Several Northern Ontario communities are making sustainability a priority, with the help of Green Economy North. Starting this fall, the towns of Blind River, Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands, Gore Bay, Sables-Spanish Rivers and Billings Township will participate in community-based projects that will help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Through direct support from Green Economy North, these communities will first take an inventory of their current emissions, and identify where reductions can be made. Green Economy North will work with the municipalities to identify areas of inefficiencies, and suggest improvements and upgrades that will reduce emissions and lower operating costs. Upgrades to lighting and heating systems are examples of possible projects that could have major return on investment.
“As a community, we are taking steps to protect our environment and control future costs” said Mayor Alan MacNevin of the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands. “Our participation with Green Economy North will help us identify opportunities for energy savings and establish benchmarks for future greenhouse gas reductions.”
With the help of funding provided by not-for-profit partner Environmental Defense, this project will also initiate consultations in some communities that will set the framework for a much larger community energy plan. A full community energy plan can help a municipality continually reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency, and anticipate what future energy needs could be.
“We’ve joined Green Economy North to provide a cleaner environment and better quality of life for our residents,” said Brady Ropp, Parks and Recreation Coordinator for the Township of Sables-Spanish Rivers. “Our community depends on our natural resources for prosperity and recreation, and we understand how important it is to protect them. We are intent on reducing our carbon footprint on an on-going basis, and maintaining our natural resources for future generations.”