Friday, March 27, 2009

Sustainability in Metro Vancouver – how do we measure up?

This past Wednesday Metro Vancouver hosted another Sustainability Breakfast entitled: “Sustainability in Metro Vancouver – how do we measure up?“

The breakfast hosted three speakers discussing the current state of sustainability in the greater Vancouver area. The featured speakers include:
Johnny Carline, Commissioner/CAO of Metro Vancouver on the 2009 Metro Vancouver Sustainability Report;
David Marshall, Executive Director of the Fraser Basin Council on the 2009 State of the Fraser Basin Report - Sustainability Snapshot 4; and
Lidia Kemeny, Director, Partnerships & Projects, Grants & Community Initiatives of the Vancouver Foundation on the Vancouver Foundation’s Vital Signs for Metro Vancouver 2008.

The main concerns about sustainability in the region centered around transport and social sustainability - namely homelessness and affordable housing.

Other interesting statistics emerged surrounding environmental sustainability. Although people in Vancouver use significantly more water on average than other Canadians and even Americans, the per capita water use has been dropping since 1986. While the amount of waste that is recycled continues to grow, so does the amount of disposed solid waste. The trend in the weight of solid waste generated reflects the growing population and the economic prosperity of the region.

One of the interesting statistics that emerged from the Vancouver Foundations report surrounded the question that was asked, "Give an example of a specific event, action, or other thing that has improved the quality of life in metro Vancouver over the past 12 months?" 55% of respondents could not think of anything that had improved their lives in that time:

While all the reports are a bit lengthy, they do provide a number of interesting statistics surrounding sustainability in both greater Vancouver and the Fraser Basin.

Learn more about upcoming community breakfasts here.

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