Emily and Norm Lamothe of Cavan's Woodleigh Farms received the "Rookie of the Year" award at Green Economy Peterborough's third annual Leadership in Sustainability Awards on May 16, 2024. Also pictured are Jackie Donaldson (left) of Green Economy Peterborough and Karen Lynch of Peterborough County. (Photo: Natalie Stephenson / GreenUP)

Emily and Norm Lamothe of Cavan’s Woodleigh Farms received the “Rookie of the Year” award at Green Economy Peterborough’s third annual Leadership in Sustainability Awards on May 16, 2024. Also pictured are Jackie Donaldson (left) of Green Economy Peterborough and Karen Lynch of Peterborough County. (Photo: Natalie Stephenson / GreenUP)

By: Jackie Donaldson, Program Coordinator for Green Economy Peterborough

Last week, members and friends of the Green Economy Peterborough business network gathered at McDonnel Street Community Centre to celebrate the achievements of their peers at the 3rd Annual Leadership in Sustainability Awards.

With award names like, Leadership Through Tenacity and Leadership Through Teamwork, the winners at the event represent a bold cohort of future-forward trailblazers that are both implementing sustainable practices to reduce fossil fuel use, and guiding the local business community towards a healthier, greener, and more efficient economy through mentoring and knowledge sharing.

Keynote speaker, Professor Stephen Hill, Director of the Trent School of the Environment affirmed the efforts of the group. “By my math, 2050 (when the world’s carbon emissions must be net zero to avoid catastrophic climate change impacts) is 26 years from now. 26 years ago was 1998. For those of you who are my age, 1998 was yesterday. That means 2050 is tomorrow, it’s not decades. It’s urgent, and we have a lot to do.”

Among the winners of the evening were Woodleigh Farms of Cavan, Ontario, a multi-generational cash crop farm with a 400-acre maple lot, a large vegetable market garden, and a greenhouse operation. Owner/operators Norm & Emily Lamothe received a sustainability award for their commitment to regenerative and sustainable farming practices and for Norm’s generosity in sharing his knowledge with others in the business and farming community.

Woodleigh Farms is currently piloting a project that turns waste wood into biochar, a beneficial soil amendment that sequesters carbon for thousands of years. Lamothe envisions a future where he can use this technology to sequester 14,000 tonnes of CO2e per year directly into the soil of his farm.

Engage Engineering received the “Leadership Through Connection” award at Green Economy Peterborough’s third annual Leadership in Sustainability Awards on May 16, 2024. Pictured from left to right are Jackie Donaldson, Dylan Radcliffe, Paul Hurley, Nicole Cameron, Joel Wiebe, and Luke Parsons. (Photo: Tegan Moss / GreenUP)

Engage Engineering received the “Leadership Through Connection” award at Green Economy Peterborough’s third annual Leadership in Sustainability Awards on May 16, 2024. Pictured from left to right are Jackie Donaldson, Dylan Radcliffe, Paul Hurley, Nicole Cameron, Joel Wiebe, and Luke Parsons. (Photo: Tegan Moss / GreenUP)

Engage Engineering was another Green Economy Peterborough award recipient. The local civil engineering firm provides municipal engineering services to both public and private sector clients, working on notable projects like the new Canadian Canoe Museum. Their commitment to sustainability and our community is evident in their engagement in local initiatives like the Peterborough Children’s Water Festival and the Safe Streets for Everyone Bike Summit. Their operational improvements to reduce their carbon footprint include installing a heat pump and an EV charging station for staff and clients.

Charlotte Products is a local manufacturer with a long history of using safe and organic ingredients in their liquid cleaning solutions. They won a Green Economy Peterborough award for having a strong green team – led by CEO Matt Strano and Marketing Director, Jennifer Meeks – and for generously supporting the learning of business peers and students.

Other winners included Trent Health in Motion for supporting active commuting initiatives and Lake Edge Cottages for supporting Trent student learning.

Lake Edge Cottages received the “Leadership Outside of the Box” award at Green Economy Peterborough’s third annual Leadership in Sustainability Awards on May 16, 2024. Pictured from left to right are Jackie Donaldson, Anne and Steve Wildfong, and Breanna Guiotto of Selwyn Township. (Photo: Tegan Moss / GreenUP)

Lake Edge Cottages received the “Leadership Outside of the Box” award at Green Economy Peterborough’s third annual Leadership in Sustainability Awards on May 16, 2024. Pictured from left to right are Jackie Donaldson, Anne and Steve Wildfong, and Breanna Guiotto of Selwyn Township. (Photo: Tegan Moss / GreenUP)

A trio of business leaders were recognized for making a commitment to achieve net zero. These were Unity Design Studio, Wild Rock Outfitters, and Woodleigh Farms.

Green Economy Peterborough is supported by the City of Peterborough, Peterborough County, Farms at Work, Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development, Community Futures, TD and the RBC Foundation.

Green Economy Peterborough is a GreenUP program for the business community. With membership, organizations commit to taking a comprehensive inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions, set reductions targets, and are coached towards achieving them. To learn more, visit www.GreenEconomyPeterborough.ca.