Other News and Developments of Interest

Entries in sustainability (5)


Embedding Sustainability into the Culture of Municipal Government

A free new report, Embedding Sustainability into the Culture of Municipal Government, promises to help municipal change agents advance sustainability in their organizations and become role models for others in the community.

Excerpt from the related press release:

"Developed as a collaboration between the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS), The Natural Step Canada, and Dr. Stephanie Bertels from the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University, the report is the result of a comprehensive review of municipal sustainability practices from across Canada. Based on leading research, the guide provides practical guidance for municipal practitioners and organizations to support a culture of sustainability in municipal governments.

Available for download and distribution for free, municipal change agents are encouraged to study this new resource, share it widely with their colleagues, and incorporate it into their municipal sustainability planning."


Click here to download the report.

Click here to read the press release.


Town of Olds wins FCM Sustainable Community Award

The Town of Olds has been recognized by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with a Community Sustainability award for its use of innovative wastewater treatment technology.

A summary from the FCM's website:

"The Town of Olds’ wastewater treatment plant was almost 30 years old and serving a population of 7,500 when trouble began — the facility was at capacity and posed an environmental hazard to receiving waters. Plans to upgrade and expand the plant were put on hold in 2006 when the Province announced plans for a regional wastewater system. The new system involved piping the town’s wastewater to Red Deer for treatment. This left the town with limited funding for upgrades and rendered its poorly functioning plant non-compliant with provincial regulations on effluent quantity and quality. The town needed a non-infrastructure solution to respond to ministerial requests to meet provincial regulations.

Guided by its sustainable community plan, the town decided to implement an innovative approach in which a bacterial treatment is injected into the wastewater pipes before wastewater reaches the treatment plant. The Canadian agent for the American-designed In-Pipe® treatment system managed the town’s conversion to this pre-treatment model, with no capital spending and no extra energy costs for the town. The initiative resulted in better-than-ever compliance with provincial requirements."

Click here to see a summary of the outcomes of the project (and for links to other FCM awards).

Click here to watch a video about the challenge faced by Olds and their award-winning solution.


Investors launch Principles for Responsible Investment in Farmland


A group of institutional investors currently representing US$1.3 trillion in assets have launched the Principles for Responsible Investment in Farmland (the “Farmland Principles”) with the goal of improving the sustainability, transparency and accountability of investments in farmland.  


The Farmland Principles provide institutional investors with best practice guidelines for:

  • Promoting environmental sustainability (Principle 1)
  • Respecting labour and human rights (Principle 2)
  • Respecting existing land and resource rights (Principle 3)
  • Upholding high business and ethical standards (Principle 4)
  • Reporting on activities and progress towards implementing and promoting the Principles (Principle 5)

 For more information, read the press release from the UNPRI here.

Read the Principles here.



Premier's Council for Economic Strategy: Shaping Alberta's Future

On May 5, 2011, the Premier's Council for Economic Strategy released its report, Shaping Alberta's Future.

From the release:

"It includes an important call to all Albertans, outlining broad direction on important themes for our future: broadening the economy, realizing the full potential of our energy resources, preparing the province and Albertans for a global economy, and investing in the future. The report also provides thoughts on how to ensure the province has a strong platform - fiscally, environmentally and with respect to infrastructure - to sustain economic growth. Under each of the five themes, the council outlines some thought-provoking ‘flagship’ initiatives, which Albertans will need time to study and consider moving forward."

Click here to access the Premier's website and links to the full report, the executive summary, and additional resources.


Changing Currents: Water Sustainability and the Future of Canada's Natural Resource Sectors

The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy has issued a new report examining the sustainable management of water in Canada, in the context of the development of our natural resources sectors.

From the NRTEE website:
"The world’s supply of freshwater is limited and finite. While Canada is blessed with an abundance of freshwater, an expected increase in the development of the natural resource sectors begs the question of whether our country has enough to support economic growth while also maintaining the health of our ecosystems. We need to know whether we are in a position to sustainably manage our water resources for future generations and if we have the capability to deal with issues like an anticipated change in precipitation patterns caused by climate change." 

Link to the report here.