Leading the way, the District of Saanich is the first municipality on Vancouver Island to support local businesses in going Climate Smart.
In April of 2010, the District of Saanich approved its Climate Action Plan committing to the reduction of community greenhouse gas emissions 33% by 2020. One of the key actions it has taken towards this goal is partnering with the Pacific Carbon Trust to support local businesses to participate in the Climate Smart program.
An important component in the implementation of our Climate Action Plan is the role that local businesses play in reducing our community carbon footprint. The Climate Smart Program is providing Saanich businesses and suppliers with the carbon footprint and green business training that successful business must have in 2011. A third of our building-related emissions stem from the commercial-industrial sector and the Climate Smart program is really a building block for Saanich to connect with local business to reduce those emissions and to show them the many reasons why understanding energy use and emissions is essential.
Sustainability Coordinator (Special Projects)
District of Saanich Planning Department
The partnership with the District is serving as a model for engagement of and capacity building within local businesses to help achieve community-wide carbon reduction targets. The District of Saanich will receive actionable, commercial-sector GHG data that complements and informs their community-wide emissions inventories and reduction initiatives. The pilot is demonstrating the potential to link business-sector actions to community-wide emissions, while simultaneously addressing economic development and Climate Action Charter commitments. The Climate Smart pilot also links into the Official Community Plan process (Bill 27) and supports Community Energy and Emissions Inventory (CEEI) reduction initiatives.
One of the most rewarding aspects of working with the District of Saanich has been the diversity of businesses participating: a developer, chocolate company, and a paving contractor are just some of the businesses now measuring their greenhouse gas emissions and developing plans to reduce emissions.