VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - June 8, 2016) - The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority recognizes the significance of Canadian Environment Week and applauds the federal government for its efforts to increase awareness of climate change and develop solutions to address its impacts.

This year, the theme of Canadian Environment Week is 'why climate action matters to you,' a topic that is always top of mind for the port authority.

In 2010, the port authority was among the first port authorities in the world to commit to having carbon neutral operations, which includes its head office at Canada Place, maintenance facilities, corporate vehicle fleet, employee travel, and harbour patrol boats. The port authority sets annual targets for itself with respect to electricity conservation, waste reduction and green commuting, among other things. In addition, the port authority works with terminals, tenants and shippers to encourage environmentally sensitive work practices.

"Sustainability has always been a part of our mandate, and a consistent theme driving us to create a better port," said Duncan Wilson, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. "We are committed to protecting air quality and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, and we have undertaken a number of initiatives to support that goal."

Air, energy and climate action

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, which manages the Port of Vancouver, leads a suite of initiatives to reduce air emissions associated with key port activities, including the following:

• The Port of Vancouver was the first port in Canada to implement enhanced environmental requirements for container trucks serving the port to lower diesel particulate matter and other air pollutants.

• The port authority promotes and recognizes cleaner ships through the EcoAction Program and presents Blue Circle Awards to shipping lines that attain the highest participation rate in the program.

• The Port of Vancouver was the first port in Canada to implement shore power for vessels at dock. Shore power connections at Canada Place cruise terminal have reduced around 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions since 2010 from cruise ships. Container vessels will also be able to connect to shore power by early 2017.

Water, land and wildlife

The following programs have been implemented to protect the port's waterways and lands:

• The port authority has been creating, restoring and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat since 1991. The habitat enhancement program, formalized in 2012, consists of projects around the Lower Mainland, through which the port authority ensures the viability and sustainability of new and enhanced habitat. The program is a proactive measure intended to provide a balance between a healthy environment and future development projects that may be required for port operations.

• The Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program is a port authority-led collaborative initiative aimed at better understanding and managing the impact of shipping activities on at-risk whales throughout the southern coast of B.C. Through the program, the port authority is supporting a series of individual short-term projects, scientific studies and education initiatives to inform the development of mitigation solutions. Such projects include the deployment of an underwater listening station in the Strait of Georgia, and support for the PollutionTracker Program, which is part of the Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Pollution Research Program.

• The Fraser River improvement initiative is a five-year program that began in 2013 to clean up the waterway and land by remediating derelict vessels and building structures along the Fraser River. As of April 2016, the port authority has addressed 121 out of 151 sites through the initiative.

Environmental reviews

• The port authority reviews all proposed projects and works on federal port lands, including a robust environmental review. Projects cannot proceed until the port authority is sure any potential impacts identified are eliminated or mitigated, and the activity will not harm fish, plants or wildlife. In 2015, the port authority conducted 212 environmental reviews.

These initiatives are just some of the programs underway, and the port authority is always looking at new opportunities for environmental protection.

For more information

• PortTV episode- Fraser River Improvement Initiative

• PortTV episode- Habitat Enhancement Program

• Infographic - The effects of vessel underwater noise on whales and what mariners can do about it

• PortTV episode- PollutionTracker Program

• PortTV episode- Launching of underwater listening station (ECHO Program)

About the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is responsible for the stewardship of the federal port lands in and around Vancouver, British Columbia. It is accountable to the federal minister of transport and operates pursuant to the Canada Marine Act. The port authority manages the Port of Vancouver, which is Canada's largest port and the third largest tonnage port in North America, responsible for Canada's trade with more than 170 world economies. Located in a naturally beautiful setting on Canada's west coast, the Port of Vancouver is responsible for the efficient and reliable movement of goods and passengers, and integrates environmental, social and economic sustainability initiatives into all areas of port operations. Enabling the trade of approximately $200 billion in goods in 2015, the port sustains an estimated 100,000 supply-chain jobs, $6.1 billion in wages, and $9.7 billion in GDP across Canada.

Contact Information:

Media contact:
Julia Ren
Media & Government Affairs Advisor