Kicking Carbon to the Curb
At LSRCA, we are all about sustainability. It’s in our mission and it’s why we were created 67 years ago.
As environmental leaders, we want to walk the walk, which is why we partnered with the ClimateWise initiative to start work on a Carbon Reduction Strategy in 2017. After much research and consultation, the strategy was completed at the end of 2018. Moving forward into 2019, the next step is to implement the strategy within our own workplace environment.
As part of the strategy, we completed a Greenhouse Gas Emission Baseline, set a 10–year reduction target and developed a plan to meet this target. In developing the action plan, we found that transportation (commuting) was our biggest source of emissions. One of the proposed changes is to our fleet operations. The goal is to replace as many vehicles as possible with electric and hybrid versions. This will save in operating costs and reduce our fleet emissions.
We’ll also be looking at ways to encourage staff to participate in the new plan once it’s finalized. In particular, we want to take a thoughtful and informed approach to changing habitual routines. We want to set an example and inspire a culture where it’s the norm to turn off lights, computers and to find alternate ways to travel to business meetings and functions. They’re small changes, but when we all participate consistently, that’s when the big changes start to yield results.
Our organization had already undertaken numerous projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions including a rooftop solar panel installation (also completed in 2018), the introduction of green fleet vehicles, and the replacement of lights, at the end of their life cycle, with LEDs. The ClimateWise partnership helped move the yardstick further. We were awarded for our efforts in creating a Carbon Reduction Strategy with a 2018 ClimateWise Award for completing a Progressive Action Plan.
Step up for Sustainability
It’s official! We’re partnering with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and Credit Valley Conservation on the Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program or as we like to affectionately call it, STEP.
The partnership focuses on sustainable technologies and practices within a Canadian context. It’s meant to be the “go–to” place for practitioners to find the most current information on the advancement of urban runoff, low impact development, erosion and sediment control, healthy soils, winter salt management and protection of natural features and systems.
This year, in addition to the ongoing collaboration in multiple working groups, STEP developed a “Learn How to Construct Low Impact Development” video for contractors, hosted numerous training sessions and launched a wiki guide.