Waste reduction, noise mitigation, greenhouse gas emission reduction, and further investment in Toronto’s waterfront community are a few key areas of interest for PortsToronto this year, according to its first annual sustainability report.
“For PortsToronto, sustainability is about more than being ‘green,'” said Geoffrey Wilson, chief executive officer of PortsToronto. “By looking at our operations and successes through a lens of community, economic and environmental sustainability, and reporting on areas such as noise management, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and local job creation we can ensure that we are focusing on the long-term future of our organization, while investing in the communities in which we operate.”
PortsToronto’s next steps for 2016 include, exploring energy efficient ways to heat Port facilities and to engage tenants and airlines from Billy Bishop Airport to manage energy emissions and energy use. The construction of infrastructure will be aimed at reducing the noise impact of the airport on the local community, including the construction of an engine maintenance run-up enclosure by 2016. Local job creation and transportation investment are other areas of focus.
In the report, PortsToronto highlighted some current investments and initiatives over 2015. These include:
- Powering 100 per cent of PortsToronto’s port, airport, marina and real estate operations with renewable energy from Bullfrog Power;
- Annual dredging and removal of approximately 68,000 tonnes of material from the Keating Channel and Toronto Harbour to prevent flooding of the Don River and to keep the Harbour clean.
- Creation of new natural habitats to increase biodiversity, such as the development of a nine-hectare wetland habitat for fish, birds and wildlife at the Leslie Street Spit.
- Investment of more than $8 million in community and environmental initiatives since 2009, and supporting such organizations as Evergreen Brickworks, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Harbourfront Community Centre and Ireland Park Foundation.