Canadian town, bridge over river.

GMF helps Canadian municipalities and their partners switch to sustainable practices faster.

FCM’s Green Municipal Fund (GMF) turns 20 years old this year. For two decades, we’ve had the privilege of working alongside municipal governments, helping them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and manage the growing impacts of climate change. 

With GMF funding, training and resources, municipalities and their partners have brought more than 1,360 sustainability projects to life. 

That’s 1,360 ways local governments have protected their communities from flooding, restored contaminated sites to productive use, increased access to clean drinking water, reduced pollution, minimized waste and driven cost-saving energy efficiency. It’s also 1,360 ways municipalities have created significant employment opportunities, generating income for their residents and for Canada. GMF-funded projects and programs have employed thousands of Canadians in our first 20 years and will continue to do so in the years to come.

Employment generated
12,000+

person-years of employment created

Income earned
$560.2 million

in wages and salaries paid to households

GHG reductions
2.7 million

tonnes of GHG emissions avoided

Equivalent of taking
608,000
cars off the road

Energy saved
860,125

gigajoules of energy saved per year

Equivalent to a year of power for
9,299
households

Wastewater and drinking water treated
244,752,512

cubic metres of water treated

Equivalent to
97,900
Olympic-size swimming pools

Waste diverted from landfill
173,596

tonnes of waste diverted per year

Equivalent to the contents of
24,800
garbage trucks

Soil, groundwater and sediment managed
191,768

cubic metres of soil, groundwater and sediment managed

Equivalent to the contents of
4,900
shipping containers

Land reclaimed
94

hectares of land reclaimed

Equivalent to
158
football fields

Compendium case studies

We're proud of the role we play in bringing proven, sustainable, municipal solutions to the foreground, and are keen to share our successes with you. In celebration of our 20th anniversary, we've gathered case studies of 20 outstanding examples of municipal environmental leadership into a compendium. Some of those stories are featured below. They're inspiring examples of what municipalities can achieve using GMF's funding and capacity-building offers. May these stories inspire projects in your community!

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Journey of 1,000+ projects

GMF is a genuine Canadian success story—unfolding as a steady progression of projects that municipalities of all sizes have implemented in their communities with GMF support. 

The Greater Vancouver Regional District (now Metro Vancouver Regional District) got the ball rolling with our very first funded project: a feasibility study assessing the benefits of solar thermal heating systems for municipal swimming pools. Many other municipalities and their partners have followed suit—experimenting, learning, innovating and setting their sights ever higher. 

Where we once saw local governments increasing the energy performance of their buildings by 15 to 20 percent, we now see them building net-zero facilities. Projects to boost biofuel use in municipal fleets have rolled into strategies to adopt electric garbage trucks and buses. As municipalities have gotten more proficient and ambitious, we have adapted our support to meet them where they are and help take them to where they want to go. 

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20 years of learning

As we evolved our funding offerings to meet the changing needs of municipalities, we also deepened our capacity-building support to help them implement better projects, faster. 

When the Government of Canada endowed FCM’s Green Municipal Fund to support its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce GHGs, municipal governments were looking for support to achieve their own environmental goals. So from the beginning, GMF was designed to provide municipalities not only with much-needed funding for sustainable initiatives, but also with training and resources to make their financial investments go further. 

Over 20 years, our conferences, workshops, webinars and web meetings have expanded their reach, and our funded-projects database and publications have grown to include more inspiring GMF case studies. In some sectors, we collect and share a broad range of information. In others, such as brownfields, we go deeper to help municipalities overcome sector-specific challenges. Always, we strive to ensure our funding recipients know how to design and implement sustainability initiatives on their own—and we are tremendously proud of the progress municipalities have made. 

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Scaling the benefits, extending the value

We are preoccupied with scaling the benefits of municipal projects and extending their value to communities across Canada. We have spent two decades working to make the pathway for public investments more efficient for municipalities. We know that the faster we can move local governments toward proven approaches to planning and launching projects, the better their projects will be. And fewer delays and fewer cost overruns mean better use of public funds. 

We’re excited to tell you about this inspiring work. That’s why we’re sharing this compendium of exceptional GMF-funded sustainability initiatives that have benefited communities of all sizes across Canada. Their successes inspire us all.

It has been our absolute pleasure to be municipal governments’ long-time sustainability supporter these past 20 years, and we look forward to never retiring.  

Looking ahead

No matter their location or size, municipalities are ready to innovate to address environmental challenges and build better lives for Canadians. With our support, they’ve implemented proven solutions, tested innovative ideas and inspired other communities to take their lead.

Over the last 20 years, we’ve been here to help, and we’ll be here for decades to come. In light of our fund’s successes, the Government of Canada recently announced an additional $950 million investment in GMF’s endowment. 

We are already scaling up operations to broaden our reach and directly benefit more Canadians than ever. We will also be supporting Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery, delivering green infrastructure dollars to communities in the months and years to come—creating jobs and building more resilient communities while helping Canada meet its climate goals. 

As the impacts of climate change reverberate across the country, we are about to take big steps to enable some of Canada’s most promising energy-efficiency opportunities at the local level. These projects will address quality of life, climate action and sustainability, with a specific focus on dependable innovations in energy efficiency. 

We are proud to continue to support communities in making the best possible decisions for their residents—and for the future of this big, beautiful country of ours. 

For more information about the Green Municipal Fund, read our 2019 annual report.

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© 2020 Federation of Canadian Municipalities