Top Projects for 2019

When we’re looking for Clean50 Top Projects, we look for the three “I”s…  Projects are selected because they are Innovative, they can Inform – and they can Inspire other Canadians to do more.

This year we started looking for 15 project to become 15 Top Projects – but instead we found 20… 5 more we just couldn’t exclude!  Spend a minute to read Tabatha Southey’s great articles about what each of these organizations and individuals have done – and be inspired to copy them in your neighbourhood!

And sign up for the Clean50 Newsletter under the ‘contact’ tab –  which will provide one email every 2 weeks or so, each with 2-3 in-depth articles featuring reports from Clean50 Project and individual Clean50 Award winners – what they did – and how they did it.

(any editing errors are ours!)

BOMA Toronto & Toronto Hydro: race2reduce

Project Lead: BOMA Toronto & Toronto Hydro

For their race2reduce program, the Toronto Building Owners and Managers Association, BOMA, teamed up with Toronto Hydro to promote energy conservation in commercial buildings by engaging landlords, property managers and tenants. The tools and guidance provided by race2reduce saw a remarkable 4% reduction in energy use among participating organizations in the first year.

City of London – Water Engineering: Using AI to Identify Leaking Water Mains

Project Leads: Daniel Hsia, Water Demand Manager at City of London

By partnering with Waterlik who offered their new software developed to identify where pipe conditions suggest high risk of failure, the City of London will save nearly $2 Million over 5 years. Water loss through the municipal network is a global issue. Here’s to ideas, and software that hold water.

City of Waterloo: Poop Power

Project Leads: Rhonda Fetterly, Parks Technologist

The City of Waterloo stoops, scoops, and anaerobicly digests to conquer messy waste in their parks, while producing clean energy and fertilizer. Using a locally developed technology, Waterloo is really going to the dogs, for the benefit of the environment.

Cleanfarms runs a 100% industry-funded safe disposal and recycling program, using a convenient return-to-retail model to safely and sustainably recover everything from non-refillable bulk pesticide containers to twine to seed bags which might otherwise be sent to landfill or even burned in the fields.

They’re planting trees, so don’t throw them any shade. CN’s EcoConnexions “From the Ground Up” Program is greening communities along their rail network by providing grants. CN’s Mass Reforestation program tackles larger scale projects, recently contributing to the effort to restore forests and green spaces in the aftermath of the Fort McMurray fire.

Compugen Finance’s recent partnership with Microsoft educates organizations on the environmental and security benefits of upgrading to Windows 10 while their refurbishing program diverts old computers from landfill, generates carbon credits and earns their partners found money which they are encouraged to donate to charity.

Pharmaceutical manufacturer, Dextran Products partnered with Enviro-Stewards to find and implement ways to make their production process more efficient. Dextra now saves $55,300, 17,800 m3 of water and 28,600 m3 of natural gas, reducing GHG emissions by 56 tons annually. A spoonful of sustainability helps the cost of producing medicine go down.

Ecology Action Centre (EAC): Deep Energy Retrofit

Project Leads: Maggy Burns, Managing Director

Environmental sustainability begins at home and so Ecology Action Centre turned a  need for more space into an opportunity to showcase responsible renovation. EAC’s renovated facility managed an 89% reduction in energy unit intensity while saving 527,208MJ of embodied energy that would have resulted from new construction,

The Embedding Project’s free “Road to Context” guide combines rigorous research with practical testing to help companies understand and prioritise their largest impacts on social and environmental issues in order to better allocate resources. An interactive casebook illustrates how these steps are being applied in practice.

Enbridge Gas: “Saving By Design” Program Review

Project Leads: Mary Sye, Manager, Programs and Marketing

Enbridge’s Savings by Design initiative provides funding aimed at encouraging and supporting developers in exploring high performance building energy targets and other environmental objectives early in the design phase. Enbridge raises awareness and provides critical guidance and assistance in the design of buildings focused on high energy efficiency.

The team on Oshawa Assembly Plant’s General Motors Landfill-Free Project numbered  approximately 3,000. Everyone at the plant contributed to the success of the project. Overall, the facility now recycles 95% of total waste, including scrap metals, with the remaining 5% converted to energy offsite. General Motors made conservation a subject of general interest.

Enviro-Stewards and Maple Lodge Farms worked to identify resource-saving opportunities at Maple Lodge Farm’s, then, together, they got the job and savings done. While Enviro-Stewards guaranteed they’d identify $240,000 per year of opportunities, they actually found more than 10 times that number. This may be how we save the planet, one sound investment at a time.

Morguard & RYCOM: Shopping Centre Smart Data Analytics Platform

Project Leads: Andrew Butler, General Manager

When the Morguard went shopping for an energy savings plan, they landed a bargain with RYCOM’s Smart Data Analytics Solution. Using the platform to help identify and implement changes, the partners were able to find a potential of $55K in energy savings and 18,219 kgCO2-e in greenhouse gas reduction annually.

As the first asset management policy in North America to place natural and engineered assets on an equal footing,  Municipal Natural Asset Management, originally developed by the Town of Gibsons, BC, helps municipalities evaluate just how invaluable their natural resources are.

It’s seldom easy get competitors to work together and share knowledge but The Network for Business Sustainability (NBS), a non-profit based at Ivey Business School, labours to foster communication and cooperation by bringing industry and business leaders together. Sometimes our sustainability challenges demand a top-notch, potluck approach.

Plug’n Drive: Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre

Project Lead: Dav Cvitkovic and Cara Clairman

Come on down! Plug’n Drive’s Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre educates consumers on the benefits of electric vehicles in a no pressure, no sales environment. Recognizing the need to familiarize both car buyers and car sellers with EV’s, the centre is a practical, literally hands-on way, to clear the air.

Pyrocycle is at the forefront of an e-waste gold rush. Their cost-effective, environmentally friendly thermochemical process diverts toxic discarded electrical or electronic devices from landfills while recovering valuable materials. With 50 million metric tons of E-waste discarded in 2006 alone, this is one rush in which we need to stake a claim.

Trinity College School brings enough eco-consciousness for the whole class. Starting with the humble request for every student to “Please do one thing during April that has a positive effect on the environment,” the Green Cup has grown into a Trinity tradition with the whole school competing for the coveted prize worth 25% of the school’s “House Cup” .

Showing just how a lot of talk can lead to a lot of successful action, Sustainable Montréal 2016-2020, the sustainable development approach of the Montréal community provided a road map, and a bike lane, and some workable transit that shows other communities how sustainable, equitable living is done.

WeavAir’s small and (thanks to their ability to power themselves from airflow and temperature differential) truly wireless sensors provide detailed statistics on HVAC systems while their predictive algorithms give actionable insights to detect failure or misconfiguration early and suggest fixes, saving money, employee health and the environment.