Case Study: BCG Helps Toronto Go Green

BCG partnered with the Toronto City Summit Alliance, a nonprofit organization that includes civic leaders from business, NGOs, and government who are dedicated to improving the Toronto region across all dimensions, to find ways to reduce environmental pollution.

The Challenge
BCG was asked to use a data-driven approach to implement actions that can have a large-scale impact on Greater Toronto’s environment. BCG’s engagement focused on three main levers: 1) Providing facts; 2) Developing actions; and 3) Mobilizing resources and launch actions. The challenge was to identify key drivers of environmental damage and identify, prioritize, and implement actions to “green” the overall metropolitan area.

The Solution

The BCG project team developed three key steps for establishing this program: 1) Create a multi-disciplined coalition of local leaders, align it around a common vision, and create structures to use the group effectively; 2) Define key metrics, establish a baseline versus comparable regions, and identify key drivers of environmental damage for each metric; and 3) Generate potential actions to improve the region’s environmental performance, prioritize actions based on potential impact on key drivers, and leverage local leaders to launch the actions. A data-driven approach was used to identify and launch key actions. The BCG team created driver trees to prioritize the actions against five goals: Reduced CO2 emissions, clean air, clean water, reduction and effective management of waste, and sustainable land use.

The Result
The team identified 13 priority actions and assisted in the launch of 4 priority initiatives by building region-wide consensus and identifying partners to manage the initiatives. Several initiatives identified in the action plan have been launched and are well under way, including the carbon offset fund, the commercial building retrofit program and the procurement symposium. Combined, these initiatives could lead to a 10 percent reduction of the Toronto region’s carbon footprint.