The City of Richmond has created a Carbon Marketplace Pilot program that supports local business and GHG reductions. The Pacific Gateway Hotel is one participant finding additional benefits in the process.
In 2008, the City of Richmond signed onto the BC Climate Action Charter, committing to carbon neutral operations. The City has several programs to guide residents and businesses in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by finding efficiencies in heating, appliances and vehicle use. The Carbon Marketplace Pilot program offers funding possibilities for Richmond businesses that take extra steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Levi Higgs, the Corporate Energy Manager for the City of Richmond describes how it works. “The Richmond Carbon Marketplace was developed as a way to support local businesses and organizations for their own emissions and then use those credits to offset the corporate carbon footprint,” he said. That is, the City of Richmond buys carbon credits from local businesses that are reducing their carbon footprint, then those credits are used by the City to return part of their Provincial Carbon Tax payment.
Hotel upgrades reduce GHGs
In 2015, the Pacific Gateway Hotel at the Vancouver Airport was one of the first participants in the program. It received funding in exchange for more than 100 tonnes of carbon emission reductions that meet strict provincial guidelines.
Dan Morin, Pacific Gateway Hotel’s Chief Engineer shows the water and energy-saving upgrades in a one-bedroom suite on the second floor. “In the bathroom we have low flow dual flush toilets, aerator facets and a low flow shower head,” he said. “To save on plastic, we have a bulk dispenser in the shower area.” He explains how a heat pump saves energy in the suite, “The motion sensor tells the heat pump if the room is occupied or unoccupied and if it is unoccupied it shuts the heat pump off.”
In 2015, a new boiler system was installed, which uses one third less energy than the old system. Morin feels it is a well-designed, efficient unit. “You can walk in [the boiler room] and you don’t feel any excess heat that would normally come from a boiler plant, so it’s a great investment; gives the hotel great energy savings.”
Triple bottom line
Eda Koot, General Manager, Pacific Gateway Hotel at the Vancouver Airport is pleased with the overall process. “Initiatives like the Carbon Marketplace are just one of the things that businesses like us can get involved in,” she said. “We have a team that is highly involved in this type of initiative; we have an owner that is happy because he is saving money on the bottom line. And at the end of the day it is just the responsible and respectable thing to do.”
Levi Higgs feels the more successful they are developing the program, other cities will potentially develop their own Carbon Marketplace. “We are a part of a larger region and we’re always happy to share best practices with other municipalities.”
The City of Richmond is accepting submissions from prospective participants. For more information, visit Energy Save Richmond.
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