British Columbia has achieved carbon neutrality across its provincial public sector for the sixth consecutive year, helping to lower greenhouse gas emissions while also generating jobs. The Province was the first – and continues to be the only – carbon neutral jurisdiction on the continent.
The Carbon Neutral Government Year in Review 2015 report, released today, showcases the accomplishments of B.C.’s public sector organizations in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2015, British Columbia’s 127 public sector organizations generated approximately 44,000 tonnes fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to the baseline year of 2010. This is equivalent of taking approximately 9,400 cars off the road.
Since the start of B.C.’s carbon neutral commitment in 2008 to 2014, the provincial offset investment has contributed $372.5 million to the provincial GDP and supported almost 4,500 jobs in person years.
Carbon neutral capital investments reduce energy costs, promote adoption of clean technology, lower GHG emissions, and can help public sector organizations finance new energy projects and improve public services. For examples of these projects, read the Carbon Neutral Government Year in Review 2015 report at: http://ow.ly/B56h302HrCr
Mary Polak, Environment Minister –
“As we mark another year of carbon neutrality across B.C.’s public sector, we celebrate a new era of climate leadership throughout our province, our nation and the world. Carbon neutrality supports the #BCTech strategy and is one of many ways we are encouraging emission reductions while, at the same time, creating jobs and economic growth. Our carbon neutral government program will continue to be an important element of our climate agenda through the Climate Leadership Plan.”
Jordan Sturdy, Parliamentary Secretary for Energy Literacy and the Environment –
“We remain the only carbon neutral government in North America. Our carbon neutral government program continues to be successful in driving growth in clean energy and technology while reducing harmful GHG emissions. We are turning energy savings into cost savings that can be reinvested in public services such as health care and education.”
- To become carbon neutral, an organization, business or government measures its carbon footprint, reduces that footprint as much as possible each year, offsets any emissions that cannot be reduced and reports on greenhouse gas emissions.
- All public sector organizations including Crown corporations, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, continue to achieve carbon neutrality for their paper, fleet and building emissions – an accomplishment reached every year since 2010.
- Additionally, government ministries and agencies are also carbon neutral for their business travel emissions.
- B.C.’s public sector invested $15.6 million in 624,585 tonnes of carbon offsets in 2015, encouraging innovative reduction projects across all sectors.
- In 2015, nine B.C. public sector organizations were recognized by Canada’s 100 Greenest Employers. (BC Housing Management Commission, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, BC Hydro, BC Public Service, Insurance Corporation of BC, Provincial Health Services Authority, University of British Columbia, University of Northern British Columbia, and Vancouver Island Health Authority)
- Other jurisdictions such as Yukon, Manitoba, Ontario and Washington are following B.C.’s carbon neutral government lead to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions.
To view Carbon Neutral Government Year in Review 2015 report visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/climate-change/reports-and-data/cng/cng-yir-2015-final5.pdf
To learn more about B.C.’s carbon neutral government program, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/climate-change/policy-legislation-programs/carbon-neutral-government