Photo © Sustainable Waterloo Region

A\J is a proud friend and sponsor of Sustainable Waterloo Region, a local organization we were excited to honour at this year's Green Living Show Victories Celebration on Saturday night, for their flagship program, the Regional Carbon Initiative (RCI). Over 400 RCI members and supporters, including A\J, will be in attendance at Sustainable Waterloo Region's 4th Annual Evening of Recognition tomorrow night.

The Regional Carbon Initiative helps local organizations advance the sustainability of their operations through greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions. Founder Mike Morrice and his team of smart young innovators have seen their hard work bear fruit, with organizational membership increasing by more than 50% last year, and by seeing that 55% of their membership base have deployed strategic RCI plans. In the process, many large tech firms, insurance companies and area manufacturers are now greening their processes and finding greater efficiencies thanks to the Sustainable Waterloo Region team.

At the Evening of Recognition event, SWR will present their 2012 year-end report, Celebrating a Sustainability Network, which showcases "the achievements and commitments of organizations across Waterloo Region that are taking measurable action to advance our community towards a more environmentally sustainable future."

Some key highlights of the 2012 Report include:

  • Membership in Sustainable Waterloo Region’s Regional Carbon Initiative (RCI) grew to 58 organizations in 2012 from 41 in 2011. Of that 58, 15 have committed to reduce their GHG emissions by a total of 45,000 tonnes, which is the equivalent of taking 10,000 cars off the road.
  • These 58 organizations include eight of the largest insurance companies in Canada, every local municipality, a majority of our hospitals and electric utilities, our two universities, and representation from almost every sector across our economy.
  • RCI members employ almost 13 percent of Waterloo Region's workforce, representing more than 30,000 employees and covering 16 million square feet of our commercial, institutional, and manufacturing space.

The event will also feature presentations from RCI member organizations. Presenters include:

  • Dr. Max Blouw, President and Vice-Chancellor, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Anna Carr, Facility Manager, Ontario Teacher’s Insurance Plan
  • Rene Gatien, President and Chief Executive Officer, Waterloo North Hydro
  • David Bois, Director Environment, Health and Safety, Home Hardware Stores Ltd.

There's still a tiny bit of time to register for the event. Here are the details:

When: Thursday, April 18, 2012
Time:   5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where:  The Waterloo Inn, 475 King Street North, Waterloo (map)
Cost: This event is free, registration is required. Visit www.sustainablewaterlooregion.ca/register 

Compiled by Laura McDonald, with files from David McConnachie and Sustainable Waterloo Region. For more coverage of Sustainable Waterloo, check out Taking Local Action on Climate Change, What Not to Miss at the Green Living Show and Best of the Green Living Show.

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