TTC Wins Awards for Green Procurement Program

Since implementation of the Green Procurement Policy and Program in July 2008, the TTC has received a considerable amount of recognition for its efforts to promote sustainable development. Most notably, the TTC was featured in the March/April 2010 issue of Summit, Canada's magazine on public sector purchasing, in an article titled Driving Sustainable Transit in Canada through Green Procurement This is an external site and it will open a new window. In October 2010, the TTC was awarded the 2010 Leadership in Green Procurement Award This is an external site and it will open a new window at the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Public Procurement Council (CPPC) in Ottawa, Ontario.

In June 2011, the TTC was recognized with a second award for its Green Procurement Policy and Program at the Canadian Urban Transit Association's (CUTA) Annual Conference in Regina, Saskatchewan. The Innovation Award This is an external site and it will open a new window, one of the 2011 CUTA Corporate Recognition Awards, was designed to highlight successes and achievements related to the introduction, development and use of successful innovative techniques at the organizational level.

All Green Procurement Guides, Forms and Tools Finalized

All Green Procurement Guides, Forms and other resources under development in Phase II of the program have now been finalized and are available for staff to access on the TTC’s Green Procurement intranet site. The Materials & Procurement Department is planning to integrate the guides and forms into a new online procurement tracking system to make it easier for staff to apply green procurement principles and concepts in their purchasing activities in a consistent and effective manner. 

200+ Staff Receive Green Procurement Training

The Green Procurement Working and Steering Committees have worked hard to develop processes and tools that will “hardwire” green procurement into every aspect of the TTC’s purchasing activities.  To date, more than 200 TTC staff across 14 departments have attended a series of green procurement training sessions, and moving forward, will be looking for opportunities to include environmental considerations in all new purchases they make. Examples of green procurement processes and tools covered in the training include:

  • Green procurement guides and checklists for TTC Buyers and User Departments issuing specifications for contracts over 60K;
  • 11 TTC-Wide Environmental Standards on specific product categories (e.g., paper, lubricants, office furniture, lamps and lighting);
  • A total cost of ownership tool that has been tested on 15 green procurement pilot projects; and
  • Tips for researching greener product options.

The green procurement training materials have also been converted to e-learning modules, which will be made available to all TTC staff through the HR Student Centre.

TTC-Wide Paper Reduction Challenge

Throughout 2010, 15 departments participated in the TTC’s inter-departmental Paper Reduction Challenge and worked hard to implement a number of changes, such as making sure that printed documents were double-sided, implementing electronic administrative forms, and reusing paper that was only printed on one side.   

As a result of this, and the use of many other paper reduction “tips”, the 15 departments were able to reduce their paper use by a combined 16% and save $21,600!

When considering the entire life cycle of paper production (logging, pulp & paper manufacturing, packaging, transportation for distribution, use and disposal), this reduction has resulted in the following estimated environmental benefits*:

• Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing four cars from the road for a year...
• Conservation of approximately 200 trees...
• Diversion of a garbage truck 1/2 full of solid waste from going to the landfill...
• And the conservation of an amount of water that could fill more than 2500 bathtubs!

* Environmental impact estimates were made using the Environmental Paper Network's Paper Calculator.  For more information visit

TTC Closes the Loop with Re-refined Lubricants

In December 2009, the TTC signed a three-year contract with Safety-Kleen Canada to recover and re-refine over 1.8 million litres of used lubricants from its operations and reuse them as engine oil in its fleet. This new contract effectively “closes the loop” with regards to the TTC's lubricant needs by reducing the amount of waste oil/lubricants generated by the TTC – ensuring environmentally responsible management of the oil over its full life cycle.

In making the choice to re-refine its waste lubricants, the TTC will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions generated from its fleet by 3,900 metric tonnes – the equivalent of removing 239 passenger vehicles off the road each year.

TTC Reduces Waste with LED Flashlights

The TTC conducted a pilot project to replace conventional radar units used in subway tunnels with more energy efficient LED flashlights that are brighter, last longer and are lighter to carry.  As a result of this switch, the TTC reduced its waste volume and collection costs by 77% and eliminated an estimated 5230 kg of hazardous waste by reducing disposal of 6V batteries. Additional cost savings also arose through reduction in purchases of consumables for the radar flashlights (i.e. high rates of bulb and battery replacements). If implemented across the entire organization, it is estimated that the TTC could save $300,000/yr by switching to LED flashlights.    

TTC Saves Energy with EPEAT Certified IT Equipment

As part of its Green Procurement initiative, the TTC has been incorporating environmental considerations into new contracts with its vendors wherever feasible.  For contracts involving IT equipment, the TTC established environmental specifications involving the provision of Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) compliant computer hardware achieving Bronze registration or higher.

All EPEAT certified products must meet a minimum of 51 environmental criteria across 8 different categories, including: reduction/elimination of environmentally sensitive materials, material selection, design for end of life, product longevity/life extension, energy conservation, end-of-life management, corporate performance, and packaging. 

The TTC purchases a significant amount of IT equipment each year - in one contract alone, the TTC purchased 1,644 IT products (e.g. desktop computers, laptops, desktop monitors) in 2009.  The estimated benefits of purchasing the same number of EPEAT Bronze products over the products' life cycle include (benefits were estimated using the Electronics Environmental Benefits Calculator (EEBC) available at:

• Energy savings of 663,000 kWh, equivalent to powering 55 U.S. households for one year;
• Cost savings of $62,744;
• Greenhouse gas emission savings of 126,000 kg of CO2eq, equivalent to removing 85 passenger cars off the road for a year;
• Primary material savings of 1.2 million kg, equivalent to the weight of 1,919 refrigerators; and
• Toxic material savings of 58 kg, equivalent to the weight of 29 bricks.

Online Pay Statements Conserve Paper

In August 2010, the TTC’s Payroll and Benefit Accounting Department made it possible for employees to access pay statements online through Canada Post’s epost service.  Apart from the convenience of staff being able to access statements at any time, there is a significant opportunity to reduce paper consumption, which means employees can reduce waste, greenhouse gas emissions and water and energy use.
Before introducing online pay statements, the Finance Department issued about 9,500 weekly statements and 2,500 bi-weekly statements.  Each statement is comprised of one letter-size sheet of paper and an envelope. Annually, this consumed 1.17 million sheets of paper and envelopes, or a total of 5.85 tons of paper.