New report finds one-in-15 Vancouverites work in 'green economy'

Jun 8 2018, 7:20 am

One in 15 Vancouverites now work in the “green economy,” according to a new report from Vancouver’s Economic Commission (VEC).

Entitled “State of Vancouver’s Green Economy 2018,” the report shows a 35% increase in the city’s green jobs sector and highlights what it call the “thriving” low-carbon industry.

According to the VEC, the report is meant to “ring greater understanding of the impact, pervasiveness and projection of Vancouver’s green jobs and businesses to both local residents and the international community.”

Vancouver leads in green economy growth

The report noted that overall, Vancouver’s economy grew faster than any other city in Canada while reducing its carbon emissions by 11% since 2007.

“Vancouver’s economy leads the country and the growth of the green economy is a big part of that,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who also chairs the VEC. “We continue to attract jobs and investment while relentlessly striving to be the greenest city in the world.”

Robertson noted that Vancouver was “the first city in Canada to commit to the goal of using 100% renewable energy, and our business leaders are embracing the shift to a clean, green economy with a record number of green jobs and seven Vancouver companies on the Global Cleantech 100 list.”

The VEC first began measuring and tracking green jobs in 2010 – making Vancouver the first and only city to date in the Americas to do this on a consistent basis.

The 32-page report profiles over 200 Vancouver companies that are “making great strides” in the development of low-carbon solutions to traditional and contemporary problems in buildings, energy, mobility and waste management.

In total, it found that 30% of Vancouver businesses offer a product or service that restores or improves the environment. Moreover, the number of green jobs in Vancouver increased by 35% from 2010–16.

“New technologies, reduced dependence on fossil fuels and a significant infusion of clean energy will benefit not only our economy, but British Columbians’ daily lives as well,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “As this report makes clear, the low-carbon economy is here to stay, and the B.C. government is fully on board by committing to grow a sustainable economy that helps people and industry seize new and lasting economic opportunity.”

A six-part report

The report breaks down Vancouver’s green economy into six parts: cleantech, green buildings and construction, waste materials management and the circular economy, green mobility, local foods, and sustainable business.

It also points to numerous city, regional and provincial regulations that have spurred the widespread adoption of high-performance buildings, smart and clean energy systems, and circular approaches to materials and resources.

“The Vancouver Economic Commission warmly welcomes all interested to learn about the Vancouver advantages that have led to making the city a unique ecosystem for green business and a green economy,” said Juvarya Veltkamp, VEC’s Manager of Green Economy Initiatives and lead writer of the report.

The Green Economy Report, said Veltkamp, “is an open invitation to global leaders, innovative companies, and motivated citizens to collaborate on solving the challenges that remain an obstacle to a green and resilient future.”

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