British Columbia has achieved carbon neutrality across the provincial public sector for the eighth consecutive year, helping to lower greenhouse gas emissions while generating jobs. British Columbia was the first – and continues to be the only – carbon neutral jurisdiction on the continent.
- All provincial public-sector organizations, including Crown corporations, health authorities, school districts, post-secondary institutions and the provincial government, are subject to the Province’s requirement to achieve carbon neutrality each year.
- For the 2017 reporting year, British Columbia’s 128 public-sector organizations generated 785,583 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from their operations.
- This represents a reduction of 27,580 tonnes, compared to the baseline year of 2010, a reduction equivalent to taking nearly 10,000 cars off the road for a year.
- Government supports the B.C. public sector in reducing emissions by providing funding to help reduce energy expenses and adopt clean technology through programs, such as the Carbon Neutral Capital Program (CNCP).
- This year $14.5 million is being provided to school districts, health authorities and post-secondary institutions for emission-reduction projects through CNCP.
- B.C. has built, and continues to build, its new schools, hospitals and other facilities to achieve more effective environmental performance, meeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification or equivalent. On average, these new public-sector facilities have being designed to perform 40% better than LEED’s minimum energy requirements.
- After taking steps to reduce their emissions, B.C’s public-sector organizations achieve carbon neutrality by purchasing offsets and supporting investments in emission reduction projects in nearly every region and sector of the province.
- In any single year, B.C. has between 13 and 25 projects in its offset portfolio that involve a range of sectors: energy efficiency, fuel switching, sequestration and greenhouse gas destruction.
- B.C.’s emission offset portfolio has resulted in total emissions reductions of approximately 5.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent between 2010 and 2017, equivalent to the emissions from two million cars in one year.
- In 2017, seven B.C. public-sector organizations were recognized by Canada’s 100 Greenest Employers: BC Housing Management Commission, BC Hydro, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Provincial Health Services Authority, School District No.36 (Surrey), University of British Columbia and University of Northern British Columbia.
Carbon neutral annual reports can be found online: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/climate-change/public-sector
Information on methodology:
The provincial government has changed the way it calculates the car equivalent for government’s greenhouse gas emissions. Previously, the factor used was 4.73 tonnes per car per year, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Province now calculates the equivalent using 2.8 tonnes per car per year, which better reflects B.C.-based data.