Ontario Climate Action Innovation: Landfill Gas Fuels Recycling Plant

Posted by Meaghan Langille and Don Richardson

on Mar 16, 2015 7:35:00 PM

Circular Economy Brilliance: Landfill Gas Fuels Ontario Recycling Plant

Climate change is perhaps the single greatest threat to humanity of our generation. With Canada’s emissions set to continue rise, we are nowhere near the targets we've set as a nation.  Not content to wait for federal action, Ontario is embarking on a "subnational" effort to change that.   Ontario climate action innovation is helping change Canada's image as a climate action laggard to that of a global climate action leader.

We're going to provide input to Ontario's climate change discussion paper, and help support a high-productivity, low-carbon economy. To develop our input, we're going to learn from some of the "early adopters" pushing Ontario climate action innovation - people and organizations building Ontario climate policy from the ground up.  The great thing about the people of Ontario is they don't wait for federal climate policy to innovate and make climate change action happen.  

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Topics: Ontario Climate Action, Local is the New Black, Carbon Offsets, Sustainability Innovation in Ontario

Adaptive Leadership: Gaining Trust with Small, Step by Step Actions

Posted by Don Richardson

on Dec 11, 2014 7:21:00 AM


"You Gain Trust with Small, Step by Step Actions"

By Don Richardson, Managing Partner, Shared Value Solutions Ltd.

This was guidance given to me by David Miller when he was a City of Toronto Councillor in the Swansea ward, before becoming Mayor of Toronto.  I was working on the massive “brownfield” redevelopment of the former Stelco Swansea Works bolt factory at Windermere & The Queensway near the Humber River, the Gardiner Expressway, and an important local community gateway to Lake Ontario.  

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Topics: Local is the New Black, Sustainability Innovation in Ontario

Help Us Celebrate Becoming an Ontario BCorp: One of the First!

Posted by admin

on Nov 14, 2014 6:21:00 PM

Please join Shared Value Solutions for our Annual Open House
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Topics: Local is the New Black

Guelph’s New Scandinavian Friend: 10 Benefits for Sustainable Innovation in Ontario

Posted by Don Richardson

on Oct 26, 2014 1:43:00 PM


Children play in the most climate friendly daycare in Denmark – engineered by Ramboll.  The building produces 8 kilowatt hours per square metre per year, which is surplus to the building’s requirements.  When not used for solar panels the remaining roof surface has been planted with sedum – a hard wearing plant, which not only encourages biodiversity, prevents water run- off, provides both sound and temperature insulation, and also helps to cool the solar panels.  Photo via activehouse.info.

Scandinavian firm Ramboll is opening an office in the City of Guelph in order to pursue opportunities in the growing market for district energy in North America. 
Ramboll has 200 offices in 22 countries with $1.4 billion in annual revenue. 
Inside the firm are 11,000 consulting engineers, designers and management consultants committed to creating sustainable and long-term solutions in sectors including building, transport, environment, energy and telecom.

What does Ramboll coming to Guelph mean for Sustainable Innovation in Ontario?


Guelph has the first city-wide district energy network in North America.  With the news that the Scandinavian firm will be helping manage the district energy project with Guelph's Envida and is setting up its first North American office in Guelph, we thought it worth taking a look at some of the benefits a firm like Ramboll brings to Guelph and Ontario – and to local businesses like ours!  

A recent Toronto Star article by Don Tapscott (ranked one of the top 5 most influential thinkers in the world) - "As Toronto dithers, Guelph sets sights on 21st century"-  highlights Guelph's sustainability efforts, including the Community Energy Plan and waste diversion.  

Here are 10 benefits we see with Ramboll coming to Guelph and Ontario - we hope our thoughts prime some creative collaboration:

1. Ontario Climate Action: Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government, and her new Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray, are fully focused on climate action.  District energy is a proven approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions while providing many economic benefits. Guelph will be leading Ontario climate action efforts with cost-effective district energy solutions that can be adopted and adapted elsewhere, especially areas that can take advantage of low cost natural gas combined with renewable energy.

2. CO2 Neutral Communities:  Ramboll is playing a key role in making Copenhagen CO2-neutral by 2015 – that collaborative planning and design expertise will benefit Guelph and communities across Ontario, Canada and North America.  We need more innovation around climate change & Ontario.
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Topics: Premier Wynne's Mandates, Ontario Climate Action, Local is the New Black, Sustainability Innovation in Ontario

Ontario Climate Action: North America's First City-wide District Energy Network

Posted by Don Richardson

on Oct 2, 2014 10:26:00 AM


The City of Guelph is building North America's first city-wide district energy network and leading Ontario climate action.  Guelph is the first community in North America to establish a plan for an interconnected thermal grid to serve industrial, commercial and residential buildings across an entire city.  

Starting with low-cost, clean energy, natural gas fuel - but branching to renewables over time - an underground network of pipes installed alongside water, electricity, and other utilities will allow multiple buildings to share energy for heating, cooling, and hot water. Building operators benefit from lower fuel and equipment costs, reduced space requirements, lower building and maintenance costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The system is owned and operated by Envida Community Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Guelph Hydro Inc. Guelph's goal is to use its district energy network to supply at least 50 per cent of the community's heating needs in the next 30 years. Energy efficiency is a big part of this initiative - Guelph will soon be launching GEERS – Guelph Energy Efficiency Retrofit Services – to help retrofit existing buildings for energy efficiency.  

Guelph has also partnered with Project Neutral to help local residents address climate change at the household level.  Launched on October 1st, 2014, Project Neutral, in collaboration with the the local not-for-profit organization eMerge, the project is a web-based platform that allows homeowners to calculate their household carbon footprint based on food, water, waste, energy and transportation. Once residents discover the size of their own footprint, they can set personal goals to bring it even lower, or just brag about it to their neighbours.  Karen Nasmith, co-founder and director of Project Neutral, said the program "takes a new slant on keeping up with the Joneses."

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Topics: Unconventional Oil and Gas, B Corporations, Ontario Climate Action, Local is the New Black

Brewers & Watersheds: Brewing an Ontario Alliance

Posted by Don Richardson

on Jun 15, 2014 2:23:00 PM

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Topics: B Corporations, Local is the New Black

We're On a Fun Walk to Going Carbon Neutral with Walker Industries!

Posted by admin

on Feb 7, 2014 10:34:00 AM


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Topics: Ontario Climate Action, Local is the New Black

Prediction: Local Will Be the New Black for 2014

Posted by admin

on Dec 31, 2013 9:52:00 PM


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Topics: Traditional Knowledge in Environmental Assessments, Local is the New Black

Agribusiness-Energy Feasibility Research

Posted by admin

on Apr 19, 2013 6:20:00 AM

We’re working with one of our clients, on a project that combines agribusiness with energy opportunities. We seek to understand the economic, technical and business clustering feasibility of pursuing agribusiness energy opportunities in Ontario

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Topics: Ontario Climate Action, Local is the New Black