B.C.’s public sector organizations (PSOs) are taking action to cut greenhouse gas emissions from their operations and to achieve the government’s carbon neutral commitment.
One example of that action includes building new PSO facilities to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold or equivalent certification by a green building rating system. This helps to assure building owners that their investment in a new facility yields superior performance in a variety of areas including: energy and water efficiency, storm water management, indoor environmental quality, materials usage, etc.
This kind of leadership makes a difference. Approximately 30% of all LEED Gold and Platinum building projects registered in Canada since 2007 are located in B.C.
PSOs are also reducing their carbon emissions in other ways.
Low Carbon Building Materials
PSOs are encouraged to promote the use of low carbon and renewable building materials in the design and construction of public sector infrastructure.
The use of low carbon materials reduces the amount of embodied carbon in infrastructure. Embodied carbon represents the emissions released beginning with extraction or harvesting through to the end of a material’s life cycle.
The Canada Green Building Council has highlighted the use of low carbon building materials, such as wood, wood products and Portland-limestone cement (PLC), as one of four key strategies to achieve a zero carbon building.
- Wood and wood products not only have low embodied carbon, they also store carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere for the life of the product
- During its manufacturing process, PLC produces 10% less carbon emissions than regular Portland cement
To learn more about the use of low carbon materials and opportunities to earn LEED credits, please review the following resources:
- An overview on how to earn LEED v4 credits using wood, wood products and PLC in new public sector building projects
- Created for PSO building owners/lessees, facility managers and executive decision makers
- Provides a detailed review on how low carbon building materials can be used towards earning LEED v4 credits
- Created for building sector professionals
Additional Information on Low Carbon Materials
Corporate Supply Arrangement
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
A corporate supply arrangement has been established to streamline public procurement of electric vehicle charging stations. This arrangement allows the provincial public sector, First Nations and local governments to purchase electric vehicle charging stations directly from suppliers, often with favourable pricing. It covers either supply and/or installation of the charging station.
Read the Electronic Vehicle Charging Stations: Buyer Resources document (PDF, 350KB) or email the Procurement Services Branch for more information.
Carbon Neutral Capital Program
The Carbon Neutral Capital Program (CNCP) provides grants to PSOs to invest in capital projects that reduce energy costs and lower carbon emissions.
Funding is allocated by the Ministry of Health to the six health authorities, the Ministry of Education to school districts and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to post-secondary institutions. PSOs submit their CNCP project proposals to the ministry responsible as part of their annual capital planning process.
Between fiscal 2012/13 and 2016/17, the CNCP has provided $53.5 million in funding for public sector emissions reduction projects.
- 50% of the funding has helped to replace boilers with more energy efficient models
- 20% has been applied to innovative strategies such as heat recovery projects, heat pumps, renewable energy and digital building controls
These public sector investments not only reduce emissions and energy costs, they also help to expand the market’s capacity for energy efficient products and services and spur the adoption of clean technologies.