As it is happening in cities around the world, Toronto has a significant portion of government resources directed toward sustainability. Where the city leads, opportunities follow. Some of the key issues addressed by the city council include climate change, wet weather, waste management, green spaces and ecosystems, and resilience.
With regards to Climate Change, the city is making investments to decarbonize its economy and infrastructure. Preference will go to companies with low emissions and companies which can help reduce green house gases while improving public health, economic prosperity and social equity. Construction and transportation will play a key role.
The Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) has a series of blogs addressing aspects of sustainability and resilience in Toronto and throughout Canada. CSE’s research Sustainability (ESG) Reporting Trends: North America 2018 shows how engaging in socially responsible behaviors helps drive a profitable bottom-line.
Wet weather affects more than the agriculture sector. The city has a 25-year plan that looks closely at storm water run-off. Protecting adjacent waters from urban pollution is one aspect. Another is mitigating basement flooding. This issue even affects tourism as the beaches are at risk. This is why WATERFRONT Toronto pays close attention to global best practices. The organization has a well-developed procurement process for revitalization projects.
Another concern, the City of Toronto manages nearly a million tonnes of waste annually. The growing population combined with limited landfill space requires new waste reduction, reuse, recycling, recovery and residual disposal programs. Companies which can mitigate their own waste stream or can provide cost-effective, socially acceptable and environmentally sound, long-term solutions are in demand.
Many of these efforts culminate in protecting and enhancing Toronto’s green spaces, including ravines and along the waterfront. Quality of life, economic prosperity, opportunities for recreation and education, clean air and biodiversity require increased vigilance. For example, invasive pests and plants put pressure on these systems. Whether maintenance companies, non-profits or universities, there is need for people working on viable solutions.
These efforts lead toward building Toronto’s resilience. CSE’s Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program (Advanced Edition 2019) offers trainings addressing topics key to Toronto. CSE does not pick focus topics arbitrarily. We listen to participants from past trainings and to participants enrolled for future trainings. Want to inform the focus for Toronto? Register now and let us know your thoughts. CSE’s first Toronto training is April 11-12, 2019.