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School board adopts innovative approach to finance environmental improvements
Greening Canada Fund to purchase carbon credits from Toronto District School Board
TORONTO, June 9 /CNW/ - The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and the Greening Canada Fund (GCF) signed an agreement this week under which TDSB will begin selling carbon credits to GCF - credits created from results of the Board's efforts to make significant reductions to its greenhouse gas emissions. Over five years, this innovative transaction - one of the first of its kind - is expected to generate more than $1.7 million for TDSB.
Since 2000, TDSB has invested more than $38 million in energy reduction projects that have produced an 18% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Those emission reductions have been measured and verified and will be sold through GCF, with the revenue reinvested in the Board's Environmental Legacy Fund Reserve to support future energy reduction projects. "Selling carbon credits is a first for us and a vital part of our Go Green: Climate Change Action Plan. This is an important step along the way," said Board Chair Bruce Davis, while on a tour of Hillcrest Community School - one of the properties benefiting from the Board's energy retrofit projects, today and into the future.
In February 2010, the Board approved an ambitious Climate Change Action Plan to reduce building-related GHG emissions by a minimum of 20% by 2020, relative to a 2006 baseline. The Board's plan consists of a number of actions designed to continue to reduce its environmental footprint. Many of the actions outlined in the plan will generate additional carbon credits and the potential to earn additional revenue to support the Board's programs.
The purpose of the Greening Canada Fund, created by the Toronto City Summit Alliance's Greening Greater Toronto initiative in 2009, is to purchase high-quality carbon credits, such as those offered by the TDSB, for the benefit of the Fund's investors - Canadian corporations that have made a commitment to reduce their environmental impact while supporting local community energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives.
"A unique feature of the Fund is our commitment to source the majority of our carbon credits from social and not-for-profit organizations such as Canadian public schools, hospitals and community housing," said Gerry Rocchi, CEO of Green Power Action Inc., the fund manager for the Greening Canada Fund. "In this way, our investors are not only helping the environment but investing in worthwhile community projects as well." Green Power Action Inc. is a Toronto-based company specializing in the management of carbon offset credits.
Two of Canada's largest financial institutions were the lead investors in the Fund and committed an initial $13 million to its creation. The two banks - BMO Financial Group and TD Bank Financial Group - have each made a public and voluntary commitment to operate as carbon neutral.
About Toronto District School Board:
The Toronto District School Board is the largest school board in Canada and the fourth largest in North America. It has nearly 600 schools and serves more than 250,000 students each year. The Board's climate change action plan, Go Green, builds upon ten years of work that has already been done to establish the TDSB as Canada's greenest school board.
About Green Power Action Inc.:
Green Power Action, a Toronto based company, specializes in the management of carbon offset credits and renewable energy certificates. Its clients are corporations who are aware of the value of managing their environmental impact, whether for voluntary or compliance purposes. Green Power Action is the manager of the Greening Canada Fund.
About Greening Canada Fund:
The Greening Canada Fund is the first ever voluntary carbon emissions reduction fund aimed exclusively at large Canadian corporations. It was created by Toronto City Summit Alliance's Greening Greater Toronto initiative to provide emission reductions opportunities for Canadian corporations, primarily by financing not-for-profit and public sector projects to reduce greenhouse gases. Launched in September 2009 with initial investments from BMO Financial Group and TD Bank Financial Group, GCF purchases and delivers carbon offset credits sourced from across Canada.
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