Environmental Protection & Preservation
Toronto Mayor David Miller Unveils Dynamic Climate Change Initiative
Toronto Mayor David Miller today unveiled a
cutting edge initiative that stands to put Canada's largest city at the
forefront of the citizen-based global fight against climate change.
Launched during the C40 Large Cities climate summit in New York City,
Zerofootprint Toronto will engage citizens around ways to reduce their
environmental impact using an innovative platform, created and developed by
Toronto-based not-for-profit Zerofootprint and built on technology from
Business Objects, a pioneer in business intelligence.
A dynamic hybrid of environmental footprint calculator and a web-based
social network, Zerofootprint Toronto is designed to help citizens reduce
their environmental footprint significantly. The new tool graphically
illustrates to users the impact every aspect of their daily lives has on the
environment while allowing them to network with like-minded friends,
neighbours and co-workers to create a virtual eco-community.
Users are encouraged to create joint initiatives and challenges, compile
their results, and measure and celebrate their success.
"Climate change is the issue of our time and it's up to all of us to do
our part to minimize the impact of day-to-day activities," said Mayor Miller.
"Zerofootprint Toronto is going to help make my city not only one of the
greenest on the planet, but one of the most innovative as well. Our residents
are anxious to do what they can to help save the planet and reduce greenhouse
gas emissions and they are looking for ways to do it. This is just one more
Mayor Miller challenged his fellow mayors at the C40 summit to adopt the
Zerofootprint model in their cities. Ultimately, this initiative will result
in the creation of footprint profiles of citizens that cities can then use to
create targeted programs and incentives to reduce footprint.
Zerofootprint president and CEO Ron Dembo said, "The vision is to show
the cumulative impacts of all participating cities, create joint initiatives,
measure their achievements and celebrate their successes. By acting together
cities can have as much impact on the environment as one large country."
"Cities are where change is happening the fastest and we must seize the
opportunities we have been presented with to make that change significant and
permanent," added Mayor Miller.
Zerofootprint Toronto will be rolled out in two phases.
In the first, City of Toronto employees will be invited to calculate
their environmental footprint and create goals to reduce and track this
footprint over time.
In the second phase, it will be available to every Torontonian.
Zerofootprint Toronto combines state-of-the-art business intelligence
software and the best environmental engineering science to calculate, analyze
and visualize the environmental impact of decisions around transportation,
food, heating, cooling and lighting homes and offices, shopping, water use and
It is this platform that enables this first-of-its-kind community
engagement initiative, to provide individuals, neighborhoods, businesses and
other groups in Toronto both detailed information and a network to take action
on climate change.
"We all want to do the right thing," said Bernard Liautaud, founder,
chairman of the board and chief strategy officer of Business Objects. "The
place to start is by measuring the size of the problem and the changes we
make. The business intelligence features of this platform will allow people to
see exactly what will happen if they - and others like them - change their day
to day habits. The community can then apply its collective intelligence to
change the way the world analyzes problems, works together in new ways and
solves issues such as climate change. This collective intelligence has
enormous potential to develop new initiatives for the common good."
As part of their work together to develop the Zerofootprint platform for
cities, Business Objects
are creating one of the world's
largest eco-data sets. Information contributed from around the world will be
analyzed by the collective intelligence of members of Business Objects' newly
launched online community, Insight
initiative will leverage the eco-data and the insights
gained from it, to benchmark against other cities and identify the most
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