Local partners commit $205,000 to The Climate Collaborative to support the development of a community-wide greenhouse gas inventory and action plan

(WATERLOO REGION, ON) August 3, 2011 – Sustainable Waterloo, REEP Green Solutions, and the Regional Municipality of Waterloo announced today that they are collaborating to take community-wide action on climate change.

Thanks to the generous support of two local funding agencies the project, called “The Climate Collaborative”, will develop a community-scale greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory, reduction target and action plan for Waterloo Region.  The Ontario Trillium Foundation has committed $150,000 to the project over two years, while The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation has granted $30,000 through their Community Fund.  These grants add to the cash and in-kind contributions of current Climate Collaborative partners, including a $25,000 commitment from the Regional Municipality of Waterloo.

Community-based action on climate change

The Climate Collaborative will address the need for local, community-based action on climate challenges across Waterloo Region. “It’s important to approach this project in a collaborative manner,” says Sarah Brown, Project Manager for The Climate Collaborative. “Sharing resources and knowledge will benefit not only the organizations involved but also the greater community – now and for generations to come.”

“Vision, thoughtfulness, energy  only begin to describe the leadership of this partnership as it promises to support the growth of our region towards a healthier and more vibrant community to live in,” says Lucie Allard, Volunteer Chair with the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

“Success is made possible when all stakeholders involved in a problem work together to find a solution,” adds Rosemary Smith, CEO of The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation.

Measuring emissions from all sources

The project will follow the framework provided by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) Partners for Climate Protection program, through which over 200 municipalities across Canada have developed or are developing GHG action plans. Emissions from all sources within Waterloo Region – including residential and commercial energy consumption, transportation, and waste – will be accounted for in the GHG inventory.  The inventory process will begin this fall and lead into the development of an action plan starting in spring 2012.  Participating partners will work towards setting reduction targets in 2013, which will be followed by implementation of the actions identified by partners.

Additional partners are being invited to participate in the inventory and action planning process, including other area municipalities, local electric and gas utilities, post-secondary schools and school boards, large employers and business associations, community groups, and non-profit organizations. The public will also have an opportunity to provide input as the action plan is developed.

For more information about The Climate Collaborative, please contact Sarah Brown, Project Manager, at sarah.brown@sustainablewaterloo.org.

About Sustainable Waterloo

Sustainable Waterloo is a not-for-profit that advances the environmental sustainability of organizations across Waterloo Region through collaboration. The current work of Sustainable Waterloo is focused on the Regional Carbon Initiative, which supports voluntary target setting and reductions of carbon emissions in organizations across Waterloo Region. For a list of all Regional Carbon Initiative members, please visit www.sustainablewaterloo.org/members.

About REEP Green Solutions

REEP Green Solutions is a charitable organization empowering our community towards healthier homes and sustainable living.  Through innovative services and programs, collaborative research, and community partnerships, REEP provides the tools and knowledge people need to use energy and water wisely. Learn more at www.reepgreen.ca.

About the Regional Municipality of Waterloo

Waterloo Region is comprised of three cities – Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, and four rural townships – North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich. With a combined population of over 530,000, Waterloo Region is one of the fastest growing and prosperous areas in Ontario.  The Regional Municipality of Waterloo is responsible for approximately 60 per cent of municipal government services in the community which directly and indirectly influence quality of life and sustainability.  Learn more at www.region.waterloo.on.ca.