Partners in Project Green 2015 annual report banner


The year 2015 may well be remembered as a decisive one in the global effort to confront climate change.

In December, the Government of Canada joined with more than 190 other countries in approving an historic accord to limit worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

Earlier in the year, right here in Ontario, the provincial government made a series of moves signaling its commitment to the fight: joining with California and Quebec to introduce plans for a cap and trade carbon pricing system, setting an ambitious mid-term greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030, and launching a $325-million Green Investment Fund to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

For businesses, both here in the GTA and across the country, the challenge is immediate — and immense: to make strict reductions in fossil fuel use, or put in place technologies to cut emissions drastically.

The members of the Partners in Project Green community are uniquely well-equipped to meet this challenge.

Founded in 2008 under the leadership of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), this large and growing network of private enterprises, institutions and municipalities embodies a belief that collaborative effort among like-minded organizations is the best way to address the urgent need for innovation in sustainable business practices.

Partners in Project Green’s results for 2015 — summarized below — speak to a simple truth: we are all stronger, We are more effective and we can achieve so much more when we choose to work together. Whether it was the members of our Energy Leaders Consortium pooling knowledge to help one another achieve emissions reductions, or the competitors in the People Power Challenge striving to best one another’s employee engagement efforts, our community demonstrated again and again last year just how powerful a tool collective action can be.

In 2016, the battle to deal with the climate change crisis is well and truly joined. Through collective projects, information-sharing and peer-to-peer learning, the Partners in Project Green community will continue its leadership role, embracing the twin challenges of adaptation and mitigation, and driving the search for new sustainable business solutions.

We welcome your participation and your contribution.

Thank you.

Vice President, Legal and External, and General Counsel, Unilever Canada
Co-Chair, Partners in Project Green Executive Management Committee
Vice President, Stakeholder Relations and Communications, Greater Toronto Airports Authority
Co-Chair, Partners in Project Green Executive Management Committee




The Partners in Project Green Community: COLLECTIVE RESULTS


People Power Challenge Teams


Eco-Efficiency Assessments Conducted


Successful Materials Exchanges


EV Charging Stations Installed


Training Hours Delivered (through our Collaboratives)


Member Organizations


Event Attendees


Tonnes of Materials Diverted from Landfill


eMWh in Energy Savings (by Energy Leaders Consortium members)


Litres in Water Footprint Reduction Achieved


Utility Savings (by Energy Leaders Consortium members)



MILESTONE: January 2015

Repurposing Ontario’s Ash Trees

Since the emerald ash borer made its first appearance in Ontario in 2002, this invasive insect species has destroyed millions of trees. How to dispose of trees infested by the voracious beetle in a way that minimizes waste and greenhouse gas outputs?

Determined to help turn this ecological tragedy into a success story, Partners in Project Green has worked with municipalities and other members of its community to develop a sustainable solution: repurposing infested ash trees into valuable wood products.

In January, City of Toronto became the first GTA municipality to step up, launching a repurposing pilot project at its Nashdene Public Works yard in collaboration with Partners in Project Green members Sawmill Sid, Weston Forest Products and Torxx Group. By late summer of 2015, City of Markham and Town of Richmond Hill had commenced pilots of their own.

4,181 tonnes avoided
Equivalent to 22 adult blue whales



Our Community at Work in 2015



MILESTONE: February 2015

Energy Leaders Consortium

Energy consumption isn’t a fixed cost of doing business. Introducing efficiencies can help organizations realize major savings, while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Partners in Project Green created its Energy Leaders Consortium (ELC) with the goal of making it easier for community members to maximize their energy efficiency by learning from their peers. Now in its third year, the ELC program is all about bringing businesses that excel at energy management together in one room, and giving them the opportunity to share insight, expertise and best practices.

montage depicting activities of Energy Leaders Consortium

Examples of this kind of peer-to-peer learning run the gamut: from Molson Coors and Weston Bakeries making use of Pratt & Whitney Canadas “Sustainability 101″ video as an employee engagement tool, to Canadian Tire picking up LED lighting tips from the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA). The year-end results? ELC member collectively reduced their energy consumption by 24.8 million ekWh.

The ELC kicked off its year in February with a meeting at Sons Bakery in Brampton. The 2015 members were: Bonduelle, Campbell Company of Canada, Canadian Tire, GTAA, Lincoln Electric, Maple Leaf Foods, Molson Coors Canada, Natrel, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Sons Bakery and Weston Bakeries.

3,330 tonnes of eCO2 avoided
Equivalent to the annual emissions of 708 automobiles



Our Community at Work in 2015




Spring Tree Planting

Community is at the heart of everything Partners in Project Green does. We believe the best way to advance the goals of sustainability and resilience to climate change in the Pearson Eco-Business Zone is by bringing municipalities, businesses and institutions together to pursue common purposes.

Nothing embodies this spirit better than our Spring Planting, an annual event that brings out members of the Partners in Project Green community to help add a little green to local watersheds. This past May, hundreds turned out, from organziations such as Air Canada, Bentall Kennedy, Bosch, Ontario Natural Food Co-op and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), to lend a hand in restoring Etobicoke Creek.

images from Partners in Project Green 2015 spring planting event

Participants planted a variety of native trees and shrubs around the stormwater pond at Secretariat Court in Mississauga, enhancing an important parcel of green space within a largely industrial area. The vegetation will provide a habitat for local wildlife and help buffer contaminants carried by stormwater runoff.

Partners in Project Green presented the 2015 Spring Planting in co-operation with Credit Valley Conservation and TRCA. The event was sponsored by Air Canada and Bentall Kennedy.

Our 2016 Spring Planting takes place on May 7.

800 trees and shrubs planted



Our Community at Work in 2015

  • APRIL: Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) works with Atlantic Disposal to divert nearly 24,000 kg of materials, including drywall and insulation, from one of its construction projects.
  • APRIL: Nearly 250 community members turn out for Partners in Project Green’s annual Spring Networking Event.
  • MAY: After three years of consultation and research, City of Mississauga announces plans to introduce a stormwater surcharge fee in 2016, to help offset the cost of renewing stormwater infrastructure.



MILESTONE: June 2015

Innovation in Stormwater Management

The health of a community depends greatly on the sustainable management of its water resources — especially now that so many municipalities are grappling with the potential impact of climate change-related extreme weather events on aging infrastructure.

Partners in Project Green strives to make a difference by working with community members to develop innovative new water projects designed to reduce the burden on the municipal stormwater and water treatment systems. In 2015, the first pilot was completed: a rainwater harvesting installation at Scarborough furniture manufacturer Calstone Inc.

The project incorporates a massive 9,300-litre tank for collecting rainwater, along with a trench and two ponds for infiltration. The captured water, diverted from the local storm sewer, helps to irrigate a host of newly-planted native plants, shrubs and trees on the site.

Partners in Project Green tour Calstone stormwater installation

Members of the Partners in Project Green community enjoyed the opportunity to check out the rainwater installation in person, as our “Let’s Get Nosey” bus tour in June made its final stop at Calstone for a guided tour, followed by a celebration of the project’s completion.

Other members of our community that supported the Calstone project included City of Toronto, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program, and environmental engineering firm XCG Consultants Ltd.

1.9 million litres of water diverted annually
Equivalent to 15,466 standard bathtubs



Our Community at Work in 2015

  • JULY: Fuel efficiency initiatives by Air Canada — including fleet renewal, single-engine taxiing and paperless cockpits — are estimated to have saved the airline approximately 35,000 tonnes of equivalent CO2 avoidances.
  • JULY: Velcro upgrades the exterior lighting fixtures in its parking lot to energy-efficient LEDs, for a savings of more than 30,000 kWh.
  • AUGUST: When a mineral oil spill in Mimico Creek leaves dozens of ducks in need of treatment, members of the Pearson Eco-Business Zone community step up. Canadian TireBoschThe International CentreVelcro and Toronto Zoo are among those to pledge cash and supplies.



MILESTONE: October 2015

People Power Challenge

So you’ve committed your organization to an ambitious sustainability program: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, managing waste and water responsibly. To reach these goals, you’ll need to leverage your most important resource: your people. How?

Getting employees engaged is a major hurdle for organizations when it comes to greening their operations. That’s why Partners in Project Green created its People Power Challenge — an annual competition in which companies and institutions across the Pearson Eco-Business Zone duke it out for sustainability bragging rights.

montage of images from 2015 People Power Challenge

A dozen organizations from the Partners in Project Green community took part in the 2015 challenge, with top honours going to Velcro Canada in the Large Enterprise category and Bentall Kennedy in Small-to-Medium Enterprise. Toronto Zoo and The International Centre were the respective runners-up. The winners were revealed at our Fall Networking event in October.

Over 24 weeks, competitors racked up points by getting employees involved in finding ways to introduce sustainable practices — from organizing lunch-and-learns and bike-to-work days, to reducing office paper waste.

The People Power Challenge returns, bigger and better, in 2016.

1,105 Sustainability Suggestions by Employees
252 Sustainability Projects Implemented



Our Community at Work in 2015

SEPTEMBER: Toronto Pearson celebrates the first harvest from its recently installed honeybee apirary, YYbeeZ.

OCTOBER: Bentall Kennedy earns an Innovation in Sustainability Award from the Canada Green Business Council – Greater Toronto Chapter.

NOVEMBER: Campbell Company of Canada completes commissioning of a 4.6 MWe cogen system that will supply more than 90% of the electricity and steam for the company’s Toronto plant.


MILESTONE: November 2015

Open Electric Vehicle Network

The Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution is coming. By committing $20 million to build public charging stations across the province, Ontario has signaled that promoting EV adoption will be a key component of its strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.

Building the necessary infrastructure is essential to getting more EVs on the road. In 2014, Partners in Project Green began working with stakeholders from the Pearson Eco-Business Zone community with the goal of creating the largest open electric vehicle charging station network in the region.

montage of images depicting Partners in Project Green electric vehicle network

By the end of 2015, 15 organizations had installed a total of 80 charging stations. Innovative “smart” technology allows stations to communicate in real-time with a driver’s navigation device, making them easy to find and use.

In November, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie was on hand as Partners in Project Green Ambassadors Orlando Corporation and Plug’ n Drive, along with Eco-Solution Provider Autochargers, unveiled a major addition to the network: 24 new stations at the Heartland Outlet Mall, the single largest deployment of EV infrastructure in Canada.

Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie attends launch of new electric vehicle charging stations at Heartland Outlet Mall

6.5 tonnes of eCO2* avoided
Equivalent to the energy use of an average house for 183 days

* Data from 44 stations


Our Community at Work in 2015

NOVEMBER: Dextran Products Ltd. completes an industrial water reuse retrofit project with Enviro-Stewards, for a projected savings of approximately $90,000 and 21.6 million litres of water offset.

DECEMBER: Ontario NaturalFood Co-op launches a “Detailed Energy Audit” program that is expected to result in 265,794 kWh of energy savings, for a $28,000 reduction in the organization’s utility costs.

DECEMBER: The International Centre earns the Hotel Association of Canada’s Green Key Meetings Hall of Fame Award of Excellence for its sustainable practices.

DECEMBER: Toronto Pearson completes commissioning of a 4.6 MWe cogen system that will supply more than 90% of the electricity and steam for the company’s Toronto plant.





More great examples of our Partners in Project Green community members at work in 2015


Bentall Kennedy completed a nine-month water retrofit of four downtown Toronto properties for an offset of 1.4 million litres. Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change consolidated operations, vacating more than 45,000 square feet of occupied space and reducing its annual carbon footprint by 211 tonnes. Orlando Corporation installed energy efficient lighting at several of its locations, for an energy savings of 851,773 kWh, or a reduction of $102,000 in its utility bill.
Pratt & Whitney Canada installed an external air inlets for its large air compressors, resulting in annual savings of 685,000 kWh. Region of Peel conducted water audits at eight of its facilities, and implemented changes at two, for a water footprint reduction of 1.735 million litres. Toronto Pearson completed a series of lighting retrofit projects in Terminal 1, resulting in annual electricity savings of 930,000 kWh.
Weston Foods optimized its refrigeration plant through sub-metering, monitoring and targeting, resulting in an annual electricity savings of 980,000 kWh. Woodbine Entertainment Group upgraded compressors at two of its Greater Toronto Area facilities, for a combined energy savings of 146,155 kWh. Xeroflor Canada completed phase two of a green roof installation at Sherway Gardens, with an infiltration capacity of 340,000 litres of water offset.