce, composed of representatives from all departments across the group of companies, undertook a four-part workshop that identified the SDGs to which Skyline most closely aligned based on its industry, business model, and sustainability objectives. Skyline’s Sustainability Analyst also participated in the SDG Cities Academy to gain insights to support the Taskforce’s collective work. Over several months, the Taskforce discussed how to best align its sustainability initiatives to the SDGs, gathered data, and learned about how Skyline could share and promote its environmental and social impact. Skyline’s 2023 Sustainability Report quantifies the company’s SDG contributions.
“This annual report summarizes results and helps us plan for the future while drawing focus to the big picture. The results are born from a collection of inputs across the group of companies – results born from embracing a commitment, a vision, and an ideology that is fundamentally very simple: to always be better, to do better, and consider sustainability with every interaction about what we do and how we do it.”R. Jason Ashdown, Co-Founder and Chief Sustainability Officer, Skyline Group of
Companies (Recognizing Our Responsibility: Skyline Group of Companies 2023 Sustainability Report)
Skyline’s SDG alignment is wide-ranging, encompassing community partnerships, internal business operations, asset management, real estate development, and renewable energy projects.
- SDG 1 (No Poverty) focuses on eradicating hunger and homelessness in the community and improving internal capacity programs
- SDG 3 (Good Health & Well-being) primarily focused on the mental and physical health of Skyline employees
- SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) to increase renewable energy use and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels
- SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) to maintain an equitable, progressive, and highly sought-after workplace
- SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) focused on enhancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace
- SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) to ensure sustainable use of buildings and space
- SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) to reduce waste and promote sustainable procurement practices
- SDG 13 (Climate Action) to strengthen the resilience and adaptivity of Skyline assets against the impact of climate change
Skyline uses a variety of methods to contribute to the SDGs. For SDG 1, Skyline raised more than $379,000 in 2022 alone, through fundraisers for charities that support people experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, and mental health challenges. For SDG 3, Skyline engaged its staff in various physical and mental health initiatives throughout the year, such as yoga classes, meditation, charity walks, and Guelph’s annual FHT To Move challenge.
To support SDGs 7, 11, 12 and 13, Skyline’s clean energy division generated 38,299 MWh of electricity from its solar assets in 2022; this is equivalent to powering 4,970 homes for one year. Additionally in 2022, Skyline’s Elmira, Ontario biogas facility produced 16,708 MWh of energy (enough to power 2,168 homes annually) and its Lethbridge, Alberta biogas facility produced 93,326 GJ (Gigajoule) of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), equivalent to powering 4,388 homes per year. Skyline also prevented 7,443 lbs. of e-waste from going to landfills and planted 16,519 trees as part of multiple land restoration projects.
For SDGs 8 and 10, Skyline actively worked toward supporting women in leadership roles; 62% of employees occupying the title Supervisor and above are female. Skyline also supported more than 230 refugee families through its Refugee Assistance Program in 2022 (an in-house program it continues to facilitate).
These are just some of many events, initiatives, and objectives Skyline has undertaken to support each of the SDGs it has chosen to align with.
Participating in the SDG Cities Academy
Skyline participated in the SDG Cities Academy to gain support, guidance, and tools for incorporating the SDGs into its sustainability reporting. The company used tools and templates shared during the Academy to aid in determining its alignment with the SDGs.
Fay Yachetti, Director of Sustainability at Skyline, explained that while the company had previously used an ESG framework for sustainability reporting, they are now shifting toward alignment with the SDGs. Fay explained how Skyline is committed to driving positive and meaningful change, as well as tracking progress and promoting awareness of its sustainability efforts. She believes that aligning with the SDGs is the most effective way for Skyline to achieve its impact goals.
“Working with SDG Cities has been truly rewarding. Their collaborative spirit amplified our impact and enlightened our experience with the SDGs. Together, we crafted actionable goals that formed the framework for our strategy for years to come.”Fay Yachetti, Director, Sustainability, Skyline Group of Companies
Skyline is committed to creating meaningful and positive change for its communities, the environment, and future generations. You can learn more about Skyline’s SDG contributions and targets by reading Recognizing Our Responsibility: Skyline Group of Companies 2023 Sustainability Report or visiting https://www.skylinegroupofcompanies.ca/.