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Provincial funding to help Sudbury go green

Sudbury-based reThink Green is one of eight organizations in Ontario benefiting from a $1 million investment from the province.
Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has announced it will be investing $1 million from the Green Investment Fund. File photo.

Sudbury-based reThink Green is one of eight organizations in Ontario benefiting from a $1 million investment from the province.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change announced Monday that money from the Green Investment Fund aims to “help businesses reduce emissions, manage energy costs and remain competitive as the province transitions to a low-carbon economy.”

The CoLab Network is made up of eight non-profits, including reThink Green, who work with businesses and large institutions to help them be more profitable and more environmentally friendly.

According to its website, they collectively work with “125 businesses and organizations from private, public and non-profit sectors are participants of CoLab Network programs, and have collectively set targets to reduce nearly 60,000 tonnes of (greenhouse gases.)”

To date, CoLab Network program members have collectively reduced 29,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases – the equivalent of taking over 6,100 cars off the road – the release said.

Ontario's $325 million Green Investment Fund commits money for projects that fight climate change. Locally, reThink Green’s program, Green Economy North, is one of eight programs across

Ontario that help businesses set and achieve targets to reduce their environmental impacts while enhancing their competitive advantage and stimulating the low-carbon economy.

“As we are launching Green Economy North on Earth Day April 22, Sudbury will be among the first communities to benefit from the Green Investment Fund,” Rebecca Danard, executive director of reThink Green, said in the news release. 

“As the hub of Sudbury’s low-carbon economy, Green Economy North will grow more quickly, be more effective and provide better service to member businesses because of this investment.

“Working together with CoLab, the Ontario government and other network members Green Economy North will provide Sudbury businesses and organizations the knowledge and networks to promote environmental and economic sustainability.”

Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, said in the release that successfully fighting climate change while fostering the economy requires a collective effort.

“This investment enables local environmental organizations to work with small and medium-sized businesses in the community on innovative, sustainable and practical ways to reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” Murray said.

Mike Morrice, executive director of the Sustainability CoLab, said in the release that the funding was a “game-changing” investment.

“(It) will support non-profits in the CoLab Network that are creating hubs for the low-carbon economy across the province,” Morrice said. “It will accelerate their efforts to help businesses track their emissions, set and achieve targets to reduce them, and be celebrated for progress made.”

CoLab Network includes non-profit organizations launching or growing programs to engage businesses in growing the low-carbon economy in Durham Region, Hamilton-Burlington, Kingston, Niagara Region, Ottawa, Sudbury, Waterloo Region and York Region.

In just 10 years, Ontario has become a North American leader in the development, use and manufacturing of clean energy, the release said. In May 2015, Ontario became the first province in Canada to set a mid-term greenhouse gas pollution reduction target of 37 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.

Other Green Investment Fund projects include: more electric vehicle fast-charging stations, energy retrofits for single family homes and affordable housing, and support for industry and small and medium sized businesses. 

Darren MacDonald

About the Author: Darren MacDonald

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