Top 15 Projects for 2017

Powered by the generous support of

The Toronto Dominion Bank



Because of the leadership TD Bank Group has shown  in making the environment  “business as usual” over the past decade,  Canada’s Clean50 is thrilled to have TD’s support in recognizing outstanding projects from across Canada that innovate, inform and inspire.  TD’s own initiatives have included becoming the first North American-based carbon neutral bank; introducing bank branches designed to be  net zero energy;  establishing TD Forests, which aims to grow urban forests and green space and help protect critical forests; and  issuing a $500 million green bond, the first green bond to be issued by a commercial bank in Canada.

The Clean50 Top15 Projects are selected because they are innovative, they can inform – and they can inspire Canadians to do more.




If the Toronto Dominion Centre was a city, with 21,000 permanent residents and 50,000 visitors each day, it would be a large one! Six skyscrapers spread over 6 acres. And no one in Canada has ever pursued a six building LEED® Platinum certification before, so there were challenges.    

There is no doubt about the results. The project has cut energy use by 30%, generating savings of $5 million, cut water use by 40% each year and raised the waste diversion rate to 81%. In all, reducing carbon emissions by 28% – 7,500 tonnes of carbon.

The remarkable results came from the Innovation Team collaborating with property management, experts and suppliers to push the boundaries in all aspects of sustainability. Its daytime green cleaning is also now standard.

Most importantly, TD Centre engaged tenants through sub-metering each floor, green committees, reporting on air quality, bike parking and repair clinics. The project has made one of Toronto’s most iconic developments as attractive environmentally as it looks on the surface. Mies van der Rohe would be proud!

GCT Canada : Decreasing emissions via innovative truck processing

Project Leads: Kwang Chen, VP Terminal Support Services – GCT Canada LP

Literally half – yes half – of the imports that Ontario and Québec consume flows from ships arriving through the Port of Vancouver and GCT Canada terminals. Loaded to trucks and trains bound for warehouses, manufacturers, and stores, some 2,000 trucks are serviced each day.

Faced with increased demand from growing trade as well as increased congestion and idling, GCT Canada worked with industry stakeholders to achieve triple bottom line impacts. Communities and truckers are better off. The environment wins. Business can grow sustainably. GCT Canada has proved that you can decouple growth from emissions.  With a sizeable investment in process and encouraging “off peak usage”, the company created a new industry standard. The result is an average “truck turnaround” of 31 minutes – the fastest in North America. Last year, company volume increased 13%, while carbon emissions decreased 5%. This is equivalent to a 20% reduction in emissions per transaction. 377 jobs were created, truck operators saved over 2 million in fuel costs, 1,000 trucks taken off the roads during peak hours, and 11,700 kg of air pollutants and 4,100 tonnes of carbon were eliminated.

Initially proposed by the McMaster Sustainability Office and the McMaster Students Union, the idea of a bike share system in Hamilton was pitched to Peter, Project Manager, Sustainable Mobility Programs with the City of Hamilton, for a student bike share system on McMaster’s Campus.

They met with a warm reception: Peter pitched back – the idea of a bike share system that would serve not only McMaster students, but also the broader Hamilton community.  The main objectives of the project were to feed Hamilton’s main transit corridors, encourage the use of sustainable modes of transportation, decrease residents’ dependence on single‐occupancy vehicles, increase physical activity in daily commuting amongst households, and foster a culture of cycling in the City.   Launched in 2015, it’s been about a year, and to date, over 10,600 people have used the system at least once, and there are currently 9,500 active members–far exceeding projections from the original business case.   And all that pedaling is estimated to have saved CO2e Emissions of 72.2 tonnes – and eased traffic congestion as well. 

Kiko Water Systems & Four Seasons, Vancouver: HVAC Efficiency Improvements

Project Leads: Jeff Addison , Joel Russell (Kiko) Priyan Jayetileke & Reggie Anthonipillai (Four Seasons Hotel)

The Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver is always looking to find new and creative ways to reduce costs and lower energy consumption and carbon emissions. As an operating 5 star hotel, any energy reduction measures undertaken would have to achieve significant results while keeping costs and guest disruptions to a minimum. Previous sustainability measures that were presented to the Hotel required large capital expenditures and long payback periods. 

Fortunately, the Hotel kept looking, and discovered Kiko!  Kiko’s revolutionary nanotechnology actually improves the efficiency at which boilers and chillers operate, by lowering the specific heat and surface tension of the water.  Readily installed without disruption, the project resulted in a number of remarkable results in the first 27 months of operation: 19% Overall HVAC Energy Savings, 6,090,943 Lbs. of Steam Saved, 622,193 kWh of electricity saved and 376 Tons of GHG’s saved.  And the Hotel saved $157,000 net, without any upfront costs!   Other benefits are that the system response time is significantly improved, allowing the HVAC to respond to guest demands much more rapidly, and the demands on the equipment significantly less, reducing wear, maintenance and extending lifespan. Needless to say, Four Seasons is now deploying the technology elsewhere in the chain!

City of Kimberley, Teck Resources and EcoSmart Foundation: SunMine – Converting a Minesite to a Solar Field

Project Leads: Don Schacher, construction Project Coordinator, City of Kimberley, Kevin Wilson, Economic Development Officer, City of Kimberley Scott Sommerville, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Kimberley; Terry Brace, Energy Leader, Teck Resources Limited; Michel de Spot, CEO, EcoSmart Foundation

A true collaboration, Michel DeSpot of the EcoSmart Foundation first approached the City of Kimberley and Teck Resources in 2008 about a partnership to build Western Canada’s first large-scale solar facility on a reclaimed mine site. In the heart of BC and with over 300 days of annual sunshine, Kimberley was a natural – and in 2011 76% of voters supported the City borrowing $2M towards the construction.

Teck provided a reclaimed mining site, an existing substation, and $2M in support to the project, and with help from other funders, including $1M from EcoSmart, the project commenced commercial operations in June 2015, becoming the first large-scale grid-connected solar facility in Western Canada, the first in Canada to utilize solar tracking technology and the first solar facility built by a municipality, or on a reclaimed mine site.  The 997 MWh of electricity generated by the SunMine in the first 12 months resulted in the avoidance of 604 tonnes of CO2, generated $195,730 in revenue for the City.

Educational materials to help young Canadians actively explore sustainability issues and actions are plentiful – too plentiful in fact.  There is so much to choose from, but too much to use effectively. Many valuable resources lie dormant as a result.

LSF set out to select and identify the best of these resources and making them available in one comprehensive clearinghouse. The Resources for Rethinking (RFR) online resource database provides “one stop shopping” for teachers to deliver more effective and engaging nature-based education, community leadership, and global citizenship programs. Beyond that, R4R matched specific resources to curricula across all provinces and grade levels, allowing teachers to easily choose from the both the best and best matched materials.  The results? 55,000 teachers visited the website in 2014 – 74,000 in 2015, and 4359 teachers took part in workshops.  In all over 150 school boards across Canada use LSF programs and 6,000 educators receive the monthly newsletter.

The Lower Mattagami Project was identified as a great opportunity to add 438 MW of clean, renewable energy for Ontario.   But first up: the need to forge a partnership and redress past grievances with the Moose Cree First Nation.

The resulting Amisk-oo-skow agreement provided the Moose Cree with a 25 per cent share in the $2.6 billion project.  During construction the First Nation benefited from $300 million in contracts awarded  to Moose Cree connected companies. Finishing on budget and ahead of schedule, at its peak, construction provided meaningful employment for 250 First Nations and Metis workers.  The former Chief reported those workers are now able to take that experience to other infrastructure projects.   Beyond that, the project found ways to subsequently double the output, without damming more rivers, and will displace about 1.5 Million Tonnes of GhG annually.

Over ninety percent of the 6000 food and beverage (F&B) manufacturing companies across Canada are small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), under tremendous pressure to produce a safe, healthy, affordable products, with minimal impact on the natural environment – but without sufficient resources to do so.

To respond to these pressures, Provision undertook substantial research, engaged a number of industry experts,  sustainability consultants, collaborated with members, and ultimately developed, and just over 2 years ago, launched a first-of-its-kind Online Sustainability Portal as a one-stop resource the industry. All F&B manufacturers (regardless of country or size) can register and use the portal at no charge. 277 registrants (which represents $5.1 billion in industry revenue) are now using the tools and resources in the portal, to make measurable improvements in their sustainability performance, leverage innovation and make better informed business decisions.

Net Zero Energy (NZE) homes in theory produce the same amount of energy as their occupants use, through building in a combination of both energy generation and conservation.  While the idea has been around for a while, production home builders have struggled to find a combination that produced results, and was sufficiently affordable that consumers would buy it.

Joining a group of Canadian builders working with suppliers and with NRCAN support, Reid’s focused  heavily on exploring construction and building techniques, insulation methodologies, and working with local suppliers, appliance manufacturers, and the University of Guelph  to try and extract both energy and cost efficiencies.  The net (or rather, net zero) result was 5 homes whose consumption dropped by 80% – allowing for solar panels to cover the remaining 20%.

Looking to a lower carbon future, the City of Richmond developed long term commitments to cut carbon emissions to 33% of 2007 levels by 2020.

Recognizing the promise of district energy, the City invested in a large ground source (geothermal) powered facility that now provides heating and cooling for nearly 1,200 residential units, and 30,000 square feet of commercial space.    This results in reductions of up to 800 tonnes of GHG annually – numbers that will only increase.  As development in the nearby community grows, another 1,900 units and 200,000 square feet are to be added in the next 10 years.  Even better, the project is self-financing, and will ultimately generate revenue for the City: Revenue which creates local jobs and keeps money spent on energy in the community.  Win-win-win!

Deciding to convert a formerly commercial site into a multi-residential project isn’t exactly groundbreaking in Toronto, but Sun Life Financial ’s approach was.

Starting with a site with significant contamination, the company first engaged with  stakeholders to determine how the site could best be improved.  After remediation, an 8 story apartment building with street-front retail space along Dundas West was  constructed to meet LEED Silver standards, and to serve the needs of health and sustainability conscious tenants.  Some of those features?  A non-smoking policy throughout the entire building, a first for an apartment building in City of Toronto; on-site fitness facility, bicycles and car sharing vehicles located on site; a partnership with Bullfrog Power, to source sustainable green power for the Alto building for both the common areas and the residential suites; and metering of all in-suite hydro and water usage, with tenants aware of being accountable for their own usage.  The end result: 100% of the suites were occupied within 24 weeks of receiving occupancy permits.

Sustainable Prosperity: The Smart Prosperity Initiative

Project Leads: Stewart Elgie, Annette Verschuren, Lorraine Mitchelmore

Founded by respected Canadian leaders from business, think tanks, labour, Indigenous Peoples, youth, and NGO communities, Smart Prosperity harnesses new thinking to map out and accelerate Canada’s transition to a stronger, cleaner economy in the next decade.

Smart Prosperity has been purpose-built over the past few years to drive a major shift to clean growth in Canada by:

  • Demonstrating what a sustainable economy looks like, by setting out a 10 year vision for making Canada a clean growth leader, with specific goals and metrics, and a policy road map to get there.
  • Bringing together a diverse group of Canadian leaders who provide a balanced, evidence-based voice for driving this transition.
  • Changing the narrative to recognize clean growth as a critical economic opportunity – not a threat – and build a psychology of success that Canada can do it.

RCI connects and empowers 67 member organizations to set GHG reduction targets. To build the sustainability capacity in an organization, the RCI offers tools to track and report on GHGs, develop policies, engage employees, learn from experts and their peers on newest sustainability trends, and much more. The RCI team, event speakers, and RCI resources provide project expertise and technical support, but it is through shared learnings and collaboration that RCI members find best practices and inspire one another towards further GHG reductions – and in doing so, create increased competitive advantage. As of December 31, 2015, the 67 members, had worked to eliminate 18,721 tonnes of GHGs and a further 29,000 tonnes committed over the next 10 years. The program has now been emulated in 7 other Ontario cities.

The world economy is changing, the climate is changing and our energy systems are changing. Cities are driving those changes and leading the response to them. For the first time at COP21 the United Nations formally recognized the importance of cities in tackling climate change. The adoption of the Renewable City Strategy ahead of COP21 set that stage, and put Vancouver on a path to derive all its energy from renewable sources before 2050. In the vanguard of world cities, Vancouver is ensuring economic strength through diversity, while building a livable community for its residents and businesses. The plan which saw 55 policy actions developed, more than 80 local and international experts engaged and over 13,000 members of the public reached, sets the stage for the next 35 years where the city will welcome 175,000 more people, reduce energy use by 21 million GJ and eliminate the use of fossil fuels.