University of Calgary sustainable architecture professor Jim Love says when it comes to being green “Calgary is quite progressive” though he admits we could be better. Evidence of that statement is found in the city’s Corporate Environment Health and Safety Annual Report for 2013.
For example Calgary’s utilities and environmental protection department reports that in 2013 city administration met key environmental and occupational health and safety targets. Notably last year the city planted 6000 trees on municipal land began installing a green roof on the Municipal Building diverted 40500 tonnes of construction and demolition waste from the landfill and inspected 472 city properties for environmental issues. Administration’s goal is to inspect all 8800 city properties by 2015.
For 2014 the city will convert 2500 streetlights to LEDs create a Habitat Condition Rating tool to evaluate the ecological condition of Calgary’s natural areas and produce a city biodiversity index.
Despite the city having reduced greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and operations to 41 per cent below 2005 levels — the baseline used for sustainability targets — the report cautions that the city’s emissions in 2013 rose over 2012 levels due to a growing population that requires increased services such as more transit vehicles.