Guelph continues to take strides towards environmental sustainability

Guelph is committed to protecting the environment and the City’s release of its 2021 Environmental Sustainability Report confirms that efforts to conserve natural resources within the community and build a sustainable future are making a difference.

“Environmental sustainability is a priority for the City and the community,” says Mari MacNeil, manager, Compliance and Performance, Environmental Services. “And it’s not just on paper. We’re taking action—large and small—every day to move us closer to reaching our sustainability targets including the Race To Zero.”

The report highlights the outcomes of the City’s work related to:

  • energy and climate change
  • waste management
  • stormwater management
  • sustainable transportation
  • urban forest and natural heritage management
  • wastewater services
  • water conservation

2021 accomplishments

  • Adding 20 public electric vehicle chargers across Guelph and upgrading electrical infrastructure for charging electric buses
  • Keeping 38,873 tonnes (about one third the weight of the CN Tower or 6,500 elephants) of organic garbage out of landfills and converting it into 7,045 tonnes (1,000 elephants) of compost
  • Adding 3.3 kilometres of on-road bike lanes to our existing active transportation network totaling 117 kilometres (about the distance from Guelph to Niagara Falls)
  • Installing 18 wildlife tunnels to protect animals along busy Guelph roads
  • Reusing 3,522 tonnes (600 elephants) of biosolids from wastewater as farm fertilizer
  • Planting 6,450 trees and shrubs in Guelph’s parks and natural areas
  • Saving 205 cubic metres (1,500 bathtubs) per day of drinkable water through efficiency programs

The 2021 Environmental Sustainability Report also outlines the environmental impact of resuming City programs, services and facilities following the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, many City facilities were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore used less resources than a typical year. From January to December 2021, annual greenhouse gas emissions increased 3.6 per cent compared to 2020. The 2021 greenhouse gas emissions are lower than 2019 and 2018 however, which shows the actions the City is taking are working.

“At the City, we’re reducing GHG emissions produced through our operations, building and maintenance infrastructure,” adds Bryan Ho-Yan, manager, Corporate Energy and Climate Change. “Climate change requires action by everyone and the City offers many programs to help mitigate climate change. We encourage the community to explore these options and join us on our Race To Zero.”

To learn more about the City’s environmental sustainability work, visit

Media contact

Mari MacNeil, Manager, Performance and Compliance
Environmental Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2284
[email protected]