At OPG, we work hard to minimize our environmental footprint in our site communities. We also work with partners to foster and enhance biodiversity across Ontario.
OPG has maintained an ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System (EMS) since 1999. The scope of OPG’s EMS includes the management of activities related to design, supply chain, construction, commissioning, operation (including emissions, effluent, waste management, and other support processes), and decommissioning of electricity generating stations, and associated properties, auxiliary buildings, and structures solely owned or leased by OPG, or sites operated by OPG on behalf of OPG’s partner owners.
With processes and programs in place to manage our environmental impact, and improve our natural surroundings, OPG is consistently recognized at home and abroad by groups like the international Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC). In fact, OPG maintains 12 Wildlife at Work and seven Corporate Lands for Learning certifications. In 2017, OPG received WHC’s new Conservation Certification for the biodiversity programs at our Darlington and Pickering nuclear stations.
Our regional biodiversity program focuses on the protection and restoration of the natural habitat across Ontario. Since 2000, OPG - through our many conservation partners - has planted more than 6.5 million native trees and shrubs on ecologically strategic land in Ontario.
Our biodiversity program is also committed to managing OPG’s generating sites in a manner that strives to maintain or enhance significant natural areas and associated species of concern. One example is the transformation of 24 hectares of parkland into a diverse woodland and grassland habitat. Nanticoke Park is now home to such species at risk as the bobolink and meadowlark, while tree swallows scurry among nest boxes. Other examples include an eel ladder in Cornwall to help the American eel to complete its upstream migration, and trap and transport programs to aid downstream migration around dams.
OPG is the lead sponsor for the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration project. Also known as Bring Back the Salmon, the program is designed to help restore a self-sustaining Atlantic salmon population to Lake Ontario and its streams. The main components of the program include fish production and stocking, water quality and habitat enhancement, outreach and education and research and monitoring. In 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry released a major scientific study that showed the program has exceeded benchmarks for in-stream survival and growth of juvenile Atlantic salmon through their first summer. These are extremely important indicators to stream health and restoration progress. The study also notes other positive signs such as the presence of Atlantic salmon nests, wild juveniles and wild adults in the rivers.
We also partner with groups like Bruce Trail Conservancy, Earth Rangers, Friends of the Earth - Canada, LEAF, Ontario Nature, Toronto Wildlife Centre and Rouge National Urban Park, to facilitate conservation activities that will engage Ontario families and raise awareness of the many benefits of preserving biodiversity.