At YVR, we value excellence in environmental management. To do this, we keep our employees and business partners engaged and connected to our environment policy as well as our Environmental Management Plan. We have strict environmental protocols in place and regularly present YVR’s Environmental Management Plan to the Sea Island community through training, meetings, workshops, audits and unique programs.
Project Green YVR
Airports Going Green Award
We delivered our third year of Project Green YVR, our tenant engagement platform that brings airport partners and businesses together to collaborate on environmental initiatives. One of the main delivery tools for Project Green YVR is our contract with Climate Smart, a local organization that provides training and tools to help tenants reduce greenhouse gas emissions, waste and water use while also saving money by reducing those associated costs. Thanks to this program, YVR has now helped 28 Sea Island businesses reduce their environmental footprints.
The annual Clear Skies Awards are designed to recognize YVR tenants and business partners who demonstrate outstanding delivery of environmental programs and initiatives on Sea Island. Businesses are assessed on their action in support of YVR’s Environmental Management Plan goals to reduce emissions, water and waste and improve ecosystem health on Sea Island.
In 2017, the winner of the Airside/Groundside category was AeroMag. AeroMag is responsible for management of our centralized de-icing facility and operates our fleet of electric airside buses for Remote Stand Operations. The organization works hard to ensure that de-icing chemicals are contained on site and do not enter the sensitive Fraser River ecosystem.
The winner in the terminal category was Carillion, who have been a critical partner in helping us to divert 51 per cent of our terminal waste from landfill. Carillion’s daily management of our centralized food court waste sorting system and our on-site composter are key elements of our waste diversion success.
It’s important that we work together with our peers to improve sustainability across the airport industry. We are involved in several external organizations and committees including Canadian Airports Council Environment Committee, Airports Council International World Environmental Affairs Committee and the Ground Operations subgroup to Canada’s Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aviation.
As part of a multi-year environmental audit program, we regularly conduct internal and external audits to ensure YVR maintains high environmental standards. In 2017 we undertook an internal audit of our halocarbon-containing equipment to ensure that we are operating in compliance with federal regulation. Environment Canada conducts regular audits of YVR and in 2017 we did not have any penalties, fines or issues of non-compliance. We also underwent third-party reviews to assess the processes and documentation that allowed the airport to become Airport Carbon Accredited and Salmon-Safe certified.
Working with our Partners
In 2017, we conducted a variety of tenant audits. We performed waste audits of all food and beverage operators as part of our Waste Wars program. In addition, we conducted water audits of all terminal food and beverage operators and four land tenants to assess their water fixtures and provided each with a report of improvement recommendations. We conducted 17 environmental audits, with the help of a third party, on a select group of YVR’s Sea Island tenants using risk-based criteria—focused on hazardous materials management, spill response and petroleum storage tank management. All audits resulted in minor recommendations and no tenants were in significant regulatory non-compliance.
We use several financial incentives to achieve our environmental goals and support our Social Policy.
Green Commuter Program
10.67 million km of single vehicle trips have been avoided through YVR’s Green Commuter Program since inception.
We continue to see success from our popular Green Commuter Program, which offers employees a $50 per month rebate to take public transit, bike, walk or carpool. In 2017, 201 employees (40 per cent of our workforce) participated, a slight increase over 187 employees in 2016. Their collective efforts helped us avoid 1,367,374 km of single vehicle trips and 228 tonnes in carbon emissions. Since the program started in 2006, YVR has saved 10,672,696 km of vehicle trips and 1,819 tonnes of emissions.
In 2017, we brought together an internal, cross-departmental team to advance strategic sustainability initiatives. This team focused on finding innovative ways to do more and generated several educational videos as well as piloting and implementing changes to some of the waste management practices we highlight in this report.
Environmental considerations are integrated into YVR’s emergency response procedures. In 2017, we conducted regular training for employees and business partners through our Climate Smart and Waste Wars programs. We also provided four hazardous materials training sessions to 41 YVR employees and provided training and technical advice to contractors and project managers through the environmental assessment and Facility Permit processes.
Climate Change Planning
YVR takes a proactive stance on mitigating the effects of climate change. Our Environmental Management Plan reflects our commitment to address our climate performance, with targets and programs to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Our Board and Executive Team are responsible for our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and they uphold this through ensuring that operations and development of YVR are environmentally friendly and by including climate change in our robust Enterprise Risk Management program.
In 2017, we advanced our Climate Risks and Resilience Report, supported by internal stakeholders, to document potential risks to our assets and operations as well as to identify potential mitigative action to improve our climate resiliency.
Heat Island Effect
Heat Island Effect refers to when paved surfaces, buildings and airport processes all contribute to warmer temperatures. While YVR does not have formal programs in place to reduce a potential Heat Island Effect, we indirectly reduce this through our Environmental Management Plan and its objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve ecosystem health. For instance, we plant trees and vegetation and incrementally build our infrastructure as required, reducing our impact.