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Partners in Project Green impacting energy use and more in Pearson Eco-Business Zone

TORONTO — After only a year, Canada's largest employment area consisting of 12,500 businesses and employing more than 350,000, is getting greener because of a sustainability initiative called Partners in Project Green (PPG): A Pearson Eco-Business Zone, a program led by Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA).

In 2009 alone 2,525 local companies, from industry leaders in logistics, food processing, automotive, plastic and pharmaceuticals, implemented energy reduction programs to save a combined 5.4 megawatts of electricity and 3,626,455 m3 of natural gas in the Pearson Eco-Business Zone. PPG also successfully engaged 738 employees from the Pearson Eco-Business Zone to participate in networking and training events that aided them in reducing their costs and identifying new business opportunities. The success of the initiative was due to key partnerships with Enersource Hydro Mississauga, Hydro One Brampton, Toronto Hydro, Enbridge, Natural Resources Canada, the Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology Advancement and the Guelph Food Technology Centre in engaging businesses to take part in the historical transformation of Canada's largest employment area.

"We're entering a new phase, a greening of the industrial revolution where we need to reverse environmental damage while looking forward with more cleaner, greener initiatives and technologies, and it's exciting that the Greater Toronto Area is leading the way to create more ecologically-friendly industrial zones," said Brian Denney, Chief Administrative Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation. "We're beginning to see the substantial impacts being made when businesses come together for a common cause and it's not just about improving the environmental quality of the 12,000 hectares of industrial land in this zone, but bringing an eco-economic advantage that will bring economic gains to the entire region."

At the Annual General Meeting, on April 13th, 5:30 p.m at Woodbine Entertainment Centre, PPG will unveil the results from its Annual Report to a growing community of businesses who are working together to transform Canada's largest employment area into a centre for green economic development in North America.

"We are proud to be a founding partner in Partners in Project Green and celebrate in what has been an exciting first year" said Toby Lennox, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Greater Toronto Airports Authority. "Over the past year, our area businesses and local municipalities have together seen major environmental improvements in the areas of energy consumption, resource re-utilization, water consumption as well as eco-efficiency. "We will continue to build on this success and collaborate with our partners to reduce energy costs, find new sustainable opportunities and address operational challenges in a green and cost-effective matter."

Other 2009 accomplishments include:

  • The GTAA was honoured by the Airports Council International - North America (ACI-NA) with an award for its work in developing and implementing Partners in Project Green. Toronto Pearson was the first airport to win in the new Special/Innovation Projects category of the ACI-NA Environmental Achievement Awards.
  • 99 companies utilized Partners in Project Green energy management programming.
  • 81 medium and large sized industrial customers completed energy retrofit projects in 2009.
  • 2345 small commercial/industrial companies engaged in energy retrofit projects in 2009.
  • In 2009 the Region of Peel and City of Toronto engaged 51 businesses in water conservation efforts, reducing water consumption by 1,103 m3 per day, and realizing a 263 MWh reduction in energy use due to less pumping requirements.
One of PPG's goals in 2010 is to increase the use of renewable energy in the Pearson Eco-Business Zone. To achieve this goal, Partners in Project Green, in partnership with Bullfrog Power, will be launching the Green Power Challenge at the Annual General Meeting. This exciting program challenges organizations within the Pearson Eco-Business Zone to achieve a collective goal of greening 58,000 MWh of electricity (equivalent to the requirements of more than 7,000 Ontario homes) by bullfrogpowering their facilities with 100 per cent clean, renewable electricity.

"We congratulate the organizations involved in Partners in Project Green for their tremendous success to date, and look forward to working with them on the Green Power Challenge," said Tom Heintzman, President, Bullfrog Power. "Through the program, participating organizations will be able to reduce their environmental impact and support the development of new wind power in the province - but just as importantly, they will help demonstrate to the international community that Toronto businesses care about the environment and together are taking significant action on climate change and air pollution."

For more information, visit www.partnersinprojectgreen.com.