City wins Canadian Climate Leadership Award

GLOBE Series recognizes Guelph for being at the forefront of action on climate change

Guelph, Ont., Thursday, March 15, 2018—The City of Guelph was awarded the Large Municipal Trailblazer Climate Leadership Award from GLOBE Series at last night’s GLOBE Forum in Vancouver. The awards recognize exceptional Canadian organizations that are at the forefront of action on climate change.

Mayor Cam Guthrie and Scott Stewart, deputy chief administrative officer for the City’s Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise service area, were on hand in Vancouver to accept the GLOBE award.

The City of Guelph was selected for one of four awards from among 86 self-nominating applicants. The City was recognized for its multi-faceted and holistic approach to fighting climate change by a panel of judges with members from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Business Council of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Smart Prosperity Leaders’ Initiative, and BASF Canada, along with officials from GLOBE Series and The Delphi Group.

The City’s application was based on its successful and ongoing work on energy management and retrofits, renewable energy projects, carbon pollution and waste reduction efforts, ambitious emissions target setting, and water conservation efforts.

The staff-led initiatives and projects that contributed to the award win include:

  • Guelph’s pioneering work (first in Canada) on its Community Energy Plan, now the Community Energy Initiative, which is being updated with new greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, an implementation plan for achieving them, and enhanced measurement and reporting, including comparisons with other cities;
  • The award-winning Guelph Innovation District Secondary Plan to concentrate development in areas appropriate for district energy and transit-accessible, exemplifying green/sustainable community design and development;
  • Guelph Transit’s increased ridership through route optimization and its use of biodiesel in its fuel supply, and rainwater harvesting in bus washing operations;
  • The Corporate Energy Management Plan which provides a community leadership example of energy efficiency including the use of LED lighting and efficient facility heating and cooling;
  • The biogas-fueled cogeneration plant at the City’s wastewater treatment plant;
  • The construction of LEED®–certified facilities including Clair Road Emergency Services Centre and Guelph Civic Museum;
  • The Guelph Energy Efficiency Retrofit Strategy pilot program to help Guelph homeowners make energy efficiency improvements to their homes by providing up-front funding support which will be paid back at low-interest rates though property tax bills;
  • The use of 10 hybrid gas-electric cars in the City fleet – half of the City’s fleet of cars- and the construction of Guelph’s first electric vehicle charging station at Stone Road Mall in 2012; and
  • Improvements to cycling infrastructure that earned the City a Share the Road Cycling Coalition Silver Award in 2014, and which continue to be a focus for improving transportation in the community.

Guelph City Council recently endorsed joining the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, an international alliance of cities and local governments with a shared commitment to measurable climate and energy initiatives. Members of the Global Covenant commit to set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to implement and report on plans to achieve those targets. In Guelph, this work is already underway as part of the CEI update.

In early March, Mayor Guthrie and City staff participated in a Change for Climate Summit in Edmonton, which was hosted by the Global Covenant of Mayors in partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Mayor of Edmonton. At the Summit, Mayors from across Canada and around the world discussed how municipalities can influence research efforts and address data gaps on climate change. While in Edmonton and Vancouver, Mayor Guthrie also met with municipal active transportation staff to learn about those cities’ bicycle infrastructure, trails, and transit programs.

The GLOBE Climate Leadership Awards were presented with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal department of Environment and Climate Change, and in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Business Council of Canada, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.


“Guelph is walking the talk when it comes to climate change and energy, and I’m proud our efforts have been recognized with this prestigious national award. This award belongs to our whole community. As we continue to show leadership on this file, we continue to connect with other cities, share data and metrics, and find solutions to common problems..”
– City of Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie

“In Guelph, we’re all environmental leaders. We see efforts to address climate change from individual community members, big and small local business, and from our City’s administration and Council. The initiatives we’re being recognized for with this award are the result of enormous staff effort and community involvement.”
– Derrick Thomson, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Guelph

“Businesses and municipalities across Canada are at the forefront of action on climate change. I’m proud to recognize these exceptional local and corporate leaders working hard to reduce carbon pollution, promote more sustainable practices, and put clean energy solutions into action. Their innovation, creativity, and leadership will help inspire others to take action – making our communities stronger, creating new jobs and business opportunities, and growing Canada’s clean economy.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“These outstanding Canadian businesses and municipalities are shining examples of what leadership in the 21st century looks like. They are paving the way for other organizations to not only survive but thrive in the clean economy.”
– Mike Gerbis, CEO, GLOBE Series


2018 GLOBE Climate Leadership Award news release
City of Guelph application for the 2018 GLOBE Climate Leadership Award
Supporting video for award application


Image shows a group of 12 people standing in front of a waterside view

The 2018 GLOBE Climate Leadership Awards recipients. Photo by John Lehmann.

People standing in a line in front of a screen

Guelph accepts it’s GLOBE Forum award for Large Municipal Trailblazer Climate Leadership. Left to right: Mike Gerbis, CEO GLOBE Series; Brock Carlton, CEO of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities; Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie; Deputy CEO Scott Stewart, City of Guelph; Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna.


GLOBE Series is a Canadian-based convener of events that educate, empower, and connect leaders in pursuit of a cleaner, more prosperous world. Since 1990, our events have brought together over 170,000 participants from business, government and civil society across 97 countries. GLOBE Series’ flagship event is GLOBE Forum, North America’s largest and longest-running Leadership Summit for Sustainable Business, which takes place in Vancouver every two years. For more information visit, follow us on Twitter @GLOBE Series

Media contact

Alex Chapman, Manager, Climate Change Office
Corporate Energy, Facilities Management
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3324
[email protected]