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YVR's new sustainability plan aims for net-zero emissions by 2050

  • Air
  •   03-11-2020  11:39 am

YVR's new sustainability plan aims for net-zero emissions by 2050

The Vancouver Airport Authority is continuing toward its goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with a new 2020 – 2024 Environmental Management Plan (EMP) consisting of four sustainability targets.

“Environmental stewardship is central to who we are and how we operate at YVR. As we work to advance our position as a world class hub airport, we are looking ahead with a heightened sense of responsibility to continue building a sustainable future for YVR,” said Marion Town, Director, Environment, Vancouver Airport Authority. “Our plan recognizes the importance of further reducing YVR’s environmental footprint and working together with our many business partners to support their climate action goals.”

Under its previous plan, YVR led a number of actions to reduce its environmental impact, successfully reducing emissions, water use and waste to landfill. YVR also invested in one of Canada’s largest GeoExchange plants to bolster its ability to continue to reduce carbon emissions and became the world’s first airport to receive Salmon-Safe certification.

READ MORE: Q&A: a look at YVR’s terminal expansion plans

Four points of sustainability

The new EMP builds on the success of the previous plan and, in addition to carbon reduction, outlines clear, measurable targets to continue to conserve water, reduce waste and improve ecosystem health. Specifically, targets for YVR over the next five years are to:

  • Become carbon neutral in 2020 and continue to reduce emissions to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050: to achieve this, YVR is investing in one of Canada’s largest GeoExchange facilities, which, when operational in 2022, will help to further reduce our emissions. The facility is also leveraging BC’s clean electricity supply and championing the use of sustainable aviation fuels.
  • Improve water use efficiency across Sea Island by 50 per cent per passenger: Over the last four years, YVR has reduced water use by 39 per cent per passenger. The airport plans to reduce even more water per passenger by installing low-flow water fixtures, completing a rainwater capture system in the new parkade and engaging passengers in water conservation behaviours.
  • Divert 60 per cent of airport waste from landfill: YVR plans to achieve this goal by focusing our efforts in three areas: planning, waste reduction and increased diversion. This includes waste audits, working with YVR’s partners on Waste Wars, reducing single-use plastics and investing in more smart sortation systems throughout the airport.
  • Continue to enhance and protect the ecosystem of Sea Island, including maintaining the airport’s Salmon-Safe certification: In 2016, YVR was the first airport to achieve Salmon-Safe certification and is currently completing a habitat enhancement project on Sea Island in an effort to re-certify as Salmon-Safe in 2021. The airport will also continue to work with Musqueam to enhance the habitat on Sea Island and protect archaeological resources.

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