On Feb. 13, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) was recognized at the Sustainable Communities Conference in Windsor for having achieved the fourth milestone within the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program developed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.
The program is based on a five-milestone framework to guide municipalities toward the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for both corporate operations and community-wide emissions.
“Sustainability and climate protection have long been a part of the SCRD’s core values, policies and programs,” said SCRD board chair Garry Nohr. “Since joining the PCP program in 2007, the SCRD has made considerable progress in planning and implementing policies and actions to reduce corporate and community GHG emissions. We are very proud to be recognized in the program.”
The SCRD continues to lead the way in progressive sustainability initiatives that support global and local climate action efforts through the corporate energy and emissions plan and the community energy and emissions plan (CEEP). CEEP was developed regionally in 2009 in collaboration with the Town of Gibsons, the District of Sechelt and the Sechelt Indian Government District.
To qualify for the five-milestone designation, a local government must progress through each stage of the framework, which includes creation of a GHG emissions inventory and forecast; setting emissions reduction targets; developing a GHG local action plan; implementing the local action plan or a set of activities; and finally, monitoring progress and recording results.
The SCRD was recognized for implementing its local action plan (also known as the CEEP) following submission of a report on the status of actions taken to reduce regional energy use and emissions.
Some of the successfully completed/initiated actions include:
• Energy rebate program for green buildings
• Bike to Work Week
• Energy efficient land use policies and targets into official community plans
• Renewable energy atlas promotions
• Organic waste diversion and recycling programs
• Transit programs and services
• ClimateSmart training for businesses
• Climate action kits
“Involvement with the program has given us tremendous value — our emissions inventories are critical tools for understanding our level of impact, as well as evaluating the effectiveness of our community decision-making,” added Dion Whyte, sustainable services manager. “We will continue our efforts to reduce our own environmental footprint and will continue to work with our local government partners to develop a more resilient and sustainable community for future generations.”