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February 29, 2008
City of Toronto, Zerofootprint launch website to fight climate change
  
Mayor David Miller and Ron Dembo, Founder and CEO of Zerofootprint, today officially unveiled a new community-based weapon in the ongoing battle against climate change.

"It is up to all of us to do our part to minimize the impact of our day-to-day activities," the Mayor said. "Each of us can make a difference as we work together to make Toronto the greenest, most liveable city in North America."

Zerofootprint Toronto (www.toronto.zerofootprint.net) is an internet portal that lets residents, businesses, neighbourhood and community groups measure, track and reduce their carbon footprint. For the innovative venture, the City is partnering with Canadian-based Zerofootprint.net.

The software, pioneered in Toronto, provides information and services that help residents take action to combat global warming. Zerofootprint Toronto combines a carbon footprint calculator with an interactive web site designed to encourage partnerships and competition towards reaching Toronto greenhouse gas reduction goals.

When Mayor Miller announced Toronto's partnership with Zerofootprint at the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit New York in May, 2007, he challenged other world leaders to join the new web-based initiative. To date Seattle and Boulder, Colorado have come on board and other cities are gearing up to join.

Ron Dembo, Founder and CEO of Zerofootprint said, "Carbon in the atmosphere is at the core of the climate change problem. This site gives Torontonians a real, tangible method to tackle climate change. We provide not only a free measurement tool - but more importantly, a course of action that they can take to reduce their own carbon footprint. It's the small things we do, added together, that will result in meaningful change."

Mayor Miller added: "In July, 2007 City Council unanimously adopted our climate change plan - one of the most aggressive and ambitious climate change action plans of any municipality in North America - with a short term target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6% by 2012, and a long term target of 80% by 2050. The Zerofootprint website is one more tool we can offer to empower residents, businesses and communities across Toronto to take action on climate change. Engaging citizens in cities across North America, and across the world, is an important part of a global solution."

To date there are more than 50 organizations and sponsors in Toronto committed to using Zerofootprint to power their environmental initiatives and challenges with their employees and families including Air Canada, Ecomedia Direct, First Capital Realty, SAS Canada, Toronto Hydro, Tridel, Unilever (Sunlight), Ameresco Canada, Enbridge, Habitat for Humanity, Marsh, the Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto Green Communities and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

Whitney Crooks of The Toronto Green Community, a local environmental organization, commented "Our organization is engaging residents in two Toronto communities to learn about energy conservation and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through our Community Energy Action Plan. Zerofootprint Toronto is an invaluable tool because it provides participants with the opportunity to better understand energy conservation and clearly demonstrates the connection between their actions and the environment."

Recently nominated for a "Crunchie Award" as the best new technology likely to make the world a better place, Zerofootprint taps into the power of Web 2.0, to engage organizations and individuals in the climate change process. With Zerofootprint Toronto each user gets customized solutions that reflect their individual carbon output.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.


Media contacts:

City of Toronto: Lawson Oates, Director, Toronto Environment Office, (416) 392-9744, loates@toronto.ca

Zerofootprint: Deborah Kaplan, Executive Director, (416) 365-7557


 

 

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