City buildings and fleet deemed carbon neutral for 2016/2017
(Penticton BC – June 22, 2018) – Efforts to achieve provincially mandated carbon emission targets via the Climate Change Charter are paying off for the City of Penticton. The City’s goal of seeing its buildings and fleet acknowledged as carbon neutral has been realized using offsets obtained through a number of community based sustainability projects that protect the environment.
In particular, for the 2016 and 2017 reporting year, the City was considered Greenhouse Gas (GHG) neutral due to the Avoid Forest Conversion Project at Three Blind Mice, a popular hiking and biking destination.
“This land had the possibility of being developed in the past, but it has now been dedicated as a park. There is a carbon benefit to this, as trees normally would have been cut down for development but are now saved due to the park status”, said Community Sustainability Coordinator, David Kassian.
Other examples of sustainability initiatives undertaken in 2017 include:
- The ongoing review of the Official Community Plan, which will set the direction of development in Penticton for the next 30 years.
- The installation of new energy efficient cooling units at Leir House and City Hall.
- The installation of new pumping technology on the Dissolved Air Flotation process, increasing energy savings and decreasing chemical use.
- Greenspace revitalization including the Ellis Creek landscaping project, which removed non-native plant species and replaced them with native species.
- The installation of five rain gardens along the 100 block of Main Street that reduce the load on the storm water system, while also filtering contaminants from the water
“Carbon neutrality is a big ominous term that many don’t comprehend, but if we look at the basic premise of reducing emissions and other pollutants into the air it’s an easier concept to understand”, said Penticton Mayor, Andrew Jakubeit. “Hopefully the City can be a leader and inspire others to work on reducing their carbon footprint.”
For the reporting years of 2018 and onwards, the City will need to explore additional alternatives to reduce its GHG emissions and remain carbon neutral. As such, the City intends to:
- Install four new energy efficient Rooftop Units at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre and implement Direct Digital Control systems at key facilities to manage HVAC performance.
- Continue the Voltage Conversion Program, increasing the distribution system from 8300 volts to 12,470 volts in order to increase overall energy efficiency.
- Plant over 85 trees in parks, boulevards and the 300 block of Main Street and replace the irrigation system at Lakeview Cemetery to increase water efficiency.
- Conduct a feasibility study to determine the future of wastewater solids treatment. The study will focus on utilizing modern technology to sustainably treat wastewater solids over the next 25 or more years.
- Map GPS tree locations for the Urban Forest Strategy.
For a detailed report of all the sustainability initiatives undertaken in 2017 and proposed for 2018, visit: http://www.penticton.ca/EN/main/city/climate-action-plan.html, under CARIP reporting (2017 CARIP Survey).
Community Sustainability Coordinator
City of Penticton