We are committed to protecting our precious land, air and water resources. Below are some examples of how we work to save energy and fuel - both within our organization and as a leader in The City of Calgary. As part of these energy-saving actions, we are also striving to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our ecological footprint.
Reducing energy use
Energy-efficient street lights
Calgary was the first city in North America to install new flat lens streetlight fixtures. We retrofitted over 37,000 street lights, which saves over $1.7 million a year due to reduced energy consumption.
LED traffic light replacement
We have retrofitted 170 intersections with LED light bulbs, which are more visible than conventional bulbs and use 80 per cent less energy.
Landfill gas recovery
Decomposing food and yard waste in Calgary's three landfills are a major source of greenhouse gases. We now collect methane (a greenhouse gas) at the landfills and convert it to electricity. Not only does this reduce our emissions by 13,500 tonnes, but this provides enough electricity to power 2,000 homes every year.
The City of Calgary and ENMAX have signed a long-term agreement to supply The City with renewable (wind and solar) electricity. As of 2012 City operations use 100 per cent green electricity, which makes us the largest percentage user of green electricity in North America.
Reducing fuel use
Green fleet program
The City is responsible for a variety of initiatives that reduce our organization's fuel consumption including the use of hybrid vehicles, introducing cleaner fuels into our fleet, an idling reduction policy, preventative maintenance, our Green Driving Standard and the use of biodiesel in some City vehicles.
Green Driving Standard
The City of Calgary adheres to a standard that includes several techniques to help reduce fuel consumption while operating a vehicle and applies to all employees operating City vehicles and mobile equipment.
The City of Calgary biodiesel initiative was one of the first large biodiesel projects in Western Canada, and over the past five years, has grown from a pilot project with a single vehicle to a sustainable year-round program supporting 250 vehicles - mostly from Waste and Recycling Services, Water Services, Parks and the Calgary Fire Department.
Other policies and guidelines
We are committed to fostering an environmentally sustainable community by providing leadership to conserve, protect and improve the environment for the benefit of Calgarians and the regional community. Learn more about our environmental policy.
Triple bottom line
This policy requires all City planning, operations and development decisions first access and consider the environment, social and economic impacts, ensuring sustainable development principles are incorporated into all City decisions. Learn more about Triple Bottom Line.
In 2003, Calgary became the first Canadian municipality to adopt a sustainable building policy. This policy requires all new City buildings and renovations to existing buildings meet or exceed the Silver level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating. In 2008, The City raised the standard and now requires Gold level certification. The City's Cardel Place was the first LEED Gold certified sustainable building in Alberta.
The City's Sustainable, Environmental and Ethical Procurement Policy (SEEPP) provides guidelines for purchasing products and services at reasonable prices while considering key environmental and social benefits. Learn more about SEEPP.
The City's Environmental Management System (EnviroSystem) provides the framework to manage our environmental impacts. It is registered to an international standard called ISO 14001. With this standard, we commit to the highest level for pollution prevention and continual improvement verified by a third-party audit. Learn more about EnviroSystem.