Municipality: City of Brampton Implementation: 2014-02-01
Policy Name: Brampton’s Environmental Master Plan: GreenPaper Contact:
Department: Title:
Community profile:

An overview of the City of Brampton:

  • A population of 523,911 in 2011, among Canada’s 20 largest municipalities. Brampton has grown by an average of 12,000 people per year, over the 1976 – 2011 Census Years. 2016 population projection: 585,000.
  • It is a suburban city in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the seat of Peal Region. It has a total land area of 265 square kilometers and is bordered by Highway 50 (Vaughan) to the East, Winston Churchill Boulevard (Halton Hills) to the West, Mayfield Road (Caledon) to the north.
  • Brampton Transit began operating in 1975. It carries over 10 million riders in its fully ridership. In 2010, Brampton Transit introduces its newest bus rapid transit system called the “Brampton ZUM”, which runs on the Main Street Brampton and Queen Street/Highway 7 to York University. Brampton Transit connects to York Region Transit transit systems in the GTA like MiWay, Toronto Transit Commission, GO Transit and York Region Transit/Viva. Major Highways Serving Brampton: Hwy 407, 410, 401, 403, 427.
  • Major Economic Sectors: advanced manufacturing, retail administration and logistics, ICT, food and beverage, life science, business services. Economic Base: Services-producing sector (72%); goods-producing sector (28%).
  • Building Activity: In 2012, Brampton was the 5th largest construction market in Canada and 2nd largest in the Toronto Census metropolitan Area.

Short Description:

Brampton Grow Green will identify the ways and means to improve the City’s environmental performance in six aspects.


Brampton was known as the Flowertown of Canada. Today, as Brampton grows into a cosmopolitan and diverse city, that commitment to quality and excellence remains unchanged. As Brampton looks to the future through its renewed Strategic Plan, the programs and decisions made today will help distinguish Brampton as the Flower City of Canada.

Brampton Grow Green, the city’s first Environmental Master Plan in combination the City of Brampton Strategic Plan, Official Plan and Growth Management Program will outline Brampton’s long-term integrated community sustainability plan that builds on existing planning tools and provides a framework that emphasizes long-term thinking, broad in scope, integration, collaboration, public engagement and education, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.

The purpose of Brampton Grow Green is to understand from an environmental sustainability perspective, what the City does well, to identify gaps and opportunities to change our operations and service delivery, to establish sustainable directions. By evaluating the City’s best practices, Brampton Grow Green will identify the ways and means to improve the City’s environmental performance.

Step by Step Process:

An overview of the process by which the policy will be implemented.

1. Define and assign municipal sustainability resources. An environmental office staffed with representatives from City departments would be a logical step in opening up dialogue between departments that may not frequently communicate.


  • Create a Brampton Grow Green Office, as a separate Department or within an existing Department or the CAO’s office, to champion the environment throughout the Corporation of the City of Brampton.
  • Structure the Office to function as a single point to reposition environmental initiatives to reflect the interdepartmental nature of EMP implementation, and to communicate, educate monitor and report the City’s environmental performance.
  • Resource the Office with permanent position, part time positions and/or secondments from each of the City’s Departments to create an interdepartmental Office.
  • Identify lead/support Department responsible for each metric and facilitate interdepartmental collaboration through joint training sessions for the execution of municipal projects, programs and initiatives.
  • Utilize technology and establish smart approaches to accessing and sharing environmental data, information and successes between departments.


  • Establish a Sustainability Centre/Environmental Learning Centre reporting directly to the Grow Green Office, to champion the environment to Brampton residents, business and stakeholders.
  • Develop a Mandate for the Centre to support improvements to the environmental performance of communities across the City and to manage the external implementation of the EMP.
  • Locate the publicly accessible Centre centrally within the City, ideally in a building constructed with green development standards.

2. Establish data collection and performance monitoring methods.

  • Identify departmental and corporate responsibilities for performance monitoring of Corporate and Community Actions, including data management and reporting.
  • Establish protocols for data collection, analysis and reporting for each of the EMP Priority Performance Targets.
  • Prepare an annual Sustainable Brampton Report that describes and shares the status of the City’s Corporate and Community environmental performance.
  • Engage a third party environmental auditor to review data collection, analysis and reporting protocols, and annual environmental performance results. Develop an Awareness and Communications Campaign to celebrate successes publicly through the Canvas of Environmental Initiatives, media releases or environment focused public events and awards.
  • Host an Environmental Summit in conjunction with the Brampton Environmental Planning Advisory Committee to share and learn best practices being implemented at home and aboard Potential partners.

3. Educate and Promote awareness.


  • Create a Municipal Green Team to lead interdepartmental training of City staff, and integration / coordination of implementation of EMP actions with existing initiatives, programs and activities, including budget planning.
  • Municipal Green Team to develop a corporate campaign to promote the environment and environmental performance as ‘second nature’ for departmental decision-making on environmental objectives, municipal procedures, budget processes, reporting mechanisms and inter-departmental coordination.

City Awareness and Education:

  • Work with the City’s departments to ensure consistency of messages and to provide ideas for how to best communicate with staff about EMP strategies, targets and advancement towards goals. Develop a communications strategy to keep Council and staff informed of environmental progress of the City and the community and the success of the EMP.

Community Awareness and Education:

  • Develop a Community Awareness and Education Campaign to promote the environment and environmental performance as ‘second nature’ to residents, businesses, community groups and stakeholders are part of personal and organizational decision making (e.g. public bulletins via range of social media networks that address specific actions of EMP core components (air quality, water and energy usage, waste generation, native plant species, etc.), highlighting standard practicees today, environmental impacts, alternatives and potential cost savings.
  • Have the Clean and Green Committee develop a City wide environmental awareness and education campaign (seminars, printed materials, demonstrations, youth/school outreach).

Commercial Awareness and Education:

  • Develop a Sustainability Awards program to celebrate citizen and business sustainability leaders. For example, Green Business Leader Awards, potentially as an extension of the City’s Outstanding Business Achievement Awards, to recognize outstanding sustainable environmental contributions from Brampton’s commercial, industrial and institutional sectors.

4. Align city wide policies and standards.


  • Incorporate sustainability as a part of the foundation of the Strategic Plan on which the City’s social, financial, environment, governance and cultural pillars are built, and upon which all City plans and initiatives are based.
  • Amend the Official Plan to ensure that all policies reflect sustainability in the social, cultural, environmental and financial responsibilities of the City as a corporation and a planning authority.
  • Implement by-laws, regulations, fees or incentive programs to improve individual and private/non-profit sector environmental performance, with emphasis on prioritized metrics and targets.
  • Update Master Plans and the other operational documents to reflect the environmental targets of the EMP.
  • Work with other levels of government to address environmental issues that may originate outside of Brampton’s boundaries but have impacts within the City.

Land Use and Built Form:

  • Build on newer policies, guidelines and standards, such as the Mount Pleasant Secondary Plan and the Development Design Guidelines to create Sustainable Community Development Guidelines that include a mix of uses, minimum development densities and minimum height requirements.

Natural Environment:

  • Offer incentives to developers, such as increased density permissions during the development application process, in exchange for land preservation or transfer to the City.


  • Develop road standards and cross-sections for road right-of-ways that more efficiently use land, encourage transit and active transportation, incorporate Low Impact Development Measures, and support the establishment of street trees with appropriate soil volumes.


  • Consider on-site stormwater management, placing limits/additional charges on household waste and recycling for multi-unit dwellings.

5. Detail a budgeting and decision making framework.

  • Allocate a portion of the City’s annual budget to implementation of the EMP, with an allocation of funds for municipal staff and funding for pilot projects.
  • Initiate a True Cost Accounting approach to decision making in all City Departments; the environmental cost of options (GHG emissions; water pollution, etc.) and inactions should be directly included in budgeting and reporting.
  • Tie budgets to environmental performance; projects that make a contribution to the environment should rank higher on the priority list.
  • Explore external funding opportunities and partners to help supplement the municipal resources and budget for environmental initiatives.
  • Consider a financial contribution to offset additional emissions associated with a selected option, if the preferred environmental option is not pursued. 

6. Manage municipal operations and procurement practices.


  • Adopt retrofit practices and processes for the operation and maintenance of existing public buildings and create environmental performance guidelines/standards for the construction and operation of new city facilities and buildings, i.e. LEED Silver.
  • Require project management to consider long term maintenance and environmental performance during the development and finalization of capital budgets for new facilities.

Natural Environment:

  • Emphasize naturescaping and fusion landscaping in the Flower City Strategy for public buildings, parks, neighbourhood gateways, boulevards and buffers.
  • Conserve biodiversity of the natural heritage system through local and regional ecosystem connections.
  • Develop an Integrated Management Program to protect, maintain and restore ecological health of natural communities and urban tree canopy affected by pests and invasive species. Develop a Greenland Securement Program to identify and encourage conservation of privately owned land within the natural heritage system.


  • Develop a comprehensive transportation demand management program for employees which encourages behaviourial shifts to using public transit, carpooling, car sharing and cycling to commute to work, attend corporate events and business meetings, and perform site visits.
  • Develop green parking standards at City facilities that prioritize bicycle parking and parking for small cars or shared vehicles, and support increased parking levies for higher emissions vehicles.
  • Complete streets guidelines or alternative road standards that prioritize and accommodate all forms of transportation.


  • Install on-site renewable energy infrastructure, such as solar, wind or geothermal, or purchase energy from off-site renewable sources, where feasible.
  • Promoting and incenting alternative forms of energy supply on private properties.

Procurement/Purchase of Services:

  • Follow the practices of the G.I.P.P.E.R.’s (Governments Incorporating Procurement Policies to Eliminate Refuse) Guide to Environmental Purchasing that provides recommendations and guidance to City staff at all levels for environmentally responsible procurement.
  • Develop a code of sustainable qualifications that vendors/contractors are encouraged to meet when managing their operations or providing services to the City.
  • Require contracts with professional service providers to demonstrate an internal municipal responsibility to sustainability and, through product delivery, how they are reducing environmental impacts.
  • Develop an assessment protocol that evaluates the environmental consequences of an acquisition at various life cycle stages. Consider life cycle costing for products and demonstrate how they meet the City’s environmental performance goals.

Primary Drivers:

Today’s rapid growth and development of communities, within and beyond the Greater Toronto Area and throughout Canada, requires municipalities to take a fresh look at their future by envisioning, planning and implementing actions to secure their long-term well-being and a higher quality of life for all.

Secondary Drivers:

The City of Brampton has approximately 175 ongoing initiatives that are enhancing the City’s environmental sustainability. The plan will help present a better image of Brampton.


It is difficult to find the funds to support the development and implementation.


The City of Brampton is still in the process of developing its Environmental Mater Plan.

Similar Tools Used by Other Municipalities:

In the implementation part, the EMP lists all the precedents that helped Brampton develop their plan.

Further Information:

Canvas of Environmental Initiatives:

Environmental Initiatives:

Brampton Grow Green Environmental Master Plan: Green Paper Draft:

Environmental Stewardship:

Master Plan Stakeholder Consultation June 17, 2013:                                                                                        

Transportation and Transit Master Plan 2009:


Official Plan: