Innovative Project Turns Zoo Manure And Food Waste Into Energy Fit For The Grid

To take a virtual tour of the ZooShare Biogas Project,

TORONTO, ON, Thursday, August 19, 2021:  Today, the ZooShare Biogas Cooperative, in partnership with the Toronto Zoo, Loblaw Companies Ltd. (Loblaw) and EnerFORGE announced that its most recent project has gone live. The ZooShare Biogas Project is the first of its kind in Canada and an example of the circular economy in action. It converts 2,000 tonnes of Zoo manure and 15,000 tonnes of food waste from grocery stores, restaurants and other businesses around the Greater Toronto Area into enough renewable power for approximately 250 homes while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by as much as 20,000 tonnes per year. Additionally, after the incoming material has been processed it can be spread on nearby farm fields to support the growth of food the following season.

The media are invited to take a virtual tour of the ZooShare biogas project to see how this unique site functions and hear comments from the partners.

For ZooShare and the Toronto Zoo, the project represents a chance to raise their game in the fight against climate change. Reducing GHG emissions, through the diversion of food waste and generation of renewable energy, is just one of the things the Zoo is doing to fight extinction, as climate change negatively impacts ecosystems critical for species survival.  The two organizations are also working together to educate students and the general public on the value of biogas and the importance of properly managing organic waste.

The project is also a natural fit for Loblaw, Canada’s largest food retailer and industry leader in the fight to eliminate food waste. Keenly aware of the role the Canadian grocery industry plays in the issue, the company has reduced the amount of food waste sent to landfill from its corporate retail operations by more than eighty per cent since 2016. Loblaw credits innovative thinking and strategic partnerships, such as these, with their success to date.

For EnerFORGE, the project’s critical energy infrastructure partner, the ZooShare biogas plant will add to their strategic portfolio of low carbon energy projects and allow them to build new value propositions in the production of renewable natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells and carbon offset projects. Growing these types of projects will be critical to Canada’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

This project was also made possible by a Low Carbon Economy Fund grant from the Government of Canada, and support from other contributing organizations including Bullfrog Power, Octaform and Walker Industries.

Quotes from the Collaborators

“ZooShare’s launch represents a huge milestone for the 807 co-op members who invested in the project and supported its development.  We’re proud to show what can be achieved through co-operation and collaboration with organizations committed to implementing solutions that make a positive impact on our environment and community.”

Daniel Bida, Executive Director, ZooShare Cooperative

“The mission of your Zoo is connecting people, animals and conservation science to fight extinction,” said Dolf DeJong, CEO, Your Toronto Zoo. “New initiatives and technologies like the ZooShare Biogas plant are important tools in that fight to save species.  Conservation is a team sport and we need more players, I am so grateful for partners like ZooShare for joining us on this journey to fight climate change and ensure a brighter future where wildlife and wild spaces thrive,” he added.

Dolf DeJong, CEO, Toronto Zoo

“As food retailers, we know that the grocery industry plays a significant role in the creation of food waste and that’s why it’s incredibly important to us to be a part of the solution,” said Tonya Lagrasta, Senior Director Corporate Social Responsibility, Loblaw Companies Ltd. “Our priority is to make sure food ends up where it’s supposed to be – on people’s plates. But when that’s not possible, we’re proud to work with partners like ZooShare to find new and innovative opportunities for food that may have otherwise ended up in the landfill.”  

Tonya Lagrasta, Senior Director Corporate Social Responsibility, Loblaw Companies Ltd

“Canada’s Net Zero goals will be achieved through advanced energy collaborations run by leading organizations committed to fighting climate change. We’re excited to be demonstrating this principle through our partnership with ZooShare, Toronto Zoo and Loblaws.”

Scott Barker, VP Business Development, EnerFORGE

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Media Contact Information:

Daniel Bida
Director, ZooShare
[email protected]

Katie Gray
Manager of Strategic Communications
[email protected]

Loblaw Companies Ltd.
[email protected]

Janet Taylor
Manager, Sustainability and Business Advocacy
#905-723-4626 x 5249
[email protected]

For general information visit torontozoo.com

The Toronto Zoo’s mission is to connect people, animals and conservation science to fight extinction and our vision is a world where wildlife and wild spaces thrive.

An iconic tourist attraction and Conservation organization, the Toronto Zoo boasts a number of leading programs for helping wildlife and their natural habitats – from species reintroduction to reproductive research. A world-class educational centre for people of all ages, the Toronto Zoo is open every day except December 25 and attracts approximately 1.2 million guests each year.

Toronto Zoo is accredited by Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The Zoo has also achieved the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) Certificate of Good Animal Practice® and is inspected by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

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