The City continues its pathway to climate resiliency with award-winning projects and community leadership

The City’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions are showing leadership among Canadian cities, as we continue the pathway to net-zero by 2050. Over the past few weeks, including Canadian Environment Week, June 4-10, we were recognized for our award-winning efforts. It’s a cross-corporate, city-wide effort on taking climate action and managing Calgary’s natural environment.   

 $2.5 billion in natural assets: Environmental Leadership & Sustainability Award  


Accepting the CAMA Awards, from left to right: Mayor Jyoti Gondek, Natural Environment & Adaptation Manager, Nicole Newton, Climate & Environment Director, Carolyn Bowen and Leader of Climate Resilience & Adaptation, Jill Curley.

We were honoured with the Environmental Leadership & Sustainability Award from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA). They recognized our groundbreaking efforts to understand the value and benefit of the city’s natural assets, like green spaces, grasslands, forests and waterways, which is valued at approximately $2.5 billion. This benchmark means we can consider natural assets with each decision on how we plan, design, build and maintain a resilient city into the future. 

“This work allows The City to illustrate a deeper understanding of Calgary’s natural infrastructure and its benefit to Calgarians,” explains Nicole Newton, Manager of Natural Environment & Adaptation, “We can use this information to lay the foundation around the work we are doing to adapt to a changing climate and mitigate potential biodiversity loss.”














Recipients of the Alberta Emerald Award in the Land category, from left to right:  Stacey Lynne Strilesky (SYLVIS), Catalina Nadeau-Bonilla (City of Calgary) and Marisa Orfey (Executive Director, Alberta Emerald Foundation)

Reducing GHG with willow trees – Alberta Emerald Award

We also received the 2023 Alberta Emerald Award in the Land Category for our Willow Tree Farm Biosolid Demonstration Project. The project uses dewatered biosolids from our advanced wastewater treatment process to create and fertilize a vast 350-hectare willow tree farm. Initiated in 2013, this endeavor transformed previously marginal agricultural land into one of the largest willow farms in North America, acting as a carbon-storage sink to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“This project supports The City’s climate strategy and provides diversification to our Biosolids program, while supporting local partners and fostering innovation,” says Catalina Nadeau-Bonilla, Leader, Operational Performance Wastewater.  

In recognition of this achievement, the Government of Canada provided a $2 million investment from the Low Carbon Economy Fund in 2020 to expand the farm by an additional 300 hectares over three years. Notably, the willows are used as animal feed at the Calgary Zoo and as ingredients in our composting program, enhancing the biosolids composting process. 
















Calgary's willow tree farm in south Rocky View County

Empowering Calgarians to take climate action – Alberta Emerald Awards finalists  

Our Residential Solar Calculator (Energy category) and Calgary Climate Symposium (Public Engagement and Outreach category) were finalists at the 2023 Alberta Emerald Awards.

Residential solar calc.













Calgarians can find out their home's solar potential: 
The Residential Solar Calculator is a free tool that assists homeowners in estimating the costs and savings by installing solar panels on their homes. It’s a starting point to help assess their home’s solar potential and estimated costs and payment options.

Our Calgary Climate Symposium is an annual five-day event that brings experts, innovators, and community members together to explore and learn about strategies that position Calgary, Calgarians and organizations for a low-carbon future. The 2023 Symposium is scheduled for October 23-27.

For more information on what we are doing to address climate change in our city and to find out what you can do to participate, visit: