The mandate for the Environmental Task Force was transferred to the Sustainability Roundtable and then to the Roundtable on the Environment. The following material is provided for archival purposes.
Clean, Green and Healthy
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A Plan for an Environmentally Sustainable Toronto
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What the Report Contains
Clean, Green and Healthy is a shared vision for how to get to a cleaner, greener, healthier and more sustainable future. It is a strategic document that contains recommendations about goals, targets, policies, strategies, structures and processes that will lead us in the direction of environmental sustainability. It sets direction in many (but not all) key areas and builds on the environmental protection and enhancement efforts being carried out by the City, other agencies, and hundreds of individuals and organizations in all sectors of society.
The Mandate of the Environmental Task Force
The City of Toronto Environmental Task Force (the ETF) was created by City Council in March 1998 in the belief that governments, in partnership with citizens and stakeholders, should set the agenda for protecting and enhancing the natural environment. The ETF was made up of City Councillors, City staff, representatives from environmental agencies and citizens representing business, labour and environmental groups, school boards, universities and schools across Toronto. The fundamental objective of the ETF was to prepare a comprehensive Environmental Plan for the City.
Clean, Green and Healthy: A Plan for an Environmentally Sustainable Toronto (the Environmental Plan) is the result of 22 months of work by the ETF and many other people. It contains a Vision for an environmentally sustainable future, a Sustainability Goal, a set of Environmental Principles to guide decision-making, and a series of recommendations aimed at improving the health of the natural environment. It also contains a list of interim indicators for monitoring environmental performance, and recommendations on governance structures and processes that will help build environmental considerations into decision-making processes.
How the Environmental Plan was Developed
The development of the Environmental Plan began with a series of workshops that were hosted by the ETF in September 1998. These workshops, attended by 100 participants, identified priority issues for the ETF to address, and over 200 potential "Quick Start" actions to improve the health of the environment. Thirty-four of these Quick Start actions were later forwarded by the ETF to City Council and appropriate City departments, and many were subsequently approved by City Council (see Appendix B).
Also in September 1998, the ETF hosted a Vision and Priority Setting Workshop. The outcome of this workshop was a Sustainability Goal, a Vision for a sustainable future, and a set of Environmental Principles to guide decision-making (see section 3.0).
In developing the Environmental Plan, the ETF chose four areas to work in that it believed would help move the City towards sustainability. These areas were:
- energy use;
- economic development; and
- education and awareness.
These areas were selected because they echoed many of the key themes that were raised in the early workshops and include issues that City Council had asked the ETF to work on. They also represented issues in which work is not currently being carried out in a comprehensive way and in which the ETF felt it could play an important role in bringing players together.
To address the above issues, the ETF created the Sustainable Transportation, Sustainable Energy, Green Economy and Education and Awareness Work Groups. The Work Groups were charged with identifying gaps in the coverage of sustainability issues, developing objectives and targets, and identifying policies, strategies and actions to move towards environmental sustainability. The Work Group Reports are published under separate cover (see Appendix E), and their findings are included in the Environmental Plan in the sections 6.0 (Moving Towards Sustainability) and 7.0 (Education and Awareness). The Work Groups also prepared Directories that list local businesses and organizations working or providing goods and services in these areas. The Directories are posted on the ETF website.
Part of the ETF's mandate was to recommend a governance structure that would incorporate advanced environmental decision-making into the political and administrative structure of the City. After ten months of discussion, the ETF released a consultation document, "Towards Advanced Decision-Making in the City of Toronto", which outlined the Task Force's ideas on sustainability and governance. The document was widely distributed and feedback was solicited on it. Over 200 people commented on the document in writing or at workshops, and the ETF subsequently developed a recommended governance model, which was adopted by City Council in December 1999. The recommendations are included in the section 8.0 (Planning, Management and Governance).
The ETF also set up an Indicator Work Group to look at environmental and sustainability monitoring, evaluation and reporting. Its findings are included in the section 9.0 of this Plan (Measuring and Reporting Progress).
Involvement of the broad community was a fundamental part of the development of the Environmental Plan. To inform people about the ETF's work, a newsletter was developed and four issues of it were prepared and widely distributed. The newsletter was a major tool to inform people about ETF activities and progress. All sectors of the community - citizens, business, agencies and environmental organizations - were encouraged to take part in workshops, governance meetings, monthly ETF meetings, or in the Work Groups. In total, about 1,300 people participated in Environmental Task Force activities.
Review the Status Report: Implementation of the Environmental Plan Initiatives which provides the first comprehensive analysis of the initiatives resulting from the Environmental Plan.
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