Canadian Cities Explore Additional Measures for Achieving Low Carbon Future

New report highlights current progress, existing challenges and further opportunities for low-carbon development in Canadian cities

A new research report, “Low Carbon Futures in Canada: The Role of Urban Climate Change Mitigation” released today explores Canadian cities’ commitments to urban GHG emissions reduction efforts and outlines concrete opportunities for further action, including shifting focus beyond energy and enlisting federal support for these initiatives.

The report, written by Torrie Smith Associates with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Stockholm Environment Institute, found that Canadian cities and local governments are essential to creating a breakthrough for a low carbon future in Canada. More than 80 percent of Canadian citizens live in the top 10 largest metropolitan areas – making Canada’s population among the most urban globally.  Despite this fact, only 46 percent of Canada’s overall emission footprint is generated in urban areas, compared with the global average of 70 percent. Read more

SSG Summer 2015 review

Our monthly newsletter on news and inspiration at the nexus of sustainability

This month we decided to run a review of where SSG is at and what we have learnt over the past six months from the diverse projects we have completed, and ones we have started. Extreme weather planning for farms, to greenhouse gas inventories to Brownfield guidebooks and e-dialogues. The content got a bit long, so we’ve kept it to a few examples, and next month we’ll include more. Please let us know your feedback and thoughts.

[Recently completed]

“Cold what cold. People like to walk in Yellowknife”

Jeremy - Yellowknife 2

First GHG Inventory in Canada to use the GHGProtocol for Cities

This year we completed a GHG Inventory Report for the City of Yellowknife. The project involved developing a ground-up GHG and energy model for the City of Yellowknife based on land-use and other assumptions to develop a business as usual scenario, the first inventory that we know of in Canada to use the GHGProtocol for Cities. The City spent an estimated $140 million in 2014, approximately $19,800 per household. One remarkable fact about Yellowknife is that 13% of all trips are by walking, an exceptionally high mode share for cities of this size. In part at least, this statistic is a function of the City being a compact community.

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Final draft of Community Sustainability Plan tabled for Council approvals

Community’s vision for its future emphasizes education and creativity, a growing sustainable economy, and environmental leadership

A year and a day after the Community Sustainability Plan Steering Committee was announced, the final draft of Oxford’s first-ever Community Sustainability Plan was tabled—and endorsed– at County Council as the first in a series of council presentations that will continue at local area municipalities over the coming weeks.

Future Oxford: A Community Sustainability Plan sets out the community’s vision for how we will manage human (community), natural (environmental) and financial (economic) resources for Oxford County’s future growth and wellbeing.
The final draft Plan, which can be viewed at FutureOxford.ca, sets out 70 distinct actions including:
• reducing the percentage of Oxford County residents living in poverty;
• increasing the number of residents with post-secondary education;
• increasing participation in arts, recreation, and culture activities;
• growing jobs relative to population growth;
• encouraging production and consumption of locally produced food and products; and
• achieving the highest total waste diversion rate per capita in Ontario.

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Halton Hills Council Approves our Local Action Plan

Last year, we started a project in collaboration with Indeco to work with Halton Hills on their local action plan. SSG managed and wrote the Community Energy Plan, Indeco the Corporate Energy Plan. Using GHGProof, we examined community wide energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from transportation and land use. Here is the recent release issued by the Council: Read more