The impact of investing in sustainable business

TAF Board of, Directors: Jason Kotler, Susan McLean, Jacoline Loewen, Keri Diamond, Mik Layton 
The Atmospheric Fund (TAF)  mandate is to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto and GTA, supporting the City of Toronto’s target to reduce city-wide emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. TAF invests its endowment based on a Council-approved investment policy overseen by a blue-chip volunteer investment committee.
"Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, TAF was the brainchild of a City Council led by Mayor Art Eggleton which created the agency in 1991 and endowed it with $23 million from the sale of surplus City property. TAF has invested the capital ever since, using the returns to seed innovative projects, advance game-changing policies, and demonstrate and de-risk low-carbon solutions to help the City achieve its ambitious climate targets. The endowment has been invested three times over supporting over $50 million in community grants and investments and shaving $60 million off the City’s operating budget. All this at no cost to the taxpayer.
What are the two lessons Canada’s senior governments can learn from TAF’s success?
First, a strategic focus is essential. TAF produced Toronto’s first GHG inventory which revealed waste as a key source of emissions. As a result, Toronto became one of the first cities in the world to capture methane leaking from landfills and turn it into green power, simultaneously shrinking a major GHG source and creating a new revenue stream.
Second, seeing is believing. The adoption of new green technologies or programmatic approaches carries inherent risks that are more appropriately advanced by an independent innovation group like TAF. If a new initiative fails, municipal staff who champion the innovation may fear being sidelined. Pilot projects designed at TAF to test and verify results de-risked new technologies. Thus, a wide variety of advanced technologies have been adopted across the city, from industrial wind and solar electricity generation at Exhibition Place, to LED traffic signals, to electric vehicle adoption in Toronto’s fleets." Read the full article here.
Julia Langer, CEO of TAF, said it was wonderful to have so many current Board members of The Toronto Atmospheric Fund attend the TAF@25 celebration.  There were about 400 people in the room from the business, technology, finance, environmental and government sectors demonstrating TAF’s broad network. 
Sandra was an excellent emcee, and thanks to gamesmaster Mike Layton for making the carbon poker game a hit.  
Above all, thank you to the CEO of TAF, Julie Langer, who leads with passion but also great organizational ability.

Please find our TAF celebration press release here and see highlights from Twitter here

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