and Climate Action
The Toronto District School Board is dedicated to preparing young people for their future and recognizes its
obligation to respond to the escalating climate crisis with education, action and leadership.
History of Climate Action and Sustainability at the TDSB
Click items for more information, and
Environmental Policy adopted
The Environmental Policy commits the Board to an ongoing alignment between
teaching and learning, and the operation of schools to develop whole school ecologically
communities and a healthy, sustainable society.
TDSB EcoSchools program created
created with a very broad scope covering not only what is taught about the environment, but also
we run our schools and how we design and use our schools grounds.
Partners help support school-ground greening
plays a pivotal role in helping the TDSB to reduce its carbon footprint
adapt to climate change. Through collaboration with external partners, the TDSB is able to
the quality of school grounds and support an investment that will increase in value over time.
TDSB helps establish Ontario EcoSchools
In 2005, the TDSB shares the EcoSchools program with a group of Ontario school boards and York
to expand program delivery throughout the province. (As of 2019, this program becomes
Energy Conservation Report approved
Energy Conservation Report
highlights work completed by TDSB staff and others during the
school year. In addition to presenting the Board’s strengths, it lists the main areas for
and the steps being taken in response to these challenges.
Large Tree Program launched
Through the Large
, approximately 2500 large native
shade trees have been planted at 250 TDSB schools. These trees offer many other benefits: making
grounds attractive, providing habitats for biodiversity, reducing stormwater runoff, and shading
buildings and play areas.
Go Green: Climate Action Plan approved
The Go Green: Climate Action Plan is developed in response to the revised
Environment Policy with its explicit emphasis on climate change. This document provides a plan
action the Board’s commitment to sustaining the environment, focusing on mitigation, adaptation,
Environmental Legacy Fund (ELF) created
Authorized with the approval of the Go Green: Climate Change Action Plan, the Environmental
is used to support high-impact projects related to active transportation,
professional learning, urban forest management, school-initiated projects, information
energy initiatives. Income from the sale of carbon credits, electricity produced by solar
(PV) projects and hazardous waste is directed into the fund, as are environmental grants. The
been critical to the success of many TDSB sustainability and climate actions.
Sustainability Office created
The Sustainability Office is created as part of the Go Green: Climate Action Plan. The office works on wide-ranging programs
initiatives including environmental education and key partnerships, as well as on-the-ground
related to school grounds, energy use, renewable energy, waste management and purchasing.
Environmental Sustainability Community Advisory Committee established
established as a direct result of the
Go Green: Climate Action Plan, which calls for a committee to provide
expertise to staff and trustees as they work towards meeting environmental goals.
Solar PV systems installed on school rooftops
TDSB begins investment in renewable energy with the initial installation of solar PV systems at
schools. Since those first installations, a further 340 TDSB schools have had solar PV systems
on their rooftops.
Environmental Education AQ launched
TDSB collaborates with Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of
Education Additional Qualification courses
. These courses help educators increase their
to implement environmental curriculum and foster student ecological literacy. Following the
this first "EEAQ" course, further courses (Part 2 and 3) are developed, enabling educators to
Specialists in Environmental Education.
Urban Forestry Management Plan created
Guided by the Urban Forest Management Plan, the TDSB commits significant resources to
planting and tree maintenance, including programs to control the spread of the invasive pests,
summer watering and mulching programs.
Charter for ASST approved
The Board of Trustees approves the Charter for Active, Safe and Sustainable Transportation (ASST) to tackle the decline
students walking and cycling to school, and implement activities and supports to encourage
Saw Mill launched
In response to trees killed by the invasive Emerald Ash Borer, the TDSB launches an on-site
using TDSB Skilled Trades staff to repurpose the wood from fallen trees. Lumber
saw mill is used to create school ground seating, and to support student learning in technical
Project Refill launched
To support schools in curbing the use of plastic water bottles, EcoSchools creates Project
, a reusable water bottle refill program. By providing select schools with water
refill stations, this project helps schools move from landfill to refill.
Joint Management-Labour Environmental Committee created
The JMLEC is
to leverage the knowledge that TDSB workers have of their workplaces and work processes, and
that expertise with the broader knowledge of management. The goal of the collaboration is to
informed decisions towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions by identifying feasible approaches
innovations to the workplace.
Energy Conservation Plan published
The Energy Conservation & Demand Management Plan documents some of the work
reduce energy consumption across the TDSB in a five-year reporting period from 2013/2014 to
The report highlights the drop in overall energy use at TDSB buildings, mainly as a result of
to heating and hot water systems in schools, which significantly reduce the TDSB’s use of
Ontario EcoSchools becomes EcoSchools Canada
The EcoSchools program, first pioneered by the TDSB, expands to schools across the country. TDSB
Sustainability Office staff continues to advise the development of the national
EcoSchools Canada program.
Environmental Education Webinars created
The EcoSchools team, in collaboration with colleagues at OISE’s Environmental and Sustainability
Education Initiative, create a
to help shift environmental learning to the virtual world during the time of
closures. A wide range of environmentally themed topics are explored.
TDSB replaces 800 drinking fountains with water bottle filling stations
TDSB receives COVID19 Resilience Funding to bring all schools up to a standard of 1 water
for every 250 students. The TDSB plumbing team replaces over 800
fountains with water bottle filling stations/fountains, at 479 schools.
TDSB joins EcoSchools Canada certification
For the first time ever, TDSB schools are invited to participate in the EcoSchools
program. Schools can engage in environmental learning and climate action
working on their certification application with the national EcoSchools program.
TDSB co-hosts EECOM Conference
The Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication
four-day online conference took place from April 21-24, and was proudly hosted
partnership with the TDSB’s Sustainability Office,
, the Ontario Institute of
at the University of Toronto, and Natural Curiosity. The focus was Exploring
Nature of Cities: Urban Environmental Education in Action
— with most of the
population living in urban areas, helping citizens understand their impact on the environments
they live is key to making cities more sustainable and liveable.
Annual Report 2021: Climate Action is presented to Board
The Annual Report 2021: Climate Action outlines 22 key actions the TDSB will undertake in response to the climate crisis. Actions are divided into six focus areas to address whole institution engagement and specifically target lowering the TDSB’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Youth Climate Action Guide is launched
The TDSB Youth Climate Action Guide was developed to assist youth with mobilizing their communities towards equitable climate action.
Youth Climate Action Grants
The City of Toronto Youth
Climate Action Grants
provides funding to support Toronto District School Board (TDSB)
activities and events that directly or indirectly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Grants
available for each eligible project.
Annual Report 2022: Climate Action is presented to Board
The Annual Report 2022: Climate Action, outlines 24 key actions the TDSB will undertake in response to the climate crisis. Actions are divided into seven focus
areas to address whole institution engagement and specifically target lowering the TDSB’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions..