Looking back at 2020, it has been a year unlike any other bringing with it unprecedented challenges and changes. Throughout, HIEA has maintained its focus on community outreach initiatives, and the conservation and protection of the environment in which we live and operate. This is made possible because of our partnerships and by closely engaging with our neighbours, community initiative and not-for-profit environmental sector groups, local representatives from the City, and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
Our 14 member companies remain a strong, dedicated group working to fulfill our mandate: “to improve the local environment – air, land and water – through joint and individual activities, and by partnering with the community to enhance future understanding of environmental issues and help establish priorities for action.”
We saw some significant changes for HIEA in 2020 as we welcomed a new Treasurer, Todd Brien of ArcelorMittal Dofasco replacing Roy Collins of Stelco, and a new Public Relations Coordinator, Heidi Levitzky, who replaced HIEA’s long-time Communications Coordinator, Karen Logan. Our Board of Directors also underwent adaptation as Jim Kruchka of Air Liquide retired and Gabriel Panaccio stepped forward to take his place. I wish Roy, Jim and Karen all the best and look forward to collaborating with all members as we continue working towards a more environmentally sustainable future.
HIEA highly values its connection to the community and by merging resources, we can jointly contribute to environmental education programs for Hamilton’s youth. This is accomplished through direct financial sponsorship and also via the utilization of volunteers from our member companies to deliver the programming. The local environmental initiatives that HIEA supported in 2020 included The Bay Area Restoration Council, The Hamilton Conservation Foundation, The Royal Botanical Gardens, the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, the City of Hamilton, and McQuesten Urban Farms. Details about the specific programs that were funded can be found later in this report.
HIEA also believes that post-secondary environmental studies are a primary focus for financial support and awards students with our own scholarship fund at Mohawk College. Since the endowed fund was established in 2006 it has provided $27,075 in total support to 30 recipients enrolled in Environmental Diploma Programs.
Community engagement and transparency is of utmost importance to HIEA members, and we welcome Hamiltonians twice per year to attend our public meeting. Here, residents learn about HEIA’s activities and progress in an open forum while expanding the dialogue about environmental issues in our communities which helps HIEA meet their organizational values. Although these meetings typically take place in a live setting, the 2020 fall annual meeting was successfully held virtually and meetings will be conducted similarly in 2021.
Our member companies are proud of the impact they have made in the Hamilton community over the past 23 years. As a neighbour to industry, your input is integral to HIEA’s on-going success. We welcome your involvement. For more information about our meetings and other current initiatives, visit www.hiea.org or contact us at 905-662-2131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chair of the Board - Hamilton Industrial Environmental Association