Earth Day: 10 goals to Vancouver's 2020 Greenest City Plan

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Image: Vancouver Convention Centre / Shutterstock

Today, Earth Day is celebrated around the country, marking the largest environmental event in the world.

Founded in 1990, Earth Day Canada is a national environmental charity, offering free year-round programs to educate and inspire Canadians of all ages, backgrounds and sectors to reach local environmental solutions. Their mission is to foster and celebrate environmental respect, action and respectful behaviour to decrease the impact we have on our planet.

This brings us to Vancouver and its ambitious plans to become the greenest city by 2020, a lofty but attainable goal. This plan permeates through majority of the City’s planning as staff work with Council, residents, businesses, organizations and all levels of government to implement the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan.

The Action Plan is divided into 10 goal areas, each with a specific 2020 target. The 10 goals have been highlighted below as per the Vancouver’s 2020 Greenest City Plan.

Goal 1: Green economy

  • Double the number of green jobs over 2010 levels by 2020
  • Double the number of companies that are actively engaged in greening their operations over 2011 levels, by 2020

Goal 2: Climate leadership

  • Reduce community-based greenhouse gas emissions by 33% from 2007 levels

Goal 3: Green buildings

  • Require all buildings constructed from 2020 onwards to be carbon neutral in operations
  • Reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in existing buildings by 20% over 2007 levels

Goal 4: Green transportation

  • Make the majority of trips (over 50%) by foot, bicycle and public transit
  • Reduce the average distance driven per resident by 20% from 2007 levels

Goal 5: Zero waste

  • Reduce total solid waste going to the landfill or incinerator by 50% from 2008 levels

Goal 6: Access to nature

  • Ensure that every person lives within a five-minute walk of a park, greenway or other green space by 2020
  • Plant 150,000 additional trees in the city between 2010 and 2020

Goal 7: Lighter footprint

  • Reduce Vancouver’s ecological footprint by 33% over 2006 levels

Goal 8: Clean water

  • Meet or beat the most stringent of B.C., Canadian and appropriate international drinking water quality standards and guidelines
  • Reduce per capita water consumption by 33% from 2006 levels

Goal 9: Clean air

  • Meet or beat the most stringent air quality guidelines from Metro Vancouver, B.C., Canada and the World Health Organization

Goal 10: Local food

  • Increase city-wide and neighbourhood food assets by a minimum of 50% over 2010 levels

Together, these address areas of carbon, waste and our ecosystems.

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