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:
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a municipality and in the wider community
- Protect and enhance ecosystem health and biodiversity
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.