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Award categories: 2018 Sustainable Communities Awards

FCM's 2018 Sustainable Communities Awards comprises eight award categories. Learn more about the eligibility and criteria for each category.

Award categories

Winners in each category are automatically eligible for FCM's new Inspire Award for the initiative that best demonstrates creativity and innovation, as determined by delegates at the Sustainable Communities Conference

Asset management — New

This new award recognizes an initiative that excels in integrating sustainability goals into decision-making about municipal assets and community services. Applicants need to demonstrate how they have accessed and analyzed relevant data about their municipal assets to help their municipality better integrate environmental sustainability with infrastructure planning and decisions. Plans, policies and strategies are eligible.

Examples of eligible initiatives include:

  • A risk management plan for municipal assets
  • Data collection and analysis to establish levels of service
  • The introduction of a "state of infrastructure" report
  • The implementation of new asset management systems or processes


The award winner will exemplify innovation in municipal brownfield initiatives including programs, remediation, risk management and redevelopment of brownfield sites. This category combines two past award categories: the Brownfields Program and Brownfields Project awards. Plans, programs and projects are eligible.

Examples of eligible initiatives include:

  • Brownfield redevelopment projects that demonstrate leadership in sustainability practices
  • Capital projects that demonstrate innovation in soil remediation or risk management
  • Capital projects that feature a creative interim use of a brownfield site, such as brightfield projects
  • Brownfield plans, strategies or programs that encourage redevelopment

Climate change — New

In this new category, we recognize initiatives that municipalities are delivering to adapt to climate change impacts or reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Winning initiatives will meet specific targets and will be easy for municipalities across Canada to adopt. Plans, projects, feasibility studies and operational studies will be considered. New energy production and new buildings are not eligible.

Examples of eligible initiatives include:

  • Plans and feasibility or operational studies that help municipalities adapt to climate change, such as:

    • Climate-specific programs or policies
    • New or retrofitted infrastructure, with consideration given to climate impacts
    • Adapting a stormwater management system to protect a road from flooding
    • Urban heat island studies
  • GHG emission reduction plans, such as:

    • Emission reduction or community energy plans
    • Landfill gas capture for cogeneration
    • Transportation or land-use plans
  • GHG emission reduction projects, such as:

    • Pilot projects
    • Implementation of Complete Streets design elements
Targets for initiatives focused on GHG emissions reduction

For initiatives focused on reducing GHG emissions by corporate assets — such as converting fuel sources from fossil fuels to a less polluting source of energy, or enacting policy changes that could result in energy conservation — your submission should demonstrate the following minimum targets:

  • For landfill gas capture projects: 60 per cent emissions capture
  • For transportation feasibility studies: 20 per cent reduction in emissions, from an existing baseline or, for new transit developments, compared to projected emissions
  • For all other GHG emission reduction projects and studies: 50 per cent reduction in emissions from an existing baseline


The winning initiative focuses on energy conservation, renewable energy production or distribution. This category combines two previous awards: the Energy Plan and Energy Program awards. Energy plans, capital projects and programs are eligible.

Examples of eligible initiatives include:

  • Community energy plans
  • Energy efficiency retrofits
  • Projects focused on energy recovery
  • Energy conservation projects and programs

Sustainable neighbourhood revitalization and design

This award recognizes unique approaches to urban planning initiatives in neighbourhoods or small municipalities with populations of less than 10,000. The winning initiative must address sustainability in two or more sectors equally. Sectors include energy, water, waste and transportation. This award combines two previous categories: the Neighbourhood Development Plan and the Neighbourhood Development Project. Programs, strategies, plans and projects will be considered.

Examples of eligible initiatives include:

  • Efficient land use programs or projects
  • Community improvement plans
  • Revitalization strategies
  • Sustainable neighbourhood action plans


The winning initiative will show how a municipality significantly reduced its dependency on single occupancy vehicles by encouraging different modes of transportation. For this award, we will consider programs and projects. Plans are not eligible.

Examples of eligible initiatives include:

  • Road design projects, such as the implementation of Complete Streets design elements
  • A program to shift or encourage new transportation methods, such as cycling instead of driving
  • Transportation demand management, such as car-sharing programs
  • A municipal fleet retrofit that increases efficiency, incorporates innovative technologies or improves levels of service


This award recognizes a program or a project that focuses on reducing, diverting or managing solid waste in an innovative manner, and that is easily adoptable by other municipalities. Ineligible projects include: waste plans, landfill management, landfill gas capture and the construction of transfer stations.

Examples of eligible initiatives include:

  • Reuse programs or centres
  • Recycling programs or centres
  • Composting or other biological waste management measures
  • Waste diversion programs, or projects that use waste as a resource


This award highlights a municipality's innovative approach to the consumption, quality, treatment or distribution of water. Programs and projects are eligible; plans are not eligible.

Examples of eligible initiatives include:

  • Water conservation, such as grey water systems, rainwater collection or fixture replacement systems
  • Wastewater treatment, including septic systems
  • Leachate treatment/management
  • Stormwater management, such as permeable pavement, bio-retention planters, and phyto-filtration
Page Updated: 10/01/2018