Yield Biogas Solutions

Turning biomass into clean energy inside an eco-business zone


Courtesy of Yield Biogas Solutions

Sustainable business practices are becoming a competitive necessity, and businesses (as well as government) can do more for the environment working together than apart. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), in partnership with the Region of Peel and cities of Toronto, Brampton and Mississauga, have embarked on an ambitious undertaking to put these principles into action. The objective is no less than to transform the area around Toronto Pearson International Airport into a world-class eco-business zone. Once in place, the Pearson Eco- Business Zone will be the largest eco-business initiative in North America.

Partnerships in “Project Green” leverage the airport area’s many advantages — infrastructure, diverse industrial and commercial base, talent pool, and green spaces — to make it a hub of green innovation. The Pearson Eco-Business Zone is Canada’s largest employment area comprised of more than 12,000 hectares of industrial and commercial land, 12,500 businesses, and 355,000 employees. Major sectors include automotive supply chain, logistics and warehousing, food processing, plastics, and aviation. It’s an ideal location to pool materials and group purchases, share best practices, cooperate to cut costs and minimize waste.

The TRCA has already received multi-year funding commitments from its partner municipalities and the GTAA to development and implement the initiative. The GTAA is taking a leadership role, while a variety of area businesses — Unilever, Bayer Inc., Woodbine Entertainment Group, Oxford Properties, Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Lange Transportation, Molson, and many others — assist with implementation by sitting on the project steering committee and undertaking innovative environmental projects on their sites.

With estimated total annual electricity use of close to 5.8 million MWh, natural gas consumption of 46 million GJ, and water use of 109 million m3, the area surrounding the airport represents enormous potential for conservation. To realize this potential, Partners in Project Green develops and implements projects and programs to help businesses realize cost reduction opportunities, including looking at energy, pooling green purchases and, most prominently, turning waste into revenue.

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