Parksville recognized for corporate carbon neutrality in 2016

City achieves Level 4 recognition for sixth time

The City of Parksville received notification this week from the joint Provincial-Union of British Columbia Municipalities Green Communities Committee that the City of Parksville successfully achieved its goal of corporate carbon neutrality for the 2016 reporting year.

As a Climate Action Charter signatory, the city has achieved Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 recognition and additionally has been awarded Level 4 recognition – “Achievement of Carbon Neutrality” for 2016.

“This is the sixth year the City has attained carbon neutrality and we are indeed proud of our record,” Mayor Marc Lefebvre said in a written release. “The city continues to demonstrate its commitment to work with the province and UBCM to take action on climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our operations.”

The Green Communities Committee was established under the Climate Action Charter to support local governments in achieving climate goals. Recognition is provided on an annual basis to local governments who demonstrate progress on their Climate Action Charter commitments.

There is also a financial benefit to local taxpayers, in the form of a carbon rebate, said Lucky Butterworth, the city’s director of finance.

“Because we’re carbon neutral, we haven’t had to buy any carbon offsets,” Butterworth told The NEWS. “There’s a cost to becoming carbon neutral, but there’s a savings as well. We budget about $10,000 a year for that, and when we don’t spend it the money goes back into general revenue.”

The big driver of Parksville’s carbon reduction has been its adoption of the “Green bin” recycling program operated by the Regional District of Nanaimo, said Lefebvre. When the recycling program for compostable materials began, it was accompanied by a reduction in curbside solid waste collection from weekly to once every two weeks.

“With foodstuff going into the bins, now we’re picking up everything and there’s less going into the landfill,” he said.

In addition, the city has purchased several electric vehicles for its fleet, and continues to consider its carbon footprint in other equipment upgrades, including the installation of LED streetlights.

“Over time that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuel,” said Butterworth. “Fuel for vehicles is our biggest emission. By switching over as the vehicles age out of our fleet, we’ll get a little more cost-efficient.”

— NEWS Staff/City of

Parksville Submission