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Green Building News

Vancouver Issues $85 Million in Green Bonds

With proposed cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and a transition to 100% renewable energy, the city wants to become the 'greenest city in the world'

The city of Vancouver has approved the sale of bonds to underwrite a variety of green projects.

City leaders in Vancouver have vowed to make their city the greenest in the world by 2020, and now they’re backing that up with some serious money for sustainable development.

The largest city in British Columbia, Canada, has issued its first green bond, a C$85 million package that will pay for a variety of housing and renewable energy projects, according to a statement issued by the city.

“Green bonds offer an environmental and social investment tool that will support the City’s efforts to build sustainable infrastructure for many generations to come,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a press release.

Proceeds from the sale of the bonds — paying 3.1% and maturing in 2028 — will fund capital projects that are focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, pollution prevention and control, and wastewater management. The projects will be approved by the City Council. Three projects that have already been approved include the renovation of a fire station to make it a net-zero building, the construction of more than 200 affordable housing units in the Downtown Eastside area, and the continued operation of a neighborhood utility that offers 100% renewable energy.

The backdrop for the sale is a strategy statement that sets two important goals to reach by 2050: sourcing electricity from only renewable energy sources, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% below 2007 levels.

“The consequences of inaction to reduce fossil fuel use, such as climate change, poor air quality and detrimental health impacts, can be avoided through the adoption of renewable energy,” the statement says.

Vancouver has a population of about 630,000 and prides itself on its livability, economic diversity, and technical and digital know-how.


  1. joshdurston | | #1

    Are they still dumping all their sewage into the ocean?

    EDIT: Sounds like I was thinking of Victoria. Looks like Vancouver isn't perfect either but at least they have sewage treatment facilities unlike Victoria.
    I do applaud their initiative though, here in Ontario it appears we are about to take 10 steps back with our new provincial government.

    1. Expert Member
      Dana Dorsett | | #2

      Sure, but not untreated. "All drains lead to the ocean." (eventually: )

      But the route is often complicated:

      Very few cities take sewage recapture & treatment all the way to potable levels, the way they do in Singapore.

  2. Expert Member


    I think you are confusing Vancouver with Victoria.

      1. Expert Member
        MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #5

        Victoria is in the middle of constructing a new treatment plant to divert all its sewage from the existing outfalls. My sister was head of environmental engineering for the city when the issue first gained widespread attention. Interestingly, discharge from the storm sewers causes a lot more marine damage than the domestic sewage, but there has been nothing done to divert that runoff because the media attention was fixated on the optics of dumping untreated human waste. The chief threat to the Salish Sea is the industrial waste from the Vancouver area and Puget sound. The contribution of Victoria's sewage was a drop in the bucket

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