GREEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE PEARSON ECO-BUSINESS ZONE GOING STRONG

-Partners in Project Green Releases 2010 Annual Report-

TORONTO, May 20 /CNW/ - Partners in Project Green, an initiative led by Toronto and Region Conservation and Greater Toronto Airports Authority, released the results from its 2010 Annual Report to a growing community of businesses who are working together to transform the Pearson Eco-Business Zone into a world-class region for eco-innovation. Partners in Project Green has quickly proven that organizations are demanding greater resources and opportunities for collaboration for greening their bottom line and making Toronto a greener place to do business.

Overall, 480 businesses were engaged in Partners in Project Green programs in 2010. Seventeen companies and 590 volunteers participated in community restoration activities, completing 1.63 hectares of restoration activity, including 1,050 shrubs, 1,350 trees and 3,300 wildflowers.

"After our first year, it was clear that Partners in Project Green was serving genuine needs," said Toby Lennox, Chair, Partners in Project Green Steering Committee. "The number of companies engaged, projects undertaken and uptake of the collaboration model demonstrated that companies were interested in turning sustainability into real business opportunities."

In 2010 Partners in Project Green hosted 1,213 participants at training events, networking sessions and community tree plantings. More than 2,700 businesses in the Pearson Eco-Business Zone were engaged in energy efficiency projects, conserving 7766.23 MWh of electricity and 8,500,000 m3 of natural gas. A total of 38 businesses in the Pearson Eco- Business Zone were engaged in water reduction measures conserving 883 m³ per day. 21,652 MWh of electricity in the Pearson Eco-Business Zone were sourced from renewable sources via Bullfrog Power.

"Partners in Project Green's second year has been one of maturation," said Brian Denney, CAO, Toronto and Region Conservation. "Relationships formed at the beginning have grown stronger and realized even greater results, programs have been refined to deliver greater benefits, and the transformation of the region to create a thriving green economy has taken deeper roots."

At the Annual General Meeting, the official opening of the 2011 Partners in Project Green Sustainability Awards was launched. It was also announced that the Green Power Challenge, a program that was introduced in April 2010 between PPG and Bullfrog Power which challenged organizations within the Pearson Eco-Business Zone to achieve a collective goal of greening 58,000 MWh of electricity (equivalent to the requirements of almost 6,000 Ontario homes) by bullfrogpowering their facilities with 100 per cent clean renewable power was met. In April 2011—just one year after the Green Power Challenge was launched—organizations within the Pearson Eco-Business Zone achieved the goal. Currently, more than 40 companies are active in the challenge. Participating businesses include some of Canada's most well respected organizations, such as Unilever Canada, Walmart Canada, LoyaltyOne and leading banks BMO Financial Group, RBC Financial Group and TD Canada Trust. This makes 1 per cent of the energy used in the Pearson Eco-business Zone now coming from clean, renewable energy.

Other 2010 accomplishments include:

  • Partners in Project Green was honoured with the Economic Developers of Canada Marketing Award for the Partners in Project Green Program Guide and received an Honourable Mention for the Pearson Eco-Business Zone Strategy from the Canadian Institute of Planners.
  • Four sustainability consortiums were launched, in the manufacturing, logistics, hospitality and office sectors.
  • Six companies utilized the Green Purchasing Alliance for nine projects to reduce the cost of their building retrofits.
  • A  Rooftop Solar Procurement Group was formed with the goal of working together to source a rooftop solar solution for participating companies.
  • 108 participants were given expert knowledge and insight into rooftop solar through Understanding the Economic Benefits of Rooftop Solar seminars.
  • Restoration and naturalization efforts continued on five restoration sites and two new restoration plans were developed in 2010.
  • Five companies were engaged in the Green Parking Lot Program.
  • A number of eco-business land-use policy tools were developed for the Pearson Eco-Business Zone in collaboration with local municipalities and the development industry.
  • Working with funding from Woodbine Entertainment, the City of Toronto, the Region of Peel and Enbridge Gas, Partners in Project Green developed several green jobs programs to help create job opportunities for local youth and post-secondary students.  These jobs ranged from internships installing white roofs and solar panels, to assisting companies in reducing their energy and resource costs. In total, 78 companies utilized Partners in Project Green Green Job Programming.

To download the 2010 Annual Report please visit www.partnersinprojectgreen.com

About Partners in Project Green
Partners in Project Green, an initiative led by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, is a growing community of businesses working together to green their bottom line by creating an internationally-recognized eco-business zone around Toronto Pearson. Through new forms of business-to-business collaboration, Partners in Project Green delivers programming that helps businesses reduce energy and resource costs, uncover new business opportunities, and address everyday operational challenges in a green and cost-effective manner.

SOURCE Partners in Project Green

For further information:

Media contacts for information and registration: 
Rowena Calpito, Supervisor, Media Management, Toronto and Region Conservation
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5632, Mobile: 416-358-3446 E-mail: rcalpito@trca.on.ca 

Scott Armstrong, Manager, Media and Communications, Greater Toronto Airports Authority
GTAA Media Office 416-776-3709

William Pointon, Manager, Public Relations, Bullfrog Power
Tel: 416.360.3464 ext 221, Email: william.pointon@bullfrogpower.com

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