Ontario's Regulation 588/17: Navigating Sustainable Asset Management Planning
May 1, 2024
Amy Taylor

Ontario's Regulation 588/17, which mandates the inclusion of natural assets in asset management planning, marks a significant change in infrastructure governance. It positions Ontario as the first and only Canadian province to enforce natural assets as a required component of asset management planning at the municipal level. With deadlines nearing, Green Analytics is supporting municipalities to ensure adherence to regulatory requirements and identify opportunities to leverage natural assets for sustainable growth.

Understanding the Regulatory Landscape:

O. Reg. 588/17 mandates that municipalities prepare asset management plans for their core municipal infrastructure assets by July 1, 2022, and for all other municipal infrastructure, including natural assets, by July 1, 2024. This regulation underscores the importance of strategic planning and proactive asset management in ensuring the sustainability and resilience of municipal infrastructure.

Compliance with Regulation 588/17 is not just about meeting deadlines— it's about understanding the assets municipalities have to allow them to deliver services to citizens while meeting budget requirements and managing risks. By integrating natural assets into financial planning and asset management programs, municipalities can enhance the quality and resilience of infrastructure while simultaneously reducing costs and mitigating climate related risks. Our team, composed of professional economists, environmental scientists, life cycle analysts, and GIS technicians is equipped to support local governments seeking to develop natural asset management plans.

Unlocking the Services Provided by Natural Assets

A key opportunity presented by Regulation 588/17 is the potential to leverage natural capital in asset management planning. By identifying and harnessing the value of natural assets and their associated services, municipalities can enhance the resilience and effectiveness of their infrastructure systems. For example, green spaces (fields, parks, forests) and natural bodies of water (lakes, rivers, creeks) provide a variety of services, including storm water management, recreation, and climate resilience. Understanding what natural assets are present and the services they deliver can result in economic benefits, as they provide multiple services sometimes at a lower cost than grey infrastructure, which are typically built for a singular purpose.

Green Analytics supports municipalities to identify and incorporate green infrastructure considerations into their asset management plans, maximizing the benefits for both communities and the environment. Contact us today for more information on how to incorporate natural assets into asset management plans.  

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