GHG Emissions Reductions:
- 20% – propane bus conversion
- est. 42% – 67% – switch to renewable diesel
- est. 85% – electric busses
- actual: >$5,000/yr on propane switch
- projected: $7,000/yr per electric bus
- testing electrification
- low-carbon fuel
- wastewater recycling
Landsea Tours & Adventures was established in 1985 out of founder Scott Mason’s passion for his hometown of Vancouver, BC, and his desire to provide an experience that allowed his guests to engage with his city. Over the years, Landsea has grown to include visits to Victoria and Whistler. By offering personalized tours in “mini-coaches”, Landsea provides an intimate experience that sets the company apart.
Scott’s love for his hometown, and the nature that surrounds it, has fostered a strong sense of responsibility to his community, and to the environment. This motivates him to find ways to lessen his impact and give back. In 2016, along with seventeen other businesses located in Vancouver’s False Creek Flats, Landsea participated in the False Creek Flats Leadership Group, a unique program designed to give businesses the tools necessary to manage and reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water consumption. The program was hosted by the Vancouver Economic Commission and delivered by Climate Smart.
Cutting Carbon – The Short and the Long Game
While measuring Landsea’s carbon footprint, Scott learned that the largest GHG contributor was, not surprisingly, his fleet of 30 buses. This presented the greatest opportunity to reduce emissions and led the company to kick off an ambitious three-pronged plan:
- Landsea partnered with Vancouver-based eco-Options Energy Cooperative to convert the company’s one gasoline bus to dual-fuel propane/gasoline. According to eco-Options, this conversion is saving Landsea approximately $5,200 annually, and cutting GHG emissions from this vehicle by over 20%.
- Working together, Landsea and eco-Options are piloting a renewable diesel cooperative with fuel sourced from Neste. Renewable diesel, or hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel (HDRD), is produced from animal fats and plant oils, and is refined in a similar process to regular diesel. The refining process gives the fuel properties that allow it to perform just like regular diesel, without any of the challenges of traditional biofuels (i.e., viscosity issues in cold weather, impacts to car filters, loss of engine power). The benefits of HDRD include cleaner burning fuel, lower particulate air emissions, and carbon emissions that are 50%-80% lower compared to regular diesel.1,2. As a result, this project is expected to cut Landsea’s fleet emissions by between 42% and 67%.
- Landsea is working with Thompson Power and EAS Power to convert a 24-passenger mini coach to plug-in electric. As part of the same project, a vintage double decker bus from Wilson’s Transportation is also being converted. Landsea has secured financial support from Sustainable Development Technology Canada for this project. Based on the average annual diesel consumption for these vehicles, once the project is completed, this will prevent the release of approximately 46 tonnes of GHG emissions (an 85% reduction), and save the company over $14,000 in annual fuel costs. Landsea is hoping to run the first electric-powered tours in the summer of 2017 and if the bus performs as expected, a further four will be converted.
It’s Not Just About the Buses
Landsea is focused on more than just fleet emissions. In 2016 the company installed a wastewater catchment system for their bus washing station. This water is treated and recycled for use in toilets at the Landsea office. These facilities are used by staff and guests, and will save 180,000 litres of fresh potable water annually. Landsea also uses 100% recycled paper in their operations and brochures, has an electric car charging station, and is separating and diverting waste from the landfill with the help of Urban Impact.
According to Scott, “I am fortunate that my business has reached a stage of maturity where I can spend more time looking for innovative ways to reduce our impact. There are existing technologies that can easily be implemented, and there are also those that need the support of businesses like mine to provide proof of concept. I owe so much of my success to my community and to the beautiful natural environment of BC. Supporting local businesses and industries that are doing what they can to protect this world just makes sense to me.”