November 25, 2013
by Canadian Architect
The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has announced that the City of Vancouver has won a World Green Building Council (WGBC) Government Leadership Award for Best Green Building Policy. Recently announced during the UN Climate Change Convention in Warsaw, the Best Green Building Policy award recognizes international best practice in city-level government policy for green building initiatives.
Held in partnership with ICLEI and UN-HABITAT, this prestigious international awards program honours local government leadership in green building and highlights policies that maximize the opportunity for buildings to mitigate environmental impact. Cities from all regions were considered for the awards under the 2013 theme “Global Excellence in Local Green Building Policy.”
The overall winner of “Best Green Building Policy” was Vancouver, for its Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, an example of excellence in sustainable city policies. The award recognizes the City’s leadership on green buildings, specifically on its two ambitious targets and related strategies. The first target requires all new buildings constructed from 2020 onward to be carbon neutral. The second target is to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in existing buildings by 20 percent over 2007 levels by 2020. Vancouver’s building bylaw and energy efficiency retrofit requirements are two key tools to achieving those targets.
“The World Green Building Council’s award for Best Overall Policy in Government Leadership is an important honour for our city and exciting validation of Vancouver’s work to become the Greenest City in the world by 2020,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Cities are increasingly leading the way with bold solutions to confront the urgent challenge of climate change, and Vancouver is fast emerging as a global hub for innovation in green design. Thank you to the World Green Building Council for this award, and to the Canada Green Building Council for the nomination. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the green building sector and cities around the world to build greener, smarter buildings.”
A video clip of Mayor Robertson accepting the award can be found on the City of Vancouver’s YouTube Channel at http://youtu.be/gs4oQu386Fk
“I’m delighted to congratulate Mayor Robertson and the City of Vancouver for winning the Best Green Building Policy WGBC Government Leadership Award,” said Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of the Canada Green Building Council. “Vancouver’s 2020 Action Plan is globally recognized as an example of leadership in creating a sustainable city. Over 60% of carbon emissions in Vancouver are associated with buildings and homes. The Plan takes bold steps towards reducing energy use in buildings along with water use, and increased recycling targets. The City’s LEED Gold policy for large new developments delivers results in many areas of the Action Plan when buildings are constructed. The CaGBC commends the City of Vancouver for seizing the opportunity to play a critical role in reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
In addition to Vancouver’s win for Best Green Building Policy, other winners are as follows. A Regional Leadership Award was given to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for the Estidama Pearl Rating System – a comprehensive program that has implemented mandatory sustainability regulations in a city that previously had none. An Urban Regeneration Award recognized Christchurch, New Zealand, for various policies and initiatives effecting a sustainable rebuild in a city devastated by earthquake damage. Seoul, Korea claimed a Climate Action Leadership Award for its One Less Nuclear Power Plant initiative – a three-year initiative that aims to reduce energy consumption in the city. Lastly, three Honourable Mentions recognized: Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom for its Food Growing and Development Planning Advice Note; Cape Town, South Africa for its Municipal Energy Efficiency Buildings Program; and Shanghai, China for its Green Building and Eco-City Campaign.
Nominations for the WorldGBC Government Leadership Awards were accepted from cities around the world, spanning a diverse sample of geographic regions and covering an impressive array of policy instruments and programs. Winners were chosen by an expert panel of judges comprised of ICLEI-International, UN-HABITAT and the WorldGBC.
world green building council