TORONTO, April 22, 2021 /CNW/ - Announced today, Enbridge Gas contributes $50,000 to Forests Ontario on behalf of its new employee-led initiative, the Local Environmental Action Fellowship (Enbridge LEAF) program, and the company's existing Corporate Citizenship program. Aligning with Canada's goals for a greener future and its corporate objective of sustainability, the Enbridge LEAF program takes root on Earth Day 2021 to help reduce its operational carbon footprint.
This year, the contribution from the Enbridge LEAF program will support the planting of 6,250 of tree seedlings (approximately 14 acres, or seven Canadian Football League fields) in four areas where the company has recently expanded its service: Fenelon Falls, Scugog Island, Saugeen First Nations, and North Bay – Northshore/Peninsula Road area.
The planting of 6,250 trees – which represents the estimated number of new customers in these areas who are projected to switch to natural gas in 2021 – will reduce the utility's carbon footprint by almost 300,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2), while supporting environmental stewardship, conservation, and habitat remediation in local communities. The Enbridge LEAF program also aligns with the federal government's plan to plant two billion trees as one way of meeting its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
"Enbridge Gas is committed to protecting our environment, making the transition to a low carbon energy future and targeting net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in our own operations," says Cynthia Hansen, Enbridge EVP and President of Gas Distribution & Storage. "The Enbridge LEAF program is one example of how we're taking measures towards creating a more sustainable future by investing and partnering locally."
While planting a tree may sound simple, ensuring that it can be done on a large scale and in a successful, sustainable, and inclusive manner requires careful planning. Forests Ontario, a non-profit organization focused on tree planting, ecological restoration, and forest education, works in coordination with local seed collectors, nurseries, planting partners, landowners, municipalities, and Indigenous communities to ensure that the right tree is planted in the right place. This means sourcing native stock and choosing the most appropriate species based upon site conditions and objectives.
"Our forests provide so many benefits, and their health is deeply interconnected with our own," said Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario. "The trees planted, communities connected, and students engaged through our dedicated programming will enhance and diversify the landscape; bring awareness to the next generation of forest stewards; and provide local economic opportunities. With support from Enbridge Gas, we will continue to improve the health and resilience of our country's urban and rural forests."
In addition to the Enbridge LEAF program contribution, the utility's Corporate Citizenship Program will sponsor the Forests Ontario's Ontario Envirothon program and Reconciliation Community Tree Plant (RCTP) events. Envirothon is an environmentally themed competition that immerses students in hands-on learning and discovery, enabling students to make informed, responsible decisions that benefit the earth and society. This year's theme is Natural Solutions to Climate Change where students will have the opportunity to explore how natural systems can be used to address climate change including renewable energy. The RCTP provides a platform for Indigenous communities and organizations to tell their stories, while highlighting the importance of reconciliation and its intersection with ecological restoration.
About Enbridge Gas
Enbridge Gas is Canada's largest natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company based in Ontario, with more than 170 years of service to customers. The distribution business provides safe, affordable, reliable energy to about 3.8 million homes, businesses and industries and is leading the transition to a clean energy future through net-zero emissions targets and investments in innovative low-carbon energy solutions. The storage and transmission business offers a variety of storage and transportation services to customers at the Dawn Hub, the largest integrated underground storage facility in Canada and one of the largest in North America. Enbridge Gas is owned by Enbridge Inc., a Canadian-based leader in energy transportation and distribution. Learn more at enbridgegas.com.
SOURCE Enbridge Gas Inc.