A green recovery needs a robust building workforce
New coalition will fast-track the workforce needed to build a low-carbon Ontario
Toronto, ON – July 23, 2020 – As governments look to stimulus investments in infrastructure as a vehicle for economic recovery, there is an opportunity to support Ontario’s workforce to ensure the building industry can help meet Canada’s climate goals and create jobs, with equity and inclusion at the forefront. Workforce 2030, which launched today, brings together a broad, cross-sectoral coalition of employers, educators, and workers in the building sector in an unprecedented collaboration to fast-track workforce development.
Workforce 2030’s goal is to accelerate workforce capacity by collectively impacting government policy, business practices, and education. The Coalition is catalyzed by The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) and Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).
The building industry is a proven cornerstone of economic recovery, able to mobilize shovel-worthy projects such as building retrofits and new low-carbon construction. The industry can play a critical role in Ontario’s recovery by getting people to work while helping reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, create healthier buildings, and improve resilience.
According to CaGBC research, government investment in a green recovery that prioritizes green building combined with progressive policy leadership could, by 2030, lead to over 600,000 direct green building jobs in Ontario and 1.5 million jobs nationally.
While the pandemic has the world’s focus, this remains the critical decade for climate action. Buildings can significantly contribute to Canada’s efforts to reduce carbon, as they account for almost 30 per cent of the country’s GHG emissions when including operations, construction, and materials. In urban centers such as Toronto, approximately half of all emissions come from homes and buildings. An investment in green building will create jobs that will be in demand for years to come as Canada transitions toward a low-carbon economy.
Workforce 2030 is funded by TAF and the Catherine Donnelly Foundation. The coalition work is guided by a senior leadership group of foundational partners, through an Advisory Board.
Workforce 2030 Advisory Board of Foundational Partners
- Julia Langer, CEO, The Atmospheric Fund (TAF)
- Akua Schatz, VP, Market Engagement and Advocacy, Canada Green Building Council
- John Cartwright, President, Toronto and York Region Labour Council
- Roselle Martino, Vice President, Policy, Toronto Region Board of Trade
- Sandro Perruzza, CEO of Ontario Society of Professional Engineers
- Andrew Pariser, VP and expert in labour relations, Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON)
- Tony Cupido, Research Chair, Sustainability, Mohawk College and Board Member, Canada Green Building Council
- Rosemarie Powell, Executive Director, Toronto Community Benefits Network
- Bala Gnanam, Vice President – Energy, Environment & Advocacy, Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA Toronto)
- Steven Martin, Business Manager, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 353
- Mike Yorke, President, Carpenters District Council of Ontario
- Surabhi Jain, Executive Director, Toronto Workforce Funder Collaborative
- Corey Diamond, Executive Director, Efficiency Canada
- Dr. Yogendra Chaudhry, Vice President, Professional Services, Eco Canada
CaGBC is the leading national organization dedicated to advancing green building and sustainable community development practices. As the voice of green building in Canada, CaGBC works closely with its members to make every building greener. CaGBC reduces environmental impacts from the built environment through project certification, advocacy and research, and has helped meet the demand for skilled workers by providing green building education to more than 45,000 professionals across the country since 2002. CaGBC established the LEED® green building rating system in Canada and developed the country’s first Zero Carbon Building Standard. It also oversees the Canada Coalition for Green Schools and is a member of the World Green Building Council supporting international efforts to reduce environmental impacts from the built environment. For more information: cagbc.org.
About The Atmospheric Fund
The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) is a regional climate agency that invests in low-carbon solutions for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and helps scale them up for broad implementation. We are experienced leaders and collaborate with stakeholders in the private, public and non-profit sectors who have ideas and opportunities for reducing carbon emissions. Supported by endowment funds, we advance the most promising concepts by investing, providing grants, influencing policies and running programs. We’re particularly interested in ideas that offer benefits in addition to carbon reduction such as improving people’s health, creating local jobs, boosting urban resiliency, and contributing to a fair society.