The crucial role businesses play in the fight against climate change

Parminder Sandhu
April 11, 2018
By Parminder Sandhu
Apr. 11, 2018 - Taking collective action on climate change has never been as critical as it is today. From floods to severe storms, Ontarians are already experiencing the impact of climate change.

The recently announced GreenON Challenge Program from the Green Ontario Fund creates opportunities for businesses and organizations to help fight climate change.

The Green Ontario Fund acts as a non-profit green bank, designed to help businesses and residents finance energy efficient projects – like high-performance windows or low-carbon heat sources – using proceeds from Ontario’s carbon market.

At the same time, we’re taking the long view. That means we need to promote technologies, processes or building designs that significantly exceed Ontario’s codes and standards, bring the next generation of innovations to the market, and promote long-lasting structural change in Ontario’s energy system, to better position us for the future. To drive this market transformation, we launched the GreenON Challenge.

With GreenON Challenge, we’re filling the funding gap for scaling up low-carbon technology and encouraging widespread adoption of this kind of innovation across industries.

This program harnesses the creativity and expertise of Ontario businesses and organizations, inviting them to bring forward new ideas for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Applicants can submit their carbon-reducing ideas, which will be evaluated by a panel of experts. The GreenON Challenge is open to:

• Ontario-based private businesses (for the production of goods sector, businesses must have between 1-499 paid employees)
• Ontario-based incorporated not-for-profit organizations (e.g. community-based organizations)
• Ontario-based Indigenous incorporated not-for-profit organizations, private businesses, and governments
• Conservation Authorities
• Registered charities
• Utilities

Successful projects will reduce GHG emissions while offering additional environmental, economic and social benefits. Successful participants will also showcase their leadership and help increase Ontario’s competitiveness in the growing international market for low-carbon technologies, processes and business services.

These projects could come to life in several ways. Ideas could be as ambitious as developing a sustainable community, established through collaboration among municipalities, architects and transportation experts. Another successful idea also could be a new manufacturing process for more sustainable packaging that cuts down on GHG emissions, or new ways for creating buildings with zero emissions that can serve as a model for the industry moving forward.

Undoubtedly, achieving success will require collaboration, so GreenON Challenge is open to partnerships and joint ventures.

The Green Ontario Fund will be investing up to $300 million in the winning projects. The application deadline is May 7.

Parminder Sandhu is chair and interim CEO of Green Ontario Fund.

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