Inside Logistics

GTA sustainable logistics group formed

Eight leaders in Toronto’s logistics sector work together to take action on sustainable solutions.


March 2, 2011
by MM&D staff

TORONTO: Partners in Project Green (PPG), an initiative led by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), has established a new Sustainable Logistics Consortium. The consortium brings together supply chain leaders from around Toronto Pearson airport to work together on driving sustainability more quickly, deeply and at a lower-cost into each participating organization.

The group consists of facilitated teams of organizations in the Pearson Eco-Business Zone who are committed to attaining world class environmental sustainability performance in their sector.

According to PPG statistics, the logistics sector has an immense role to play in greening the environment. The transportation and warehousing sector has an average total energy consumption of more than 11 million GJ (representing 22 percent of the total Eco-Business Zone energy consumption). Distributors consume approximately 4.7 million GJ.

Members of the Logistics Consortium are striving to reduce their consumption by leveraging each other’s strengths through sharing, learning and improving to achieve accelerated results in their sustainability programs.

“As a founding member of Partners in Project Green, we are proud to recognize the Sustainable Logistics Consortium’s establishment. The cluster of logistics and related firms in the area represent an important employment industry committed to leading the way towards improved environmental sustainability,” says Toby Lennox, chair of the Partners in Project Green steering committee and vice-president of corporate affairs and communications with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “We believe the consortium will help businesses from around Toronto Pearson reduce costs and improve economic and environmental performance.”

Each member of the consortium will have full ownership over the direction of the consortium through the creation of a vision and an annual strategic plan, while all administration for the team is the responsibility of Partners in Project Green. Sharing, learning and improving are facilitated through consortium events, individual member company coaching days, and facility assessments. Membership privileges include sustainability diagnostics for measurement and development of individual members, access to the High Performance Consortium Network (a national network) and access to specialized resources.

Members of the Partners in Project Green Sustainable Logistics Consortium are committed to environmental sustainability for their organization. Members include:

GTAA has a commitment to reduce GHG emissions by 20 percent (from 2006 levels) by 2020. To achieve that goal, they will be looking to reduce electricity as well as reduce the GHG output from their vehicle fleet and from various combustion sources at the airport.
Canadian Tire has introduced a range of energy efficient features in their transportation operations, including increased intermodal transportation, application of automated route optimization software for product deliveries, and the testing of cutting edge technologies such as hydrogen vehicles and LCV’s.

Vista Cargo has implemented a vigorous plan to increase the sustainability of its warehouse–including a massive lighting retrofit, replacing old boilers and heat pumps with high efficiency versions, installing a building automation system, and installing a power factor correction system.

Canada Post has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by a total of 16 percent since 1990 and aims to reduce emissions by another 20 percent by 2020, and registered 14 buildings for LEED certifications, including a new state of the art Winnipeg mail processing plant, which opened in June 2010. Canada Post is the first company in Canada to receive and test the Ford Transit Connect Electric commercial delivery vehicle.

Sears Canada is on its way to reducing energy consumption by 20 percent through energy efficiency retrofits, including a lighting upgrade at its Vaughan Distribution Centre that saved more than 1 million kWh. On the road, SLH Transport has been recognized as an EPA SmartWay Partner for its best-in-class fuel efficiency and continual improvement of its fleet.

Ontario Natural Food Co-op (ONFC) is committed to “Sustainability from seed to plate”. With the support of Partners in Project Green and guidance from ONFC’s Greening Committee, they are building a sustainability management system that investigates all sustainable opportunities from building retrofits, environmental education and waste reduction, to resource-efficient transportation, amongst others.

Unisource has engaged employees in formulating solutions to their facility’s environmental issues, whether that be reducing waste and energy, or identifying new product opportunities, through establishing SWAT (Sustainable Workplace thru Action and Teamwork) Teams.

Grand & Toy demonstrated its commitment to efficiency and responsibility in 2010 by making its new 48-hour delivery option the standard for all deliveries across Canada. Currently 66 percent of all orders are now being delivered in 48 hours instead of next day, and for customers who just couldn’t wait the extra day, last year Grand & Toy offset all next day deliveries through the purchase of 1899.75 tonnes of CO2 offsets.