This marks the eleventh consecutive year we have achieved carbon neutrality as part of the Province of British Columbia’s public sector commitment to net-zero emissions.
Health care is an energy-intensive industry that continues to grow with expanding and aging populations. Fraser Health’s 2020 total emission was 39,861 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. To counteract the 2020 CO2 emissions that we were unable to reduce through conservation measures, we purchased carbon offsets from the Ministry of Environment at a total cost of $998,800.
2020 was an extraordinary year due to the pandemic, requiring an increase in fresh air ventilation to reduce the risk of infection and to keep our hospitals safe for staff and patients. As a result, our heating needs and total emissions saw a temporary increase. Despite this, our emission reduction efforts continued in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, with 33 mechanical and lighting retrofit projects completed that together will save Fraser Health an estimated 6.6 gigawatt hours (GWh) or 24,000 gigajoule (GJ) of energy, thereby reducing our carbon footprint by 1,200 tonnes of CO2.