Environment Minister Terry Lake presented FortisBC with the first ever Green Economy Leadership Award for their innovative work in clean technology last night, on the eve of the Global Methane Initiative's Methane Expo.
FortisBC is leading the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the environment through creating innovative ideas in every sector.
Working to help bring costs and emissions down, FortisBC is the first utility in North America to introduce a renewable natural gas offering to residential customers. At the Salmon Arm landfill, FortisBC is working with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District to upgrade and inject biomethane derived from landfill gas into the local distribution system. Using renewable natural gas reduces greenhouse gas emissions and creates new jobs from clean technology projects that capture landfill gas.
FortisBC's Natural Gas for Transportation program initially targeted liquefied and compressed natural gas for large vehicle fleets, such as waste haulers, tractor trailers and transit buses. By providing incentives to other companies, FortisBC has helped companies like Vedder Transport and Waste Management transition their vehicle fleet to natural gas.
Building great partnerships does not stop with the transportation sector for FortisBC. The company has teamed up with school districts and municipalities to create more efficient energy systems. High-efficiency natural gas boilers are coming to 19 buildings in the Delta school district, helping to lower energy consumption and carbon emissions as well as save an estimated $180,000 annually. FortisBC also has partnered with the City of Kelowna to construct, own, operate and maintain a district energy system to provide heating and cooling for dozens of buildings in the city's downtown core.
Since its inception in 1989, FortisBC's PowerSense program has helped Southern Interior electricity customers save more than 425 gigawatt hours, enough electricity to power over 32,000 homes for a year.? In 2012, the PowerSense team handed out almost 10,000 clotheslines to encourage hanging clothes to dry and reducing electricity.
The Green Economy Leadership Award recognizes a B.C. business for leadership in turning the green policies of the Province into new economic opportunities.
The Global Methane Initiative (GMI) is a voluntary, multilateral partnership that aims to reduce global methane emissions and to advance the abatement, recovery and use of methane as a valuable, clean energy source. GMI achieves this by creating an international network of partner governments, private-sector members, development banks, universities and non-governmental organizations in order to build capacity, develop strategies and markets, and remove barriers to project development for methane reduction in partner countries.
Photos from the award presentation can be found at: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjtWwxv8
Terry Lake, Minister of Environment -
"Congratulations FortisBC for your instrumental work to develop innovative and green ideas to help bring costs down, as well as emissions. You have created a whole new line of businesses in the province, leading to clean technology innovations across all sectors. British Columbia is a climate change leader and will remain so with the help of companies like FortisBC."
John Walker, FortisBC president and CEO -
"I would like to thank the Province for recognizing FortisBC's efforts in promoting energy efficiency and innovation in the use of natural gas and electricity, achieving lower costs for our customers and lower provincial carbon emissions. We are able to develop these economic opportunities through forward-thinking environmental policies and the continued support of government."
- A green economy is any economic activity that grows the economy and creates jobs, while also preserving or enhancing the environment.
- Signals of a growing green economy in B.C.:
- 2.1 times the Canadian rate of hybrid vehicle adoption.
- 48 per cent growth in clean-tech sales (2008-10).
- 2,348 gigawatt hours of electricity saved through conservation programs in 2011.
- 20 per cent of Canadian LEED gold building projects registered since 2007 have been from British Columbia.
- Criteria for the Green Economy Leadership Award:
- Ecology: Measurable improvement to the environment, especially related to climate change.
- Innovation: Unique technology or service that challenges current business thinking and promises tangible and significant environmental benefits.
- Culture: Plays a significant role in achieving permanent shifts in behaviour that are part of a low carbon economy.
- Competiveness: Increases overall competitiveness of the province and B.C. companies in global markets.
For more information about the Ministry of Environment's Climate Action Secretariat, please visit: www.env.gov.bc.ca/cas
BC's Green Economy report can be viewed at: www.bcge.ca/BCs_Green_Economy.pdf
More information on FortisBC can be found at: www.fortisbc.com
Ministry of Environment