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Environmental Sustainability

Focus Area 1:  Environmental Sustainability:  Protect and enhance the environment

What did we hear?

The environment is very important to residents living in Waterloo Region. They understand the role that growth and other factors have on the environment and recognize that a healthy natural environment is essential to the quality of life the public is seeking. 

Environmental Sustainability Priorities identified include:

  • Support and continue to improve recycling, reuse and waste reduction programs.
  • Protect our drinking water.
  • Improve our air quality and reduce green house gas emissions.
  • Work collaboratively across all sectors to protect and enhance the environment.  
  • Restore and preserve green space, agricultural land and sensitive environmental areas.

What are we doing?  

Clean air, water, land and green spaces are critical to keeping Waterloo Region healthy, sustainable and livable.  The Region of Waterloo will consider the environment in all of its decisions and will work with area municipalities and other community partners to foster community stewardship of the natural environment.

1.1 Integrate environmental considerations into the Region's decision-making.  
1.1.1 Develop and implement an integrated funding program to support community based environmental initiatives. greenindicator
1.1.2 Implement the Region's green purchasing initiative to promote and encourage the use and purchase of environmentally responsible products. greenindicator


1.2 Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work to improve air quality.  
1.2.1 Implement the Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Regional operations. greenindicator
1.2.2 Assist in development and implementation of a Community Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Action Plan and Reduction Target. greenindicator
1.2.3 Develop an Energy Reduction Plan for Water and Wastewater facilities. greenindicator
1.2.4 Pilot test technology to reduce idling in Regional fleet. greenindicator
1.3  Reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.  
1.3.1 Develop the Waste Management Master Plan including the evaluation of alternative disposal technologies (e.g. energy from waste) and considering additional materials for recycling. greenindicator
1.3.2  Evaluate and consider enhancements to the Green Bin/Green Cart Program.  greenindicator
1.4 Protect the quality and the quantity of our drinking water sources.  
1.4.1 Complete the Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades in Kitchener and Waterloo to improve effluent quality and reduce impacts on the Grand River. greenindicator
1.4.2 Integrate the Provincial Water Protection Strategy and Regional Source Protection Plan to minimize the risk of historic, existing and future land uses on municipal water supplies. greenindicator
1.4.3 Update and continue to implement the Water Efficiency Master Plan. greenindicator
1.5 Restore and preserve green space, agricultural land and sensitive environmental areas.  
1.5.1 Develop implementation guidelines for Environmental Impact Statements under the new Regional Official Plan. greenindicator
1.5.2 Complete operating plans for all Regional forests. greenindicator
1.5.3 Foster partnerships to promote and protect Waterloo Region's environmentally sensitive lands (e.g. rare Charitable Research Reserve, Grand River Corridor, Conservation Easements, potential land trust, etc.) greenindicator
1.5.4 Work in partnership with various stakeholders to develop policies, and programs to provide shade (e.g. tree canopy) in our communities. greenindicator


greenindicator   Strong progress achieved   2011-2014 Strategic Plan (PDF)
yellowindicator   Moderate progress achieved   2011-2014 Strategic Plan (RTF)
redindicator   Progress needed   2011-2014 Strategic Plan (Flash)