Posted June 1, 2009

Sustainable Waterloo Launches with Six Founding Partners

WATERLOO REGION- Sustainable Waterloo is pleased to announce six Founding Partners. As a not-for-profit, Sustainable Waterloo's mandate is to guide businesses in Waterloo Region toward a more environmentally sustainable future.

The collaborative spirit of Waterloo Region is exemplified by Sustainable Waterloo's Founding Partners: Wilfrid Laurier University's CMA Centre for Responsible Organizations, Virtual Causeway, Manulife Financial, Waterloo North Hydro Inc, the City of Kitchener, and Ernst & Young. Each partner contributed $10,000 of initial project funding towards Sustainable Waterloo and the launch of its Regional Carbon Initiative.

"Sustainable Waterloo is a pioneer for active change and dedication to the environment in Waterloo Region. Its vision of collaborating with all sectors demonstrates their keen understanding that cooperation is the first step to change," explains Barry Colbert, Director of Wilfrid Laurier University's CMA Centre for Responsible Organizations.

Virtual Causeway notes that their partnership is an opportunity to unite the high-tech community in a cause that makes business sense. "Sustainability in the environment means sustainability in industry" says Rick Endrulat, President of Virtual Causeway. Endrulat appreciates the enthusiasm and tenacity of Sustainable Waterloo's Executive Director, Mike Morrice. "He is a passionate individual and is very committed to the organization's cause. I have confidence in Mike's ability to make this initiative a success and I look forward to being part of its positive results."

The contributions of Founding Partners have made possible the development of Sustainable Waterloo's Regional Carbon Initiative, which facilitates voluntary target-setting and reductions of carbon emissions in organizations across Waterloo Region. Members of The Regional Carbon Initiative will be provided with a carbon accounting and reporting tool, quarterly educational forums and technical workshops, a directory of Waterloo Region environmental services professionals, and inclusion in consolidated reporting and public recognition, as merited. Through this initiative, the six Founding Partners are helping to showcase Waterloo Region as not just a technologically innovative community, but a forerunner in environmental sustainability as well.

Manulife Canada's President and CEO Paul Rooney agrees: "We're proud to partner with an organization like Sustainable Waterloo and embrace this local, collaborative solution to climate change. Waterloo Region is an entrepreneurial hub and Sustainable Waterloo's innovative business model is one that we're proud to support in order to help foster a healthy and environmentally sustainable community."

Rene Gatien, Waterloo North Hydro's CEO, adds, "In the energy business we are constantly reminded of the environmental consequences of our actions. For this reason we are thrilled to partner with an organization that is starting to encourage the reduction of carbon emissions. Today industry needs to be forward thinking to recognize that greening the environment is not only good for the planet, but it's also good for business."

City of Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr applauds how this partnership will help make Kitchener a greener place to live and work saying, "The Sustainable Waterloo approach can be seen as a model for communities across the country to follow. I am happy to see the Regional Carbon Initiative bring the local municipalities together to benefit the citizens, industries and environment of Waterloo Region."

Ernst & Young's Bill Demers, Partner, Assurance and Advisory Business Services, discusses the business aspect of the Regional Carbon Initiative, stating, "This approach is proactive and Waterloo Region is a great place for it to start. Lowering carbon emissions now will help all involved organizations in the future and compliments Ernst & Young's commitment to promoting corporate awareness of climate change and sustainability."

Sustainable Waterloo will celebrate these Founding Partners and the launch of the Regional Carbon Initiative at an event at the Waterloo Inn from 5 until 7 p.m. on Tuesday June 16. More information about the launch can be found at:

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