EarthCare Sudbury Partner Profile
Greater Sudbury Development Corporation
The goal of the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation (GSDC) is to strengthen economic development and quality of life in the Greater Sudbury area. The GSDC works toward this goal by attracting investment to Greater Sudbury and promoting the region's comparative advantages. Providing seed funding to facilitate new business development and support the expansion of current business, and the brokering of partnerships to encourage continued economic diversification are also important functions of the organization in Greater Sudbury.
Greater Sudbury's history of environmental renewal lends the community to being a champion of environmental innovation. The community's strong industrial presence supported by the local mining industry has created niche market commercialization opportunities for the development of new technologies. In 2003, the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation adopted the promotion of Eco-Industrial and Renewable Energy opportunities as one of the 'Engines” of its Strategic Economic Development Plan. Through this, Greater Sudbury has adopted many characteristics conducive to becoming an incubator for environmental technology, renewable energy, and ‘green' engineering and construction techniques.
Eco-Industrial Networking Strategy
We've all heard the adage that one person's trash is another person's treasure. Two years ago the GSDC initiated and funded an Eco-industrial Waste Streams Study to see how much ‘treasure' was being disposed of by the City's private and public sector businesses and institutions. The purpose of the study was to identify existing sources of industrial waste in Greater Sudbury and determine possible resource synergies where one business could benefit through the sharing of consumer, commercial and industrial waste streams. The study, completed in 2007 led to the development of an Eco-industrial Database, an online ‘synergy-finder' that lists the needs and by-products of 100 local businesses and plots their locations on a GIS-based map. It is a virtual networking tool that is helping local businesses find value in their waste products.
Green Mines, Green Energy Project
The Green Mines, Green Energy Project is a specific example of a project that reflects this eco-industrial model. With over a dozen mines operating inside City limits, tailings cover thousands of hectares in Greater Sudbury. Tailings rust when exposed to oxygen and therefore leach toxic contaminants into the land and water where they are stored. This is not only damaging to the environment, but also prevents the land surrounding a tailings pond from being used productively. However, a reclamation strategy is currently being tested that will neutralize the toxicity of tailings areas while putting the land to profitable use.
Natural Resources Canada has completed several months of preliminary research on the possible outcomes of covering the tailings with a deep cover of organic matter capable of supporting the growth of oilseed crops. The crops would be sold to the bio-fuels industry to make bio-diesel or ethanol. Field trails have begun at Vale Inco Ltd. and Xstrata Nickel, and MIRARCO and CANMET Mining and Mineral Sciences Laboratories will oversee subsequent research. The Greater Sudbury Development Corporation is one of several co-funders for this multi-million dollar project.
Achievements and Outcomes
After several years of helping Greater Sudbury pioneer ‘green' economic development initiatives, the GSDC knows what features are necessary for a development strategy to be strong economically as well as environmentally sustainable. Currently, Greater Sudbury is at the forefront in piloting the eco-industrial model. This model will achieve economic and environmental gains for both business and the overall community.
The Greater Sudbury Development Corporation works with a long and varied list of community partners with each project. The City of Greater Sudbury, Laurentian University, Cambrian College and the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce are among the GSDC's most frequent collaborators.
Implementation of the EarthCare Sudbury Local Action Plan (LAP)
Identifying and exploiting waste stream synergies in Greater Sudbury, and promoting waste re-use as a business development strategy are among the economic objectives of the Local Action Plan.