Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) was able to complete several environmental sustainability projects over the last year. We have implemented impactful changes to our organization’s waste diversion program by distributing new easy-to-use bins for landfill waste, mixed recycling and compost across our various properties. Alongside our participation in the SBI carbon framework, we have also completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory encompassing RBG activities from 2012 to 2017. This data was used to inform the decisions in setting our greenhouse gas baseline year and reduction target of 20% by 2027. Another exciting project was the installation of 6 electric vehicle charging stations which are now supporting sustainable transportation for our visitors and the community.
As an organization with a mandate to connect people to plants and the natural world we also facilitate community engagement initiatives. In 2017 we opened the Anishnaabe Waadiziwn Trail, celebrating the culture of the indigenous people in our region, and facilitated a citizen science learning opportunity through a bioblitz of natural areas across Hamilton and Burlington.
In 2017 RBG set its GHG emission baseline. After some investigation and discussion completed by RBG’s Green Team, the group recommended a baseline year of 2017 with a reduction target of 20%. The decision was made because we recognize that our emission reductions in the last 4 years were primarily a result of a reduction in natural gas consumption due to warmer winters. By setting our baseline as 2017 we will be more accurately measuring primarily the reductions resulting from improvements intentionally made by RBG with the additional benefit of allowing us more time to complete our objective.
(all description taken from the 2017-2018 Annual Business Report)