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Partners for Climate Protection

City of Fredericton, NB

Milestone Five

Population PCP member since GHG reduction target

56,224

2001
  • Corporate: 20% below 2000 levels by 2010
  • Community: 6% below 2000 levels by 2010

Fredericton Municipal Buildings Initiative

More than a decade ago, we began making decisions around how we would reduce our environmental footprint. These initiatives — from building retrofits, fuel reduction practices, new LED traffic signals and more — mean that today Fredericton is on track to achieve its goals.
Brad Woodside, Mayor of Fredericton

 

After joining the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program in 2001, the City of Fredericton, NB, began implementing plans to reduce corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under its First to Kyoto initiative. Within five years, the city had reduced emissions by 25 per cent relative to baseline levels set in 2000, surpassing the original 20 per cent target. Success came through reducing energy use in buildings, greening its fleet and capturing landfill gas. In 2006, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment presented the city with a National Pollution Prevention award and, in 2009, FCM recognized Fredericton's completion of PCP Milestone 5 for corporate emissions.

The city then turned its attention to reducing emissions generated by community activities. Fredericton's Green Matters campaign supports residents in reducing their carbon footprint at work, at play, and on the road, using a combination of media, events and social marketing approaches. Between 2000 and 2009, Green Matters helped reduce community emissions by 12 per cent.

Fredericton received support for PCP Milestones 1-3 from FCM's Green Municipal Fund (GMF 5220).

Key projects and results

Fredericton Green Shops

Fredericton Green Shops is a voluntary program linked to the city's Green Matters campaign, which helps small and medium-sized businesses assess how they can reduce their carbon footprint. Actions by the city's commercial sector have so far included energy efficiency retrofits, fuel switching, recycling and waste management, transportation initiatives and water conservation.

Environmental

  • Printing company obtained Forest Stewardship Council certification, purchases renewably-generated electricity, and recycles paper and metal
  • Cleaning company renovated with efficiency in mind
  • Hair salon and spa recycles and composts waste, and offers environment-friendly products   

Economic

  • Local businesses have reduced their operating and maintenance costs
  • Participating retailers capitalized on the growing demand for green products and services   

Social

  • Businesses connected through the Green Shops website and Facebook can share ideas knowledge and advertise events
  • As members, businesses also display the Green Shops decal in their windows, which helps promote their products and services to green-conscious consumers
  • Green Shops program received much attention from other cities interested in creating a similar program

Municipal Building Initiative

The city's Municipal Building Initiative (MBI) aims to improve energy efficiency in all municipal buildings by upgrading lighting, heating and ventilation, air conditioning, and arena ice plant systems while reducing GHG emissions and improving comfort and safety. Fredericton's City Hall, retrofitted under the MBI initiative, garnered national attention in 2011 when the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority named it one of the most energy-efficient municipal buildings in the country (fifth of 60 buildings) as part of its Town Hall Challenge.

Environmental

  • Eighteen buildings retrofitted between 1999 and 2001, including City Hall, library, fire and police stations
  • Energy efficiency improvements save 457,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually
  • GHG emissions from city facilities fell by 30 per cent between 2000 and 2008

Economic

  • Energy-efficient buildings are less expensive to operate and maintain — city expects upgrades will save 20-25 per cent in costs over the next 20 years
  • Many MBI upgrades have already been paid back

Social

  • LED traffic signals are more reliable and have enhanced road safety
  • Low-emission paints reduce exposure to hazardous chemicals and make disposal safer and easier

Ammonia Heat Recovery System

In 2010, the city installed an ammonia heat recovery system at the Lady Beaverbrook Rink, the first of its kind in a Canadian city arena. The ammonia used to make ice passes through a heat exchanger coil embedded in a water-holding tank so that it releases some of its heat to the water. The preheated water is fed to the rink's natural gas boiler to supplement the energy needed to reach the required temperature.

Environmental

  • GHG emissions reduced about 35 tonnes per year
  • Reduced load on existing evaporating condensers reduces water consumption 

Economic

  • Annual water heating costs have been cut by more than half
  • Project costs of $76,000, combined with annual savings of $13,000, result in a simple payback of  five -and-a-half years   

Social

  • Lowering emissions improves local air quality
  • The city used a local company (based in Moncton) to supply and install the unit


Challenges

  • Fredericton is not growing as fast as other municipalities; its low population density increases infrastructure costs and makes it difficult to deliver services efficiently.
  • Water and wastewater are still priority areas for the city. Significant GHG reductions rely heavily on public and business participation, and on success in promoting sustainable building design with features such as grey water systems, low-flow devices and other mechanisms.

Lessons learned

  • Municipalities should consider all components of their building portfolio and plan sustainability upgrades appropriately to maximize return on investment.
  • By seeking innovative approaches to energy use, and making internal changes first, the city not only reduced costs and its carbon footprint, but also set a positive example for citizens.

Page Updated: 21/12/2015