Top 5 Projects


Canada’s Top 5 Sustainability Projects since January 2010

In 2011, the inaugural year of the Clean50, we discovered all kinds of exciting and inspirational projects that were underway or had achieved great results – but that in themselves were either too team driven to clearly identify a leader, or were not sufficient on their own to have the project leader be the “best-in-class” and thus earn a Clean50 Award. How then to capture those success stories?

And so the “Clean50 Top5 Projects” was born.

In announcing this addition to the Clean50 selection process, we stated “The projects we recognize will be selected in part for their impact, their uniqueness, their scope, and also in part for their ability to inform and encourage others to undertake similar work”.

We considered impacts generated between January 2010 and the end of March 2012. Our descriptions below have been updated to reflect ongoing results. We were incredibly impressed with the inventive things people have done and are doing – and will feature more of the Top10 projects in the weeks to come.

Congratulations to our winners!


Canadian Tire’s Packaging Sustainability Network
Project lead: Ed Johnston

Partnering with suppliers, Canadian Tire redesigned hundreds its products and packaging, thereby avoiding costs of $3.6 million, reducing waste by 2,876 tonnes and eliminating 4,346 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Click for more


Living Planet@Work program: World Wildlife Fund and Hewlett-Packard’s
Project leads: Frances Edmonds (HP) and Adrienne Lo (WWF)

In this NGO-corporate collaboration, small and medium-sized businesses commit to specific actions to green the workplace, engage employees on sustainability, and support WWF’s conservation efforts. In return they receive the tools to implement these initiatives. Already far ahead of target, the program has been adopted by 255 Canadian companies, encompassing 88,535 employees. Click for more


Southbrook Vineyards’ Bioflavia
Project lead: Bill Redelmeier

“There is no waste,” says Southbrook, transforming 10 tonnes of formerly disposed-of organic pomace (grape skins and seeds) into Bioflavia, a unique antioxidant-rich nutritional product valued at $500,000, now being sold world-wide. Click for more


TD Bank Group’s Enterprise Green Building program: Net Zero Retrofit
Project lead: Roger Johnson

Renovating an existing branch in London, Ontario, TD created Canada’s first “net zero energy” bank branch in 2012. Retrofitting the branch has cut its energy use in half, and hopes to meet the balance of those requirements with 244 solar voltaics, and in the process, provided the local community a focal learning site for sustainability and environmental education. So far so good: 10 months in, the Branch is producing all the energy it needs. Click for more


University of British Columbia (with Stantec and Perkins + Will)
Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS)
Project leads: UBC: Alberto Cayuola
Stantec: Jimmy Ng
Perkins +Will: 2012 Clean16 Honouree, Peter Busby

Going beyond minimizing impact, CIRS is a net energy and water producer, treats waste on site, and is GHG emissions neutral: dramatic evidence of the role building design can play in a cleaner future for Canada. Click for more


Special Mention
University of Toronto Schools’ Maximum City program
Project lead: Josh Fullan

Preparing for the future: A two-week mid-summer course and a full-year program teaches young people how to design healthy urban places. Twenty experts in urban development (Including Clean50 Honouree Celesa Horvath) inspired and educated participants from high schools across Toronto this past summer in the second iteration of “Maximum City.” The project continues to roll out across Toronto, and efforts are afoot to export the program to other Boards of Education across the country. Click for more