The new environmental policy was jointly announced by Doug Allingham, Chair of the Board of Directors and Deborah Flint, President and CEO, GTAA during the Corporation’s Annual Public Meeting.
“As countries, corporations, and individuals turn their collective focus towards climate change, so too must the airport industry,” said Doug Allingham. “The GTAA’s Board has worked with Deborah and her entire organization to build a bold new vision for Toronto Pearson as an airport of the future. In doing so, we are committed to ensuring Canada’s largest airport has a sustainability strategy that is brought to life through our environmental and social programs.”
“Toronto Pearson is highly regarded among North American airports for its leadership on environmental sustainability programs, most recently having been recognized by Airports Council International with a 2020 Environmental Achievement Award,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO, GTAA. “Our new Environmental Policy will be felt in every aspect of our operation, from future capital investments in infrastructure to on-site renewable energy, electric vehicles and chargers, sustainable procurement practices and embracing the principles of the circular economy in order to minimize waste. Our employees are passionate about working for an organization that cares about addressing climate risk, and our passengers increasingly feel the same way. We will work with our commercial partners, governments at all levels, and community-based organizations to bring our new Environmental Policy to life.”
- Climate change resiliency: Taking the appropriate steps to be resilient to the risks of climate change, by assessing how climate change will create new, or alter current, climate-related risks; and mitigating those risks.
- Carbon neutrality and emissions: Reducing our emissions footprint, by improvement in operational efficiency and investment in projects for the direct reduction and/or offset of energy consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to achieve Net Zero GHG by 2050.
- Strategic energy use: Ensuring the responsible use of energy throughout our business via energy conservation, improving energy efficiency and giving preference to renewable over non-renewable energy sources.
- Water management: Managing our water resources through water conservation efforts, water quality management, and addressing flood risk issues, thereby protecting the region’s water supplies.
- Natural environment: Minimizing our impact on the natural resources around us by balancing the protection of plants and wildlife with aviation safety, and supporting partnerships with the community to restore greenspaces.
- Waste management: Reducing or eliminating the use and generation of non-recyclable or non-compostable materials that are generated across operations and construction by implementing programs to achieve a net zero waste certification by 2050.
- Noise management: Reducing operational impacts on surrounding communities through a best in class noise management program; focusing on the reduction of noise at source, land use planning and management, noise abatement operational procedures and operating restrictions.
The policy will align the GTAA with leading scientific thought and industry best practices and will position it as a steward of the environment. The full recovery of the aviation industry from the COVID-19 pandemic will hinge on “greening” of the industry, and the GTAA’s long-term environmental strategy will allow it to plan for that recovery accordingly.
The GTAA works with community-based organizations such as Partners in Project Green (PPG) to help create a healthier environment for all people and animals that live nearby. PPG is a business-led initiative to transform more than 12,000 hectares of industrial and commercial land surrounding Toronto Pearson into North America’s largest eco-industrial area.
Partners in Project Green supports a growing community of businesses working together to strengthen the Greater Toronto Area’s economy and environmental sustainability by fostering collaborations with businesses and municipalities, supporting the installation of green technologies and participating in environmental projects. Examples of projects include the installation of 32 publicly available electric vehicle chargers at Toronto Pearson and the GTAA’'s participation in the PPG material exchange which has led to reducing waste by providing excess construction materials to Habitat for Humanity.
In the fall of 2020, the GTAA engaged stakeholders to provide input on a long-term Environmental Strategy. Feedback was positive and the majority of respondents were in agreement with the areas of focus. They also recognized the targets as ambitious and showed an interest in ongoing communications about environmental programs as well as more opportunities for collaboration with the community.
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