PortsToronto is committed to sustainability and protecting the environment. Whether it’s the Billy Bishop Airport, the Outer Harbour Marina or the Port of Toronto, we conduct our operations in a manner that is consistent with protecting the environment, building and preserving natural habitats and ensuring that we give back to the communities that we serve.
PortsToronto’s environmental mandate is to keep Toronto Harbour clean and its environmental strategy is to reduce energy costs, protect natural habitats and promote the use of renewable resources.
Some of PortsToronto’s key initiatives include:
- Sustainability Report
In January 2016, PortsToronto released its first annual Sustainability Report. This new report details performance on key priorities associated with the organization’s sustainability efforts, including environmental protection. The report provided an opportunity to put the organization through the paces, celebrating its environmental successes as well as opportunities for improvement. To read the report, click here.
- Renewable Energy
PortsToronto is one of the top users of Bullfrog Power in the country and has chosen 100 per cent green electricity since 2010. PortsToronto and the Billy Bishop Airport are the only port authority and airport respectively in Canada to choose Bullfrog Power green electricity across all of its operations and facilities.
- Harbour Clean-Up Program and Hotline
Through its Harbour Clean-Up Program, PortsToronto protects water resources in Toronto’s Harbour by removing approximately 150 million pounds of material including debris, silt and driftwood from the Keating Channel and Toronto Harbour each year. As part of this commitment, PortsToronto also has a 24/7 Harbour Hotline (416-462-3937) to respond immediately to any reports on pollution, spills or debris in the Harbour.
- Monarch Butterfly Garden
Every year, Monarch Butterflies migrate to Mexico for the winter season and return north for the Spring and Summer. However, last year the number of returning Monarch Butterflies reached a record low. This is due in part to the loss of native plants, such as milkweed that are the butterfly’s primary food source. In September 2014, PortsToronto planted a butterfly garden at the Outer Harbour Marina, consisting of native plants such as milkweed, to encourage the return of this dwindling species.
- Schoolyard Greening Project
In partnership with Evergreen Canada, PortsToronto began work on bringing nature to six downtown schools. The project was first announced in winter 2014, with planting beginning in spring 2015. The project designs are inspired by the natural world, incorporating elements such as trees, rocks and shade to create a diverse landscape for children to explore.
- Wetland Creation Project
In 2013, PortsToronto completed the creation of a wetland area and fish habitat in Tommy Thompson Park on the Leslie Street Spit together with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. The new habitat includes fish and water level control structures to monitor and manage the movement of fish species and water levels. Work continues on the creation of two additional habitats.
- Sustainability Best Practices
PortsToronto has adopted best practices to achieve sustainability goals at the Port of Toronto and prevent pollution at the Outer Harbour Marina. Measures include:
These and other environmental initiatives have earned the Outer Harbour Marina a 5 Green Anchor Gold rating from the Ontario Marine Operators’ Association (OMOA), one of the highest rankings a marina can attain for adhering to environmental best practices.
- Expanded recycling efforts for solid and hazardous material reduction; and
- Education campaigns for staff, customers, tenants and the general public on equipment maintenance.
- Reducing PortsToronto's Environmental Footprint
PortsToronto is committed to reducing its environmental footprint through initiatives including:
- Shifting the Marina’s workboats to new technology engines that are cleaner and more efficient;
- Using fuel efficient and hybrid vehicles for airport maintenance operations, with 42 per cent of the Airport’s fleet technology already converted to this green technology and a phased replacement of all operational vehicles to hybrid models by 2020;
- Further reduction of power consumption by converting 90 per cent of the Marina’s lighting to high efficiency bulbs, such as compact fluorescent;
- Training marina employees in spill containment and acquiring spill containment equipment at the Marina’s fuel dock; and
- An environmental commitment pledge signed by all Marina customers.
- Keeping Vehicles Off Toronto’s Roads and Highways Shipping bulk cargo through the Port of Toronto reduces traffic congestion on Toronto’s roads and highways and is a more efficient way to transport goods. In addition, with the expansion of Toronto’s urban landscape, construction materials based at the Port of Toronto’s storage and staging areas travel shorter distances to get to the worksite, cutting down on construction costs, congestion and unnecessary fuel emissions.