City of Ottawa approves new framework for green and social projects

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By Robin MacLennan

Ottawa Construction News staff writer

The City of Ottawa has approved a new framework for green and social projects, which will allow the city to finance sustainable developments across the city, says Mayor Jim Watson.

“Implementing sustainable frameworks move us closer to a greener, more resilient and livable future that helps our future generations thrive,” Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe said in a statement in late February.

“The City of Ottawa continues to lead in the Canadian municipal green bond market. And today I reiterate Council’s commitment to promote our green and sustainable efforts. The Sustainable Debenture Framework allows us to finance and refinance eligible green and social projects, aligning our investments with the principles of sustainability and community well-being.”

The new Sustainable Debenture Framework will help the city reach its goal of making Ottawa a more sustainable, resilient, and livable future. The framework includes updated eligibility criteria for green and social project types, as well as new social use of proceeds categories.

For example, the framework now allows the city to issue green, social, and sustainability debentures to finance projects that are designed to improve the quality of life for residents, including affordable basic infrastructure, capital assets for essential services, and social and affordable housing assets.

“Under this framework, we will be able to finance capital projects that have green, social or a combination of green and social benefits. The amount of these projects continues to rise, and now we will be able to have a clear view to the projected environmental and social impacts that will result from them,” said Coun. Shawn Menard, chair of Environment and Climate Change Committee.

The city says the new framework is a key element of its plan to deliver sustainable development for residents and future generations.

By investing in green and social projects, the city is committed to making Ottawa a more livable and sustainable community that is resilient to climate change, flooding, and other environmental impacts.

The framework also aligns with the city’s commitment to promoting environmental sustainability and climate action. By investing in green and social projects, the city is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality for residents.

The new Sustainable Debenture Framework is an important step forward for the City of Ottawa in its efforts to achieve its sustainability goals. By allowing the city to finance green and social projects, the framework will help to drive environmental sustainability and improve the quality of life for residents for generations to come.

The city became the first Canadian municipality to issue a Green Bond in November 2017, and has since issued four Green Bonds totalling more than $1 billion.

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