Pollution Prevention Researcher

The purpose of this position is to provide Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) with volunteer research assistance on campaign initiatives like Polluter Pays and Wet Cleaning that are focused on reducing the use and release of toxic chemicals into Toronto’s air and water.

Are you concerned about the chemicals entering our environment? Do you have an interest in environmental research that can make a difference?

TEA has recently gained access to a large amount of data through a Freedom of Information request, which provides insights into the Pollution Prevention Plans developed by businesses in Toronto who use toxic solvents that pose risks to our health and the environment. The challenge is that we received 1800 pages of information and we need to do an in-depth review and quick analysis of these documents before we can use this information in our campaign work.

Key tasks in this position include reviewing pollution prevention planning documents developed by Toronto businesses, data entry, and basic data analysis. There may also be opportunities to assist with the promotion of upcoming business demonstration events that showcase a non-toxic alternative process (Wet Cleaning).

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • As an assistant to the Campaigns Director, you will enter detailed Pollution Prevention Plan data, troubleshooting challenges and correcting data errors

  • You will learn how to enter, access and analyze data using a web-based application (Typeform)

  • Must be available to work at the TEA office at times that fit within the TEA office hours of Monday to Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

  • Must be able to contribute a minimum of 6 hours of data entry in total, up to a maximum of 15 hours. These hours can be completed over multiple volunteer days in the office.

  • Once data entry is complete, there will opportunities to assist with organizing wet cleaning demonstrations by identifying businesses to invite and contributing to the promotional strategy


  • Strong command of reading and writing in the English language

  • Attention to detail and a willingness to complete a large amount of data entry.

  • Ability to review large quantities of scanned documents to discern valuable research data

  • Access to a personal laptop is an asset as we have limited computers available

  • A strong interest in environmental law and policy, toxic chemical research, sustainable business, corporate responsibility, pollution prevention, aquatic ecosystems, bylaw enforcement, and/or public health

You will learn about the Freedom of Information process, which is a way to access government data when it is not readily available to the public. This skill is key for people interested in research or journalism jobs. By reviewing a large data set that has never been analyzed, you will be the first to identify any trends that could ultimately change the direction of pollution policy and programs in our city! You will gain insights into how the City of Toronto’s environmental protection policies are put into practice within various departments at the city including Toronto Water and Toronto Public Health. You will learn about green business practices that are making pollution prevention possible. TEA provides credit where due and if any of this research becomes published, we will attribute your name as a contributor.

Upon completion of the work, if satisfactory, TEA agrees to be a reference for your employment or education applications.

This is a volunteer (or placement) position. However, TEA will cover approved work-related ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses such as tokens for public transit.

Deadline to apply: Tuesday April 18th. Submit your resume by email to heather@torontoenvironment.org with a short reply describing your interest in the position. Please put ‘Volunteer Position’ in the email heading.