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June 8, 2009
Toronto wins two national awards for green initiatives and international contributions
  


The City of Toronto has won the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Sustainable Community award in the Buildings category and the Outstanding International Volunteer Contribution award in the category of the same name. The announcement was made today in Whistler BC, where the FCM’s annual conference is being held.

The awards recognize the City’s leadership in sustainable community development, as well as in international municipal cooperation in countries in South America, Africa, Asia and South-East Asia.

Two sustainable development programs of the City’s, the Toronto Green Standard (TGS) and the Better Buildings Partnership - New Construction (BBP-NC) were nationally recognized for their environmental excellence and innovation in service delivery and together received a Sustainable Community award.

“I am very proud of the work we have done to raise the bar for sustainable development in this City,” says Mayor David Miller. “In Toronto, buildings account for approximately 63 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, so it is critical that all new development adhere to a higher level of environmental performance if we are to achieve these targets”.

TGS is a set of performance measures for new buildings that promotes sustainable development. Being implemented through the planning process in September 2009, TGS is the City’s approach to greening development practices that respond to the City’s environmental concerns, which include air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, water quality, solid waste and the natural environment.

The BBP-NC program provides assistance and incentives to enable energy efficiency measures throughout the design and construction phases of new buildings in Toronto. The program assists with the upfront costs of energy simulation or ‘modeling’ during the early stages of design, as well as paying out incentives on the final ‘as constructed’ energy savings that a new building achieves.

The Outstanding International Volunteer Contribution award acknowledges the City of Toronto’s leadership in working with international municipal governments in implementing a number of specific programs to help improve quality of life in countries such as El Salvador, Botswana, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

The City of Toronto has been actively involved in three different programs internationally. The first project was established six years ago by Toronto Public Health (TPH). TPH has worked with the local governments in the South East District, Botswana on helping them establish public health initiatives focusing on HIV/AIDS, palliative care and youth engagement.

Since 2005, the City of Toronto has also been assisting Tsunami affected communities in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, helping them re-build and develop sustainable waste diversion programs, adequate surface water drainage systems, as well as improving public libraries and developing cultural projects. In El Salvador, the City is working in partnership with the city of Soyapango on improving their overall ability to deliver services, such as a re-engineer their financial management and information technology processes.

“This award reflects the City's commitment to global cooperation and the ability of cities to use their local knowledge to improve the quality of life for others who can benefit from our expertise,” said Mayor David Miller.

The mayor accepted both awards on behalf of the City of Toronto.

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. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

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Media contacts:
Joe D’Abramo, Acting Director, Zoning By-law and Environmental Planning, 416-999-3401, jdabramo@toronto.ca
Don Wanagas, Director of Communications, Mayor’s Office, 416-206-4333, dwanagas@toronto.ca
Cindy Bromley, Communications Manager, Finance and Administration, 416-892-9155, cbromley@toronto.ca

Two backgrounders follow:

Backgrounder #1

Toronto Green Standard and Better Buildings Partnership for New
Construction Program

Toronto Green Standard
The Toronto Green Standard (TGS) is a set of performance measures that promote sustainable development. Initiated in 2005, a review of over 100 cites green development requirements, and extensive consultation with developers and design professionals, and the public. It was adopted by City Council in July 2006 as mandatory for new City-owned facilities and voluntary for private development.

A revised TGS was approved by City Council on December 3, 2008, based on the results of a Cost Benefit Study and stakeholder consultation. The revised two-tier TGS emphasizes those elements of green development that will be required by the City in Tier 1, and those features that would receive a proposed development charge refund to raise the bar further in Tier 2.

The TGS is implemented through the planning process and incentives and responds to the following environmental concerns:
• air quality
• greenhouse gas emissions
• energy efficiency
• water quality
• solid waste; and
• the natural environment.

Better Buildings Partnership - New Construction (BBP-NC)
The BBP-NC program was implemented in 2004 and currently provides a two-stage energy incentive program. The initial incentive offsets the cost of a doing a professional energy model at the building design stage to ensure that energy efficiency measures are incorporated. The second incentive recognizes the energy savings that are ultimately achieved in the fully constructed building, either as reduction in peak consumption ($350/kilowatt) or as annual energy savings ($.04/kilowatt-hour). By 2008, the program had already assisted over 100 buildings, providing over 16 million square feet of green building space in Toronto.

TGS and BBP-NC working together
The TGS and BBP-NC take a pro-active approach to the goal of ‘Making a Sustainable City Happen’. They work together to achieve the following:
• meeting the required performance measure for energy efficiency of 25% better than the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB) and the enhanced target of 40%.
• raising the bar for environmental performance of buildings through requirements and incentives that address Toronto’s specific environmental concerns within the context of its legislative ability.
• fostering a "culture of sustainability" by changing behaviour and expectations of staff, councillors, and developers.
• training and designing charrettes on sustainable design have built capacity within the city to understand and promote green development.

The Cost Benefit of the TGS predicted that the implementation of the TGS and BBP-NC will result in an economic benefit of $1.2 billion for Toronto over the next 25 years.

Media contacts:
Joe D’Ambramo, Acting Director, Zoning By-law and Environmental Planning, 416-999-3401, jdabramo@toronto.ca
Cindy Bromley, Communications Manager, Finance and Administration, 416-392-4993, cbromley@toronto.ca


Backgrounder #2

FCM Outstanding International Contribution award

The FCM Outstanding International Contribution award recognizes the City of Toronto’s contribution in the following areas.

Partnership between City of Toronto and South East District, Botswana, (SEDC)
City staff led by Toronto Public Health (TPH), with support from Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St Paul's) and Councillor Kyle Rae (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale) have been working with local authorities to improve quality of life by:
• enhancing capacity of staff and home-based care volunteers to deal with care giving issues, bereavement, counseling and support;
• establishing the South East District Youth Empowerment League (SEDYEL) using Kicking Aids Out approach which is youth led;
• creating 100 soccer teams through SEDYEL, 27 of them being female with teams in all five villages
• training over 20 peer educators to do outreach in the community and schools on HIV/AIDS prevention and establishing a girls safe spaces initiative which is an HIV/AIDS prevention strategy through creating safe spaces for girls to come together to discuss issues, acquire skills and do projects such as income generating catering business;
• reducing youth violence, as reported anecdotally by the municipality, since the establishment of SEDYEL; and
• building a youth centre as a gathering place and program space.

Tsunami Relief efforts in Indonesia and Sri Lanka
Mayor David Miller and Councillor Pam McConnell (Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale) have been actively supporting the projects that the City of Toronto have participated in to assist the communities affected by the 2005 tsunami.

Examples of the City’s involvement include the following projects:
• Small-scale composting in Banda Aceh - the City assisted local residents in developing a sustainable waste diversion program that included program development, litter awareness and community clean-up events. The City of Toronto’s Clean & Beautiful program was shared with the local community and there is now a Banda Aceh Clean & Beautiful program.
• Surface water drainage project in Batticola - the City was part of a team to assist the community to rebuild and redesign its drainage system that was significantly damaged due to the tsunami. The City provided assistance in assessing their challenges, surveying, new channel cleaning approaches, channel repair and construction as well as safety training.
• Public library project in Aceh - the City assisted the Aceh government to improve its library system. This project improved quality of life by creating more community gathering space, providing formal
education support, pre-schooler door to learning program, housing a local history and genealogy
resource centre, providing literacy support and improving overall access for the public.
• Cultural project in Matara - the City was part of a team in 2008 that helped the City of Matara develop a cultural plan and events to promote social cohesion, bring together citizens representing all cultural, religious, gender and economic backgrounds;
• First response assistance in Indonesia & Sri Lanka - immediately following the tsunami the City of Toronto sent paramedics to Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

Partnership between the City of Toronto and the City of Soyapango
Led by staff from the City’s Finance and IT Divisions and supported by Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St Paul's) the City of Toronto have been involved in the following programs:
• a re-engineering process of financial data management and information technology processes;
• preparation of financial management and information technology business plan together with a budget;
• development of a series of financial management policies, which will facilitate the efficient collection of financial data, data-sharing and the preparation of up-to-date financial performance records; and
• implantation of a training program for City of Soyapango staff focusing on issues of financial management and inventory development of the City’s computer infrastructure


Media contact:
Don Wanagas, Director of Communications, Mayor’s Office, 416-206-4333, dwanagas@toronto.ca


 

 

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