We hear it all the time from our visitors: "It's so beautiful and green here!" But in Vancouver, green is more than just a flattering colour. It's a steadfast commitment to sustainability.
We can already claim the smallest carbon footprint of any major North American city, and we're a recognized leader in green building and sustainable planning. Vancouver was rated second in the US and Canada in the Green City Index. This unique research project was commissioned by Siemens, and prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2011, and assessed and compared cities in terms of their environmental performance. Since then we have not rested on our laurels with an ambitious action plan to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. Important accomplishments include: over 50% of all trips in the city being by walking, cycling or public transit, reducing carbon emissions intensity for new buildings by 43% and reducing annual solid waste to landfill by 32%.
Looking forward Vancouver is taking climate change seriously and in 2019 declared a climate emergency and on November 17, 2020, City Council approved the Climate Emergency Action Plan. This puts Vancouver on track to reduce our carbon pollution by 50% by 2030, in alignment with the findings of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Vancouver is also a member of Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and reports its progress regularly.
What does this mean for the visitor for Vancouver? Destination Vancouver, with our Membership of more than 800 businesses and organizations has sought to build a sustainable and resilient industry that provides unforgettable experiences while contributing to the stewardship and renewal of our natural environment and social wellbeing in our host communities. This means careful planning and engagement with environmental & community organizations, government and economic development agencies to seek ways to make Vancouver the most welcoming city. Where visitors understand how their visit is contributing to a lighter environmental footprint and a positive social impact. We hope that through our collective respect for the environment and host communities, visitors will be inspired and this will foster a desire to return and deepen your relationship with our city and its people.