Vancouver Coastal Health is pleased to present the twelfth annual Climate Change Accountability Report, which highlights actions to reduce our carbon footprint and the health impacts linked to climate change.
Over the years, we have worked to raise environmental awareness with our staff, patients and the communities we serve. With planetary health as a VCH foundational pillar, we will continue to explore novel ways to reduce our environmental impacts across our clinical services and communities. These efforts have reduced VCH’s operational impact on the natural environment while reducing operational costs.
In 2021, VCH’s emissions footprint was 41,742 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents) which equates to a 17 per cent decrease since 2007. This decrease is significant since VCH has grown its useable facility area by 21 per cent in this same period.
In an effort to continually pursue an effective response to climate change, ten energy and emission reduction projects were initiated in 2021. These projects are projected to reduce our carbon emissions by more than 1500 tCO2e per year. Additionally, VCH began 29 energy studies and other initiatives in 2021, including cooling strategies and electrical capacity studies, to inform future projects and actions.
While reducing our overall emissions, VCH also purchased carbon offsets from the Ministry of Environment at a total cost of $1,094,783 to maintain carbon neutral status to align with the Climate Change Accountability Act and Carbon Neutral Regulation.