A green city ready for the future
Becoming a more sustainable city is now an imperative, for both our economy and our planet.
The world is very clearly moving in this direction, and investment markets are looking towards industries, projects, and communities with clear sustainability plans and objectives.
Larry Fink, the CEO of the $7Trillion Black Rock Investment Fund has made this very clear in his letter to CEO’s this year:
“There is no company whose business model won’t be profoundly affected by the transition to a net zero economy – one that emits no more carbon dioxide than it removes from the atmosphere by 2050, the scientifically-established threshold necessary to keep global warming well below 2ºC.
As the transition accelerates, companies with a well-articulated long-term strategy, and a clear plan to address the transition to net zero, will distinguish themselves with their stakeholders – with customers, policymakers, employees and shareholders – by inspiring confidence that they can navigate this global transformation.
But companies that are not quickly preparing themselves will see their businesses and valuations suffer, as these same stakeholders lose confidence that those companies can adapt their business models to the dramatic changes that are coming.”
Saskatoon must be part of that future. It is time to focus on what practical steps we can take to ensure we are reducing our risks, and implementing a plan.If we don’t take this seriously, we risk being left behind while the world moves on, losing jobs and opportunities for future generations.
The City of Saskatoon has been working towards this future. We have a road map that outlines our own emissions and provides a guide for where and how we can reduce these in the years and decades to come, playing our part in meeting the Paris Accord Agreements.
We have made progress in a number of key areas and are working with community stakeholders, industry, and government together to build solutions. We all have a part to play. Here are some priorities for this term:
Home Energy Loan Program
City Council has passed a framework for the new Home Energy Loan Program to make it easier for residents to implement home energy retrofits. This retrofit program positions residents to also take advantage of new Federal programs announced to support energy retrofits for housing.
Through the Mayor’s Retrofit Roundtable we are also working with the construction industry and commercial sector to explore expanding retrofits to commercial buildings, apartments, and condominiums.
High Performance Building Plan
The City of Saskatoon is adopting a High Performance Building Plan to ensure any new buildings meet high standards for energy efficiency and design.
Solar energy project
City Council has approved a project to create a 1 mw solar energy project in the South West of Saskatoon. This project has been submitted for Federal and Provincial funding support and we are awaiting approval.
Landfill gas energy project
The City of Saskatoon has implemented a successful landfill gas energy project to reduce the amount of harmful methane being emitted from our landfill and turning it into energy. We are now working to expand this project.
Solar city strategy
City Council has approved funding for City of Saskatoon staff to develop a solar city strategy to support more widespread solar energy development throughout the City.
Electric bus pilot
The City of Saskatoon is in the first phase of an electric bus pilot project, analyzing the best options for implementing an expanded low-emissions transit fleet
Electric vehicle pilot
The City of Saskatoon has embarked on an electric vehicle pilot project, involving both transit buses and city fleet vehicles. This also involves exploring options for charging networks in the city.
Active Transportation Plan
We are in the process of implementing the Active Transportation Plan for the City, including expansion of the Meewasin Valley trail system and a new program to install sidewalks in higher traffic areas where sidewalks have been left out
We are establishing bikeways to better connect neighbourhoods to each other and the downtown.
Planning for the implementation of city-wide curbside organics by 2023.
Establishment of Recovery Park at the landfill to make it easier for residents and businesses to divert construction and demolition waste and other re-usable materials for re-use instead of landfilling.
Organics collection programs & policies
Implementation of an organics collection programs/policies for organics diversion in institutional, commercial and industrial sectors