Town and residents making positive change to our environment

The town is making great strides towards improving our environment is what Council heard last night when staff shared the results of the town’s fourth annual State of the Environment Report (SOER) and the five-year update to the 2005 Environmental Strategic Plan (ESP).

“The positive results in these reports clearly show us that as a community, Oakville is making greener choices and taking action to improve our environment,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “We still have work to do and these two initiatives help guide us in the right direction to bring us that much closer to being the most livable town in Canada.”

The Environmental Strategic Plan is a comprehensive master plan that outlines activities to improve the town’s environment over the next five years and into the future. Since its inception, it has provided a clear guide for the community and helped spur the development of many town programs such as the Towards Zero Waste Strategy, fleet greening, sustainable purchasing policies, green building standards for the town, a Community Energy Plan, the Oakville Wildlife Strategy, tree protection by-law, urban forest management plan, pesticide reduction, stormwater management program, active transportation plan and many other environmental improvements.

Almost 100 per cent of the actions from the first 2005 ESP have been implemented or initiated.

One key action from 2005 ESP was the development of a State of the Environment Report (SOER) to monitor and report on the condition of the environment in Oakville. At last night’s meeting, Council heard about positive improvements in areas such as transit use, natural gas and water consumption, and Ecoschool certification. In addition, overall electrical and gas use in Oakville has decreased by 9 per cent since 2009, and the town and region’s outdoor water use and rain barrel programs contributed to a downward trend in residential water consumption.

Cindy Toth, director of Environmental Policy for the town noted that while the town is seeing great improvements in certain areas, there is still work to be done.

“Oakville’s ecological footprint is approximately nine hectares per person, which means it would take approximately 16,455 square kilometres more land than we have to provide for our current lifestyle,” said Toth. “This year we piloted a project to bring the footprint down to a neighbourhood level so we can more closely analyze our environmental impacts and define ways to improve.”

In 2012, staff will begin implementing the 2011 ESP with goals and updated actions for 2012–2017. Staff will continue to provide Council with an annual SOER to ensure progress is tracked and measured annually.


Media contacts:

Cindy Toth
Director, Environmental Policy
905-845-6601, ext. 3299

Gisèle Shaw
Manager, Corporate Communications
905-845-6601, ext. 3166

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Town and residents making positive change to our environment