Environmental leadership a top priority for the Toronto Port Authority

Environmental leadership a top priority for the Toronto Port Authority

Initiatives announced at 2010 Annual Meeting include Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Consultative Committee and environmental sustainability strategy

Toronto – The Toronto Port Authority (“TPA”) held its Annual meeting this morning, with senior management outlining an array of initiatives that will see the agency become an important leader in sustainable environmental practices to secure the goal of a clean, green waterfront.

“Today’s TPA is much different from the TPA of even three years ago,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Wilson, at his first Annual Meeting in this position. “Our strategic investments in key assets such as the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport are now paying big dividends for Toronto trade and tourism sector. These measures helped us achieve sustained profitability again in 2009. But now it’s time to focus our energy on becoming a leader in environmental business practices in order to help build a prosperous and attractive downtown core showcasing our vibrant waterfront.”

The Annual Meeting is one of several opportunities for the TPA to connect with Toronto residents and businesses, engage in a constructive dialogue on its priorities and operations, and review the financial performance of the previous year.

The TPA’s 2009 Financial Statements, audited by Deloitte & Touche LLP, were originally released May 7, 2010. For the second year in a row, the TPA reported an operating profit, with 2009’s income from operations totalling $5.13 million, more than double the amount of the previous year.

Total revenue was up 16 per cent in 2009, totalling $23.57 million, led by strong growth at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which reported revenue of $13.77 million in 2009, up 25 per cent from 2008.

After deducting amortization, adjustments, the royalty paid to the Government of Canada and Payments in Lieu of Taxes (“PILTs”) made to the City of Toronto(“the City”), the TPA’s total net income was $1,346,000 in 2009, up 56 per cent from $863,000 in 2008.

The 2009 Financial Statements, as well as other documents presented to the Annual Meeting, can all be found at www.torontoport.com.

“Our financial performance proves we are on the right track in providing the facilities and services that assist in the creation of a more prosperous Greater Toronto Area. They are even more impressive when you consider that 2009 was a very difficult year for the economy as a whole, and the transportation sector in particular,” Mr. Wilson said.

“It is safe to say that the TPA’s financial sustainability is not in doubt. But in order to protect this new prosperity, we must now focus on the challenge of environmental sustainability. That is what Torontonians want us to focus on so that we can achieve our shared goal of building a clean, green waterfront,” Mr. Wilson added.

Environmental Leadership

The TPA has undertaken a variety of environmental initiatives and sustainable business practices with one goal in mind: To leave Toronto's waterfront better than we found it, so that future generations can enjoy its recreational and transportation resources.

The TPA has identified four core areas in which it will focus its environmental efforts with the goal of becoming a leader in sustainable business practices and a model for similar organizations around the world:

  • Air, water and wildlife protection and enhancement;

  • Waste reduction, with the goal of generating ‘zero waste’;

  • Greenhouse-gas emissions reduction through fuel and electricity efficiency, and the use of renewable energy;

  • Co-operation with Toronto's harbour community and stakeholders.

Several groundbreaking measures have already been announced by the TPA, including an agreement to purchase 100-per-cent green electricity through Bullfrog Power, which supplies all of its power from hydro and wind power generating facilities certified as low impact by Environment Canada. Purchasing about 10,295 megawatt hours a year, the TPA is now one of the largest buyers of renewable power in Canada.

Other TPA initiatives include investing $1 million to create protective islands and wildlife habitats at Tommy Thompson Park, begin purchasing carbon offsets for commercial carrier aircraft using BBTCA, and experimenting with “green” lubricants and fuel where possible for its vehicles and machinery to reduce reliance on toxic materials.

In the coming weeks and months, the TPA will strengthen these initiatives by implementing a broad and detailed strategy designed to draw upon best practices from around the world, encourage employees and stakeholders to pursue them, and determine how to best work with our neighbours to monitor and improve them.

“I believe the TPA has the tools and the dedicated workforce to become a leader in environmental enhancements,” Mr. Wilson said. “We’re looking forward to continuing this journey so that the TPA can make good on its promise to continually improve the waterfront for the use of future generations, especially as Toronto gets ready to host the 2015 Pan-American/ParaPan Games.”

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Consulative Committee

In February, 2010, the TPA released the results of an extensive Noise Management Study probing ambient noise at the BBTCA, which was conducted in consultation with representatives from nearby residents’ groups and elected officials. One of the important recommendations of this study was the establishment of an Airport Consultative Committee to provide a forum for dialogue on issues as they arise, such as noise concerns.

The TPA released a Proposed Framework for input for the Airport Consultative Committee (the “Committee”) in early June, including a proposed mandate and composition. The TPA is pleased to report that community feedback to date indicates the Proposed Framework has been greeted positively by the neighbourhood groups and politicians who received it.

The Committee is modelled on consultative forums at other airports based in urban areas, as well as one at the Greater Toronto Airport Authority’s Pearson International Airport, which the Toronto Board of Health has reviewed positively.

The TPA is looking forward to recruiting members to this Committee over the summer so that it can get on with the important work of providing our neighbours and all BBTCA stakeholders with a platform to discuss and monitor ongoing noise and environmental issues, and help implement and monitor the recommendations of the previously released independent BBTCA Noise Management Study.

The Committee’s Proposed Framework is available at www.torontoport.com.

Proposed BBTCA pedestrian tunnel Environmental Assessment process acknowledged

The TPA is pleased to report that the Toronto Board of Health has acknowledged the Environmental Assessment (“EA”) processbeing undertaken by the TPA to examine the potential environmental impacts of construction and operation relating to the proposed BBTCA pedestrian tunnel.

In undertaking an EA process that takes into account the cumulative effects of the tunnel after construction on nearby residents, businesses and infrastructure, the TPA has proudly exceeded its obligations under existing EA legislation.

In the TPA’s 2010 public opinion survey conducted by Ipsos Reid, 56 per cent of Torontonians support the construction of the pedestrian tunnel to the BBTCA funded by airline passengers through the TPA’s existing Airport Improvement Fee (“AIF”). Importantly, 55 per cent of respondents living in or near Toronto's waterfront area also support the proposed tunnel’s construction.

Survey results are available at www.torontoport.com.

2011 Centennial Celebration

Finally, the TPA wants Torontonians to help celebrate the Centennial of the Port of Toronto in 2011.

Celebrations will begin in earnest in the Fall of 2010 to mark the 100th anniversary of this unique asset that helped build Toronto into a global capital of business, culture and recreation. Events will focus on family fun with historical themes, tours and entertainment.

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The Toronto Port Authority was incorporated on June 8, 1999, as a government business enterprise under the Canada Marine Act as the successor to the Toronto Harbour Commissioners. It is a federal public authority providing transportation, distribution, storage, and terminal handling services to businesses. The TPA owns and operates the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Marine Terminals 51 and 52, and the Outer Harbour Marina. The TPA also provides regulatory controls and public works services to enhance the safety and efficiency of marine navigation and aviation in the port and harbour of Toronto.

For more information contact
Janet MacDonald
(416) 863-2003