City of Bathurst, NB
|Population||PCP member since||GHG reduction target|
Municipalities and local environmental NGOs must work in partnership so that they can support and assist each other. Community engagement is such a critical element to the success of these initiatives, and NGOs can engage in projects that can help motivate the community.
The City of Bathurst leveraged its long-standing partnership with non-profit organization Bathurst Sustainable Development (BSD) to move its environmental goals forward. As joint signatories to the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program resolution, the city and BSD were able to bring different resources, funders, knowledge and skills to the table.
This approach helped the city cope with a declining population, higher energy costs, a rising sea level, coastal erosion and financial challenges. Considering that Bathurst's GHG emissions levels rose 32 per cent between 1995 and 2000 (6.4 per cent per year), the city gained ground by lowering the annual increase rate to 1.42 per cent (between 2000 and 2010). Action taken through the PCP milestone framework has avoided nearly 3,000 tonnes of GHG emissions per year — compared to what might have resulted with a "business-as-usual" scenario — and will benefit the community for years to come
The city's future energy initiatives will also benefit from the findings of a BSD project completed under Natural Resources Canada's Sustainable Communities Initiative. The project studied the feasibility of public transit and mapped every city home and building for potential solar energy initiatives; data that will be valuable well into the future.
Key projects and results
Municipal building retrofits
Municipal building retrofits, including HVAC, insulation, lighting, and water conservation.
- Electricity savings of 500,000 kilowatt hours per year
- $55,000 in annual energy cost savings
- $700,000 investment with project payback periods between 4-7 years
- Improved air and lighting quality in municipal buildings
Asphalt recycling technology
The city invested in an asphalt zipper that recycles old asphalt into new road building material.
- Reduced waste to landfill and lower transport-related GHG emissions
- $160,000 investment; two-year payback period through savings on construction materials and local equipment rental
- Lower tipping and disposal fees
- Reuses a local construction resource and extends landfill life
- Provides a recycling technology that is accessible to local businesses
Green-up Tool Kits
A partnership between BSD and Efficiency New Brunswick, Environment Canada and other local partners resulted in the production of 3,800 Green-up Tool Kits distributed to residents.
- Kits included CFL bulbs and information on energy audits and rebates
- 800 households committed to reducing emissions and energy consumption
- Home energy efficiency improvements lower average residential energy bills
- 300 volunteers helped distribute the kits and raised awareness in the community
A lack of public transit may prevent municipalities from reaching GHG reduction targets, especially in communities that are spread over a large territory.
Raising community awareness of a large-scale issue. In the past, residents tended to view the environment as a "big city" issue; however, the effects of climate change are becoming more visible at the local level.
Mutually beneficial partnerships are vital to success and may help to create spin-off opportunities.
Be realistic about your commitments, but leave no stone unturned.