July 2, 2007

CCME P2 awards honour innovations by Toyota, Bowne and major cities

Toyota, Bowne of Canada and the cities of Edmonton, Calgary and Quebec are among the 2007 winners of the Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment (CCME) Pollution Prevention (P2) Awards, presented June 14 in Winnipeg. Presentation categories included: small, medium and large business, innovation and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction (two winners). Non-profit and conservation organizations received honourable mention awards as well.

Toyota, based in Cambridge, Ont took the P2 award in the large business category. The auto manufacturer was recognized for its continuing push to find new ways to meet society's growing transportation needs in ways that have less of an environmental impact on the Earth. Over the past two decades, Toyota has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to environmental stewardship, and has proven that economic growth can be achieved in harmony with environmental excellence. The company works continuously to improve its environmental performance, undertaking hundreds of initiatives in a given year. ISO 14001 certified since 1998, Toyota requires its suppliers to meet the standard as well and has put in place numerous P2 projects to reduce waste, water consumption and use of hazardous chemicals in its manufacturing operations.

Bowne of Canada, a provider of financial, marketing and business communications services, received the medium business P2 award for its Beyond Compliance initiative. Collaborating with employees, vendors and service providers, Bowne installed new technologies, conducted educational outreach activities for employees and established a Sustainability Team. The company worked to surpass compliance requirements by maximizing its rate of waste diversion from landfill, taking advantage of technology to achieve source reductions, minimizing emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and GHGs, as well as decreasing consumption of resources such as water and electricity.

In the small business category, the winner was North American Decal. The Markham, Ont printing firm was honoured for its reduction of VOCs in the screenprinting process. The company's VOC reduction project put in place a series of measures to minimize the use of these smog-causing chemicals.

The innovation award went to Edmonton's asset management, public works and drainage service department for the Gold Bar wastewater treatment plant industrial water re-use project, consisting of a new membrane treatment facility at the plant and a 5.5-kilometre pipeline connecting it with Petro-Canada's Edmonton refinery. Completed in late December 2005, the membrane facility is the largest membrane-based water re-use facility in Canada capable of supplying large and small industries, recreational facilities and other users.

The CCME award adds to a lengthy list of honours for the project, including GE's recent ecomagination Leadership Award, presented jointly to the city and Petro-Canada (EcoWeek June 25, 2007).

Calgary and Quebec City were both recognized for their ambitious GHG reduction programs. Calgary's "Climate Change Action Plan Target Minus 50" builds on an earlier carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions abatement plan, passed by city council early in 2002. That initiative committed Calgary to reducing its corporate GHG emissions to 6% below the 1990 level by 2012.

A subsequent decision by the council in 2005 to increase the city's green electricity commitment to 75% of total use by 2007 led to the development of the Target Minus 50 plan. It sets a new GHG reduction target of 50% below 1990 levels by 2012. Target Minus 50 will also give Calgary the opportunity to demonstrate leadership and engage citizens in creating a climate change plan for the community, a key component of reducing the city's per-capita environmental footprint and becoming a more sustainable community.

In 2003, Quebec City put in place an integrated environmental policy encompassing an environmental action plan, a three-year (2004-2006) energy conservation plan, a plan for reducing GHG emissions (2003-2110) and a strategic plan for the 2004-2008 period. In addition, a waste management plan drawn up by the Quebec City Metropolitan Community sets out reduction targets for energy use and GHG emissions; these have been approved by the city, taking into account measures already adopted. This comprehensive approach, says the CCME, responds to the challenges of the 21st century by embracing the principles of sustainable development and ensuring integrated management of activities and co-ordination of the actions of elected officials, employees and residents.

Honourable mention awards were also presented in the categories of organization/institution/group and innovation. The Toronto-based Clean Air Foundation, a not-for-profit organization was founded in 2000 through a partnership of governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations and has become Canada's leader in national public engagement programs that result in measurable emission reductions.

The CCME notes that the success of the Clean Air Foundation and its programs is based on the organization's ability to forge and sustain strong and strategic relationships with a range of partners--including manufacturers, retailers, utilities and other industry partners; not-for-profit and community groups; and federal and provincial governments--to optimize the reach of the programs and achieve true, effective results.

The innovation honourable mention went to South Nation Conservation (SNC), based in the eastern Ontario community of Berwick, Ontario, for its water quality trading initiative in the South Nation River watershed. The group's Total Phosphorus Management (TPM) program is the first water quality trading program to be fully implemented on a watershed basis in Ontario. The program's goal is to reduce phosphorus loadings to the South Nation River and its tributaries through the implementation of a point to non-point source water quality trading scheme.

This system was established in the fall of 2000, after several years of stakeholder consultations. Since then, six TPM agreements have been signed with wastewater treatment plants and landfill leachate collection systems and have been implemented through SNC's Clean Water program.

SNC is mandated to protect the South Nation River watershed, which covers an area of 3,900 square kilometres and encompasses 15 municipalities. The river itself originates from headwaters north of Brockville, flowing northeast for 175 kilometres (109 miles) before emptying into the Ottawa River near Plantagenet.

Further details on the winners and their achievements may be viewed on the CCME Web site, www.ccme.ca/ourwork/pollution.html?category_id=131.

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