Select language

Finalist World Award - Category Air

Submitted by: CivicAction
Country: Canada

Race to reduce

For over 10 years, CivicAction has brought together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle some of the toughest social, economic, and environmental challenges in the Toronto region, Canada’s largest urban center. It sets a non-partisan agenda, builds strategic partnerships, and launches campaigns, programs, and organizations that transform the region. Its 2008 environmental report indicated that office buildings consume 37% of electricity and 17% of natural gas and account for nearly one third of the Toronto region’s carbon emissions.
Armed with this data, CivicAction brought the full spectrum of office building stakeholders to the table to identify and address barriers to broader adoption of energy efficiency measures, and proposed the formation of a leadership council that would develop solutions to these barriers. The smart energy office challenge Race to Reduce was launched which is an innovative initiative that challenges Toronto Region’s commercial office sector to publicly commit to collectively reduce energy use by at least 10% over four years. Designed to align with government and market interests and address primary barriers to energy reduction within commercial office buildings, the Race to Reduce is the second largest regional energy reduction challenge in the world. It fosters unprecedented collaboration between landlords and tenants as a model for sustainable working, by encouraging results-based performance in energy reduction.
The Race to Reduce has made a significant impact on the region’s commercial office sector, with over 32% participating. Since its launch in May 2011, the Race has attracted over 600 landlord and tenant participants and over 176 buildings, representing 67.8 million square feet. In just two short years, Race participants have collectively reduced their energy use by 9%, one point away from the four-year target. This equates to savings of over 139,026,000 ekWh or a reduction of 17,000 metric tons of GHG emissions, and to savings of over $ 10 million dollars over the four-year period, with annual savings of almost $ 11 million in perpetuity. The Race and its foundation of landlord-tenant collaboration is serving as a catalyst for the transformation of energy use practices in the marketplace locally, nationally, and internationally.


  • Project: Race to reduce
    Applicant: CivicAction
    Country: Canada

  • Project: Electric powered lorry for daily carriage of goods
    Applicant: Coop Gruppe Genossenschaft (Coop Group Cooperative)
    Country: Switzerland

  • Project: Winery Galant: smart show piece for energy efficiency
    Applicant: Jiří Marian
    Country: Czech Republic

string(6) "Canada"