Climate action and environment

In 2019, District Council declared a climate and ecological emergency. Since then, we have accelerated our action to achieve three overarching goals:

  1. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a municipality and in the wider community
  2. Protect and enhance ecosystem health and biodiversity
  3. Improve resilience to climate change

These goals are reflected in the 2019-2022 Corporate Plan, which declares our intent to “…make the District a leader in climate emergency action, mitigation, and adaptation, and continue to care deeply for its natural assets. Healthy, biodiverse ecosystems are proactively protected and restored through policy, stewardship and community education.”

District Council has approved the Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP), which establishes the following targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the DNV:

  • 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030
  • 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

Six key pathways

We are taking action in six key areas to reach our goals.

1. Corporate leadership

We are increasing efforts in our own operations and facilities to help achieve energy and emissions reductions well in advance of the broader community target.

Decarbonizing DNV buildings

We have a strategic energy management program in place for our own facilities. To date, we have reduced emissions in municipal buildings by more than 25%. Emissions have been reduced by 50% in the municipal hall and by 30% in the Operations Centre, two of our largest municipal facilities.

A young woman charges an electric vehicle.

Shifting to electric vehicles

We are transitioning our municipal fleet to electric vehicles and currently have 24 fully-electric fleet vehicles. By the end of 2022, our goal is to have 90% of the District’s light duty fleet to be electric. Additional electric vehicles will be purchased as older vehicles are replaced and more electric options become available on the market.

A man in an orange hard hat inspects a freshly paved street.

Adopting greener paving methods

In 2019, the District began a pilot study using warm-mix asphalt and found that the new pavement technology substantially reduced emissions without reducing paving quality. Now, all new paving projects and road maintenance is done using this more environmentally friendly method.

2. Low carbon buildings 

We are implementing a number of initiatives to reduce energy and emissions in new and existing buildings by establishing low carbon construction standards, and expanding education and incentive programs for residents interested in making the switch to greener heating systems.

A man stands outside his home in front of a heat pump.

Reducing emissions from heating

Over 40% of emissions in the DNV are attributed to the use of fossil gas in buildings. Through our Jump on a New Heat Pump program, we encourage homeowners to switch to energy-efficient, low-carbon heat pumps for home heating and cooling.

Two construction workers in a hoist work on a condo construction site.

Ensuring new buildings are low carbon

In 2020, Council approved a low carbon approach to our implementation of the BC Energy Step Code to ensure all new buildings are low carbon. 

3. Low carbon transportation

We are taking action to reduce transportation emissions and congestion in the District, including the introduction of policies and programs to support active transportation and electric vehicles, and compact community design.

A red e-bike parked against a cement and wood pole.

Encouraging active transportation

We worked with the City of North Vancouver and the District of West Vancouver to launch a two year e-bike pilot program across the North Shore.

A closeup of a hand holding an electric car charger.

Adding electric vehicle charging stations

We approved a new electric vehicle policy in 2021 that requires 100% of all residential parking spaces in new developments to be capable of providing Level 2 electric vehicle charging. We will also add a number of stations at District facilities to support public charging.

4. Zero waste 

We are shifting to a more circular economy with regulations and programs that support the salvage, reuse, repurposing or recycling of resources.

A white dump truck is loaded with soil.

Exploring greener construction solutions

After commissioning a study on the use of construction aggregates made from recycled concrete and asphalt, we recently introduced internal policies that encourage the use of recycled materials beyond current municipal specifications and industry standards.

5. Healthy ecosystems 

We are taking action to improve our ecosystem health, including developing an overarching strategy for protecting, enhancing, and restoring biodiversity and natural systems in the District.

A brown and white owl sits perched in a tree.

Protecting local wildlife

The District’s policy to restrict rodenticide baits and recent advocacy led to a temporary province-wide ban on the sale and use of second-generation rodenticides. 

Residents receive free trees as part of the Urban Tree Canopy Project.

Increasing our urban forest

To help increase the urban forest in the District, we introduced the Urban Tree Canopy Project for residential property owners in 2021.

A small river meanders through a wooded area.

Enhancing our watersheds

We are currently completing an Integrated Stormwater Management Plan that incorporates environmental and social values, land use planning tools, and infrastructure asset management plans to improve watershed health. A number of recommendations identified during plan development are already being implemented.

6. Climate adaptation 

We are making our community more adaptive and resilient to the impacts of climate change, guided by the District’s 2017 Climate Change Adaptation Plan and 2021 OCP Action Plan.

A shoreline in Deep Cove.

Adapting to rising sea levels

We are working with our North Shore partners to implement the North Shore Sea Level Rise Strategy, including integrating findings into community-wide flood management initiatives and updating regulations to proactively respond to the potential impacts of sea level rise.

A mountainous area with residential development.

Reducing wildfire risk

The District’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) includes removing vegetation that fuels fires in high-risk interface areas and proactive education and outreach to residents. 

Construction workers unload giant cement culvert pipe pieces.

Mitigating flood risks

We're continue to upgrade numerous culverts to manage future high-intensity rain events, and a number of debris basins have been installed to manage debris flow caused by large storm events.