Surrounded by natural beauty on an extreme level with the Coast Mountains and Howe Sound drawing the literal physical border of the city, Vancouver has a deeply rooted connection with the environment and the affects their city has on its surroundings. By embracing sustainable and “green” approaches to transport, energy, buildings, technology, water and waste systems, Vancouver is being recognized on the global scale for their outstanding efforts in sustainability.
In 2002 the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors set sustainability as the center focus for the city by creating a 10 year plan referred to as the Road to Sustainability. This 10 year roadmap laid out the importance of sustainability in city management and the goals of embracing sustainability practices. Through the last ten years Vancouver has seemed to strike a balance between economic viability with environmental responsibility, a very difficult feat for a major city. Through day to day engagement in enviro-friendly actions like commuting by bike, buying local food, consumer-conscious buying, and water conservation Vancouverites have proudly committed to the movement.
Vancouver’s green initiatives have garnered respect and recognition in many ways:
2013 – The City of Vancouver was recognized as one of Canada’s greenest employers by the editors at Canada’s Top 100 Employers
2012 – Ranked 5th on Mercer’s “Quality of Living Survey”
2011 – Named Canada’s greenest city by the Economist Intelligence Unit 2011 Report
2011 – Achieved smallest carbon footprint of all major North American cities
2011 – Ranked in the top 5 most sustainable cities in the world by GE’s ecomagination
2011 – Rated 2nd in the US and Canada Green City Index conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit to measure environmental performance
2010 – Ranked Canada’s “Most Walkable City” by Westjet’s Up! Magazine for the second year in a row
2010 – Titled as the world’s “Most Liveable City” by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) – a title the city has been award 8 times since 2002
2007 – Ranked tenth cleanest city in the world by Forbes
Looking ahead, the Greenest City 2020 is a bold new initiative that will address Vancouver’s environmental challenges through measurable and attainable targets. The initiative acts as an overarching guideline for a number of goals and projects with the main focuses being carbon, waste, and ecosystems. For every target area there have been separate projects, initiatives and community movements.“We are proud members of the Association of Destination Management Executives International”