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Partners for Climate Protection

City of Calgary, AB

Milestone Five

Population PCP member since GHG reduction target

1,096,833

1994
  • To reduce corporate GHG emissions by 20% by 2020, and by 80% by 2050, based on 2005 levels
  • To reduce community GHG emissions by 20% by 2020, 50% by 2036, and by 80% by 2050, based on 2005 levels

Wind power

As a community and as a municipal government, Calgary is taking action to ensure its future generations have the same quality of life and environment as we enjoy today.
Naheed Nenshi, Mayor, City of Calgary

 

As the first municipality in Canada to achieve Milestone 5 for corporate GHG emissions, the City of Calgary has made great strides in meeting the challenges of climate change. The city's corporate climate change action initiatives date back to 2000, when it established a municipal climate change program. Since 2000, Calgary has taken actions to reduce GHGs, such as the use of green electricity, landfill gas capture, adopting a sustainable building policy and employing alternative fleet and fuel technologies. In 2013, the sum of these actions has led to a 41 per cent decrease in corporate GHG emissions below 2005 levels.

In 2006 the city launched imagineCALGARY — a long-term community plan with social, economic, and environmental goals to save energy, increase renewable energy production and reduce emissions. Further planning and consultation led to the 2011 Calgary Community GHG Reduction Plan, which set specific reduction targets for community emissions. Both initiatives received support from FCM's Green Municipal Fund (GMF 5779 and 10005).

Key projects and results

Green power contract

In 2005, the city and ENMAX (an electrical utility wholly owned by the municipality) signed a 20-year electricity supply agreement that targets a minimum 75 per cent offset of municipal electricity consumption through the use of renewable energy sources.

Environmental

  • GHG emissions reduced by 6.5 million tonnes over the 20-year agreement
  • Improved local air quality by reducing coal-fired electricity use
  • Reduced air pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides, sulphur, mercury and particulate emissions

Economic

  • Electricity generated is sold at a set price
  • More certainty for budget planning and reduced exposure due to market volatility and  regulatory changes

Social

  • Long-term energy supply and security
  • Job creation in the sustainable energy sector

Municipal waste assessment

The city assessed waste management at 17 municipal buildings and facilities in 2012. By examining the composition and volume of waste and recyclables generated at specific sites during a typical day, week or month, the city established a benchmark and set waste diversion targets.

Environmental

  • The 17 buildings achieved an average 37 per cent waste diversion rate (about 50 per cent of all materials diverted were recyclable)
  • 75 city buildings (representing 64 per cent of city employees) equipped with mixed recycling facilities in 2013 and program expansion planned in 2014

Economic

  • Reduced waste disposal prolongs landfill life and avoids the cost of siting new landfills
  • Changing or managing materials consumption in a way that reduces waste often reduces costs

Social

  • Improved workplace sustainability practices can have a positive spin-off at home

Sustainable building policy

Calgary's Sustainable Building Policy requires all new municipal buildings larger than 500 square metres to meet or exceed LEED® Gold certification requirements for new construction. Major renovations of occupied facilities must meet or exceed LEED Silver for commercial interiors. The Sustainable Buildings Partnership Program, funded in part by Alberta's Municipal Sustainability Initiative, provides support in meeting policy requirements.

Environmental

  • 52 LEED-certified projects (15 are city-owned) and 165 projects registered with the Canada Green Building Council
  • All city-owned new construction projects achieved all LEED requirements for alternative transportation, energy reduction, waste diversion and water reduction
  • Energy audits at city facilities identified upgrades to reduce GHGs by 1,400 tonnes per year

Economic

  • Audits identified operational cost savings of $180,000 per facility per year
  • A new fire station saved 45 per cent on operating costs through on-site solar hot water heating, efficient lighting and building configuration

Social

  • Better lighting quality and indoor air quality for staff and users
  • Improved understanding of energy use and conservation methods among facility operators

Green Fleet program

The Green Fleet and Green Driver programs reduce fuel consumption through piloting green technologies on vehicles, employing driver simulators for training purposes, developing Green Driver Standards and running driver education campaigns. All programs promote fuel-efficient driving practices to reduce costs and emissions, and improve driver safety.

Environmental

  • Video educates municipal operators about techniques that reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions
  • Simulators reduce emissions associated with driver training and teach eco-driving habits
  • 147 hybrid vehicles have been put into municipal service

Economic

  • Reduced fuel consumption costs

Social

  • Improved air quality
  • Improved driver safety


Page Updated: 21/12/2015