ACW releases three new factsheets on climate and work

York University, Toronto – The Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change project is pleased to announce the release of three new factsheets that examine the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in workplaces across the country.

The factsheets cover the environmental challenges of vehicle manufacturing, forestry and the construction and maintenance of our built environment. They are useful to people interested in climate issues, including researchers, students, employers, and workers alike.

“These factsheets will help to educate employers and workers looking for ways to achieve the essential task of reducing the carbon footprint of the workplace,” said Carla Lipsig-Mummé, Project Director and Principal Investigator.

The factsheets are available through: http://www.adaptingcanadianwork.ca/category/factsheet/

For more information, contact:

Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change
Ross North 819, 4700 Keele St.
York University, Toronto, ON, M3J 1P3
416-736-5895
acwinfo@yorku.ca

ACW Factsheet: Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Canadian Forestry

 

Energy use and emissions created by different stages of manufacturing

It is an interesting time to be looking at the topic of emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in Canadian forestry, as 2015 marks the target year, announced in 2007, by which the forest industry had planned to achieve industry-wide carbon neutrality without the purchase of offsetting carbon credits. Whether this goal has been achieved will not be known until late 2016.

Overall, the industry is found to have improved immensely in its emissions intensity, as BC Federation of Labour Executive Director Jim Chorostecki has pointed out. Three trends are highlighted here: fuel switching, improved energy efficiency, and energy systems optimization.

Forestry remains a significant contributor to the Canadian economy. The combination of harvesting, wood manufacturing, and paper manufacturing contributed nearly $20 billion (roughly 1.25%) to Canadian GDP in 2014.

 

Download the factsheet (PDF)

 

ACW Factsheet: Greening Vehicle Manufacturing

 

Reducing the climate impact of producing vehicles in Canada

Canadians are both users and manufacturers of greenhouse gas–emitting passenger vehicles, which connect Canada’s climate efforts to thousands of jobs, and form a substantial part of our manufacturing economy.

Vehicle manufacturing employs over 100,000 Canadians and historically has accounted for over 10 per cent of Canada’s manufacturing GDP.

When it comes to the industry’s impact on the climate, researchers John Holmes and Austin Hracs point out, “The major climate change issue associated with the automotive industry is the use of motor vehicles, not their manufacture”.

 

Download the factsheet (PDF)

 

ACW Baseline Report – Manufacturing (Auto and Forestry)

posted in: Manufacturing, Posts, Reports | 0

by Jim Chorostecki

Executive Director
British Columbia Federation of Labour

 

The group is proposing to study three industries: automotive; food processing; and forestry/pulp and paper. Over the last few months we have been able to complete initial research reviews of the automotive and forestry sectors, the research in the food processing sector is underway. The attached reports reflect the research that has been completed and/or planned.

 

Actions:

 

The next step will be for the manufacturing working group to review research information and determine next steps.  This process will include:

 

1. Identifying projects and assigning leads

2. Determining project methodology and timelines

3. Assigning roles and responsibilities

4. Determining budget needs

5. Assessment and follow-up

 

Auto - Download the full report (PDF) Forestry - Download the full report (PDF)

 

SSHRC awards more than $2.5 million in funding to York-led research partnerships

Carla Lipsig-Mummé, professor of work and labour studies in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, has received more than $2.5 million over seven years through the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Grants program.

Lipsig-Mummé will lead a project titled “Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change: Canada in International Perspective”, which investigates how best Canada’s diverse workplaces can adapt work in order to mitigate greenhouse gases. The project will also examine the changes needed in law and policy, work design and business models for industry and services, to assist the “greening” of workplaces and work. Among the goals of the project, Lipsig-Mummé and her research team hope to develop work-based strategies to reduce greenhouse gases and energy use and integrate international and national best practices into Canadian work. Training for highly qualified work-based environmental change experts is also planned.

“It goes without saying that slowing global warming is a huge issue,” says Lipsig-Mummé. “The world of work has been neglected terrain in responding to climate change, but the structures of work, of modern business organizations, and of unions make it easier, not harder, to adapt work in order to mitigate greenhouse gases. After all, work creates the majority of GHGs produced by human activity in developed countries like Canada.”

The national project, which will also receive more than $2.2 million in matching funding and contributions from partnering organizations, includes 38 individual members and 19 partners in four countries. The team’s partners are labour unions and business organizations, government and public sector organizations, think tanks, universities and environmental groups. Team expertise spans natural and applied sciences, engineering, management, law, environmental studies, social sciences and organizational leadership.

“We are delighted by the results of the recent SSHRC competitions, reflecting York’s leadership in large-scale collaborative research projects,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research and innovation. “Professor Lipsig-Mummé is conducting important research with partners in government, academia and public sector organizations to help workplaces in Canada address important issues of climate change and develop work-based strategies to reduce greenhouse gases and energy use.

Two York researchers also received $313,396 in funding under the Partnership Development Grants Program, which provides support to foster new research and related activities with new or existing partners; and to design and test new partnership approaches for research and/or related activities.

“York University is committed to supporting the growth and development of initiatives to enable the recognition of the University as a Canadian leader in sustainability research,” added Haché.

The announcement was made earlier today by the Honourable Minister of State (Science and Technology) Ed Holder. In total, $44 million is being awarded to support funding for 57 new Partnership Development Grants and 14 Partnership Grants.

For a complete list of Partnership Grant and Partnership Development Grant awards, visit the SSHRC website.

Arielle Zomer, Research Communications, York University, 416-736-2100 ext. 21069, azomer@yorku.ca