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.
- 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
- Reduce community-based greenhouse gas emissions by 33% from 2007 levels
- 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
- 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
- Reduce total solid waste going to the landfill or incinerator by 50% from 2008 levels
- 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
- Reduce Vancouver’s ecological footprint by 33% over 2006 levels
- 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
- Meet or beat the most stringent air quality guidelines from Metro Vancouver, B.C., Canada and the World Health Organization
- 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.