Pearson Eco-Business Zone launched
Partners in Project Green (PPG): A Pearson Eco-Business Zone officially launched in early October with the unveiling of a highly anticipated green strategy that will transform the 12,000 hectares of industrial and commercial land surrounding Toronto Pearson International Airport into North America’s largest eco-business zone. The initiative is the culmination of over a decade of partnership between Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and will deliver programming to help businesses reduce resource costs, uncover new business opportunities, and address everyday operational challenges in a green and cost-effective manner.
“Through Partners in Project Green, TRCA will be able to continue to work with industry leaders to promote the adoption of green technology,” said Brian Denney, chief administrative officer for Toronto and Region Conservation. “The business community can do more by working together than apart. This is a historic first step to making Toronto the greenest place to do business.”
The Pearson Eco-Business Zone includes an estimated 12,500 businesses, providing employment for approximately 355,000 people, making it Canada’s largest area for employment. On a yearly basis, this area consumes approximately 5.8 million Megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity, 46 million Gigajoules (GJ) of natural gas, and 109 million m3 of water, resulting in 1.7 million tones of greenhouse gas emissions related to energy consumption. The area falls under four municipal jurisdictions including The City of Toronto, Region of Peel, City of Brampton and the City of Mississauga, who were all strategically involved in the planning. To date more than 200 businesses have been involved in the development of the project.
“Partners in Project Green is really the first large-scale effort at addressing climate change in a renewal setting,” explained Toby Lennox, vice-president of corporate affairs and communications at the GTAA. “It’s also significant because it takes an integrated approach. It doesn’t just focus on energy and waste management issues – as important as they are – it also looks at green space improvements, employee health and productivity, and ultimately green jobs.”
Partners in Project Green will take on an eco-industrial approach to create the Pearson Eco-Business Zone. The “eco-industrial” approach centres on fostering business-to-business networks that gain financial benefits by working together to green their bottom line, reducing the upfront costs of innovation, slashing payback times, and improving operations and building efficiency. This approach is already being advanced around the world and views business in general as part of the local ecosystem.
The Pearson Eco-Business Zone will include new development opportunities, long-term renovation, retrofit and redevelopment and the ability for companies to work together to identify and select the best green technologies for their operations. The strategy document unveiled in October outlines Partners in Project Green initiatives including an Eco-Efficiency Program, Green Building Retrofit Program, Sustainable Transportation initiatives, Green Purchasing Blocks, By-Product Exchanges and more. A full version of the 109-page document can be viewed online at www.partnersinprojectgreen.com.