Climate Action Achievement Awards


York Region Leaders — setting and achieving emission reduction targets

ClimateWise Business Network Program Manager Harry French and the amazing Shania Twain tribute act Shania Twin (Donna Huber) host a Celebration of Achievement in Challenging Times

A Celebration of Achievement in Challenging Times

This year's achievement awards go beyond commemorating sustainability efforts by also celebrating the resilience of those that rose above the tides of the pandemic in the past year and prioritized climate action against all odds. Hence, the 2021 Award Event's Theme: A Celebration of Achievement in Challenging Times. At the event, 15 winners comprising companies and municipalities emerged from different categories under the ClimateWise Building Challenge, the Mayors Energy Challenge, and ClimateWise Business Network.

ClimateWise Building Challenge Awards

Building owners, managers, and tenants coming together in a friendly competition with other buildings — to see who can be the biggest energy saver

Lowest Energy Use Intensity Leader Award (Commercial)

Crown Property Management
image: Henna Nankani,Grace Lambe,Sami Shihata
From left to right: Henna Nankani (Property Administrator), Grace Lambe (Assistant Property Manager), Sami Shihata (Property Manager)

Crown Property Management Inc. achieved an impressive Energy Use Intensity (EUI) of .56 for their office building at 101 McNabb Street in the City of Markham. Low EUI scores are achieved through engagement of tenants in energy management programs and close monitoring of equipment performance. This is impressive considering York Region commercial buildings reporting under the provincial EWRB program (Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking for Large Buildings) had an average EUI of 1.59.

Lowest Energy Use Intensity Leader Award (Municipal)

Richmond Hill
image: Maria Flores
Maria Flores

The City of Richmond Hill won the Lowest Energy Use Intensity Leader Award for achieving a EUI score of .76 GJ/m2 for their office building type submission, Municipal City Hall. This award category recognized the City of Richmond Hill as one of the two municipalities that achieved the lowest energy use per square meter of space in their Office Type building using Energy Star Portfolio Manager.

Innovation Champion Award (Commercial)

Riverside Natural Foods
image: Taylor Stanley
Taylor Stanley

Riverside Natural Foods Ltd. won the Innovation Champion Award for setting in motion plans to reduce its Scope 3 emissions footprint through a pilot project that will verify and demonstrate increased levels of carbon sequestration in the soil after implementing regenerative practices. Consequently, a lower carbon footprint of the oats they purchase for their flagship brand, MADE GOOD.

Innovation Champion Award (Municipal)

Town of East Gwillimbury
image: Chris Catania
Chris Catania

The Town of East Gwillimbury won the Innovation Champion Award for demonstrating the importance of engaging staff in sustainability plans to foster positive results. During COVID, with staff's quick and strategic reaction, they saved 30% hydro expenses or $100K with an innovative hockey ice pad strategy. The dedication of staff to implementing energy efficiency measures and consistently monitoring energy use on an ongoing basis to meet fluctuating demand was critical to the results achieved.

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ClimateWise Business Network Awards

Greenhouse Gas Target Setter

407 ETR
image: Lydia Iacovou
Lydia Iacovou

407 ETR emerged winner of the Greenhouse Gas Target Setter Award for setting a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction target within six months of joining the ClimateWise Business Network in 2021. The organization announced a GHG reduction target of 25% by 2030 relative to a 2018 baseline. Their first focus will be on launching a Green Vehicle strategy.

Greenhouse Gas Target Achievement

Alectra Utilities
image: Caroline Karvonen
Caroline Karvonen

Alectra Utilities set an early reduction target of 20% by 2026 over a 2016 baseline and achieved this in 2020. The organization accomplished the goal by adopting employee buy-in and maintaining management vision while watching the bottom line - an impressive feat considering implementation in a complex organization is challenging. For this commendable effort, Alectra Utilities emerged as the Greenhouse Gas Target Achievement Award winner.

Greenhouse Gas Target Achievement

Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
image: Phil Davies
Phil Davies

Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) committed to reducing 102 MT of GHG by 2026 over the 2016 baseline. They have made significant progress towards this goal with a reduction of 21MT through investment in their electric vehicle fleet – fleet modernization. For this feat, the organization won the Greenhouse Gas Target Achievement Award.

Greenhouse Gas Effective Action Plan

Reesor's Farm Market & Bakery
image: Jay Reesor
Jay Reesor

Reesor's Farm Market & Bakery won the Greenhouse Gas Effective Action Plan Award for participating in the SME Net-Zero Pathway: Manufacturing Project resulting in a prioritized action plan and a public case study report available by the end of the year. Reesor’s Farm Market & Bakery made commendable efforts investing human and financial resources to create an action plan on tackling climate change successfully.

Greenhouse Gas Effective Action Plan

Riverside Natural Foods
image: Justin Fluit
Justin Fluit

Riverside Natural Foods, maker of MADE GOOD products, demonstrated leadership by committing to a prioritized action plan and public case study report from participation in the SME Net-Zero Pathway: Manufacturing Project sponsored by Green Economy Canada. As such, the organization won the Greenhouse Gas Effective Action Plan Award for successfully mapping out an action plan targeted to reduce GHG emissions.

Municipal Energy Strategy Award

York Region
image: Ershad Kazemi
Ershad Kazemi

The Regional Municipality of York emerged winner of the Municipal Energy Strategy Award for reporting a 17% to 66,695 tonnes reduction in corporate greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2019. According to the June 2021 Regional Council report, the reduction was mainly driven by reduced transit and fleet fuel consumption and temporary operational changes due to the pandemic. The Regional Municipality of York submits an updated Corporate Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plans every five years. These plans must be comprehensive, innovative, transparent, and actionable.

Most Innovative Leader Award

Compugen Finance
image: Brent Smiley
Brent Smiley

Compugen Finance Inc. built on the success of their Green for Good initiative with an innovative program called FUTURE VALUE. Future Value helps secure critical technology while generating a carbon credit and contributing to circular economy principles. The Future Value program provides a 0% landfill solution for IT assets. These innovative products and service programs facilitate climate change action by suppliers and customers, leading to Compugen Finance emerging as the winner of the Most Innovative Leader Award.

Mayors' Energy Challenge

Mayors Energy Challenge Advocate

Richmond Hill
image: Myles O'Brien
Myles O'Brien

The City of Richmond Hill won the Mayors' Energy Challenge Advocate Award for supporting the Mayors' Energy Challenge through promotional messaging to building owners/managers included in their January water bills. Also, the city sent out personalized, hard-copy letters from the Mayors to individual building owners/managers in mid-March.

Mayors Energy Challenge Advocate

City of Vaughan
image: Ruth Rendon
Ruth Rendon

The City of Vaughan threw its weight behind the Mayors Energy Challenge through an Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) survey with commercial building owners to understand the energy retrofit and sustainability drivers. In addition, the City of Vaughan included participation in the EWRB as a reporting metric to Council in response to their climate emergency declaration. For the dedicated support, the city won the Mayors Energy Challenge Advocate.

Mayors Energy Challenge Advocate

Town of Newmarket
image: Peter Noehammer
Peter Noehammer

The Town of Newmarket won the Mayors Energy Challenge Advocate for supporting the challenge through two campaigns: a personal reach out to building owners/managers from the Mayor's office; and facilitating the engagement of the local utility Newmarket Tay (NT) Power in advocating EWRB participation to their account holders.

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