Mandate and Responsibilities

The Toronto Atmospheric Fund was established in 1991 to assist the City of Toronto in meeting its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2000, Toronto Atmospheric Fund’s mandate was expanded to include the promotion of better air quality.

The Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF) is governed by the Toronto Atmospheric Act, 2005, and is subject to City Council policies governing the structure, composition, appointment, meetings, procedures and investments of TAF. TAF is defined as a local board under O. Reg. 589/06 under the City of Toronto Act, 2006.

As set out in the Toronto Atmospheric Fund Act, 2005, TAF’s objects are to:

  • promote global climate stabilization through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions;
  • promote air quality improvement;
  • promote public understanding of global warming and air quality problems and their implications for the urban environment;
  • create and preserve carbon sinks;
  • promote energy conservation and efficiency; and
  • support and fund projects related to TAF’s objects.

The Board of Directors of TAF is responsible for overseeing the multi-million dollar endowment ($23 million contribution) from the City of Toronto; establishing Committees, including an investment committee to advise the Board; approving all loans and grants in accordance with established policy and legislation; and ensuring TAF operates in compliance with City Council policies applicable to TAF.

TAF is authorized to engage in the following activities:

  • receive contributions to augment the fund;
  • manage investment of a multi-million dollar fund;
  • use fund investment revenue to provide grants that support TAF’s objectives;
  • use the fund principal to provide loans for projects that support TAF’s objectives;
  • assist in establishing projects that support TAF’s objectives;
  • undertake mandate-related research;
  • co-operate with others in providing public education related to TAF’s objectives; and
  • administrative and management activities that support TAF’s operations.

Board Size and Composition

The Board of Directors of TAF consists of 12 members and is composed of:

  • the Mayor or a designate appointed by the Mayor;
  • 4 Council Members; and
  • 7 citizen members.

Chair and Vice-Chair

City Council appoints the Chair of the Board of Directors. The Board elects a Vice-Chair from amongst its members.

Eligibility Requirements

Citizens are eligible for appointment to the Board of Directors, and eligible to remain on the Board after being appointed, if they satisfy the eligibility requirements for appointment as set out in the City’s Public Appointments Policy.

A Board member shall not directly or indirectly receive or profit from his or her position on the Board.

Qualifications

Citizen members of the Board of Directors should collectively demonstrate a range of qualifications including:

  • understanding of strategic energy efficiency and green energy market opportunities;
  • experience and knowledge of environmental affairs from an academic or non- governmental perspective, especially in the areas of air quality and climate change;
  • experience managing public charities, public or private foundations, community trusts, or other government grant programs;
  • marketing expertise, such as knowledge of demographic trends that affect consumer choice, in order to advise in community program design and delivery;
  • financial management and investment expertise, including experience in portfolio management and strategic investing; and
  • legal expertise, in order to advise on legal problems and issues related to TAF’s activities, when they arise.

Appointments Process – Citizen Members

Citizen members of the Board are recruited through an advertised recruitment process.  The appointments process is conducted according to the policies and procedures in the City’s Public Appointments Policy.

Meetings

Board meetings are generally held quarterly, and there is an Annual General Meeting. Board meetings are open to the public, except for meetings or parts of meetings where a subject matter is being considered that is permitted by legislation to be considered in private.

Remuneration

No remuneration is paid to Board members.