District Reduces Emissions by 106 Tons


District is replacing an older fleet of cars with hybrid vehicles like the one above. Pictured here is the district’s environmental coordinator, Caroline Ashekian

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Aug 4, 2014

District of Squamish has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 106 tonnes in a year, according to Caroline Ashekian, the district environmental technician.

In 2012, the district operations emitted 1179 tonnes of CO2e. In 2013, that number dropped to 1073 tonnes of CO2e.

“We have proven that reducing GHG emissions is now part of our staff culture,” she said.

Squamish signed the BC Climate Action Charter in December 2008, joining 180 municipalities who have committed to be carbon neutral by 2012.

The following two years, the district took part in the BC SmartTool Pilot Project and started reporting emissions in 2012.

To reduce emissions, Ashekian said the district has replaced or retrofitted instruments to green standards, bought more fuel-efficient vehicles, and supported energy efficient uses.

Last year, for example, light bulbs were replaced with more energy efficient LED lighting at the Brennan Park and an old hot water tank was also replaced with a newer energy efficient model.

“Our building managers make sure we replace older equipment with more energy-efficient models,” she said.

Here are some of the steps taken by the district to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Implementing a community wide curbside residential yard waste collection program

Integrate GHG tracking mechanism into all RFP tenders

Continue development of a liquid waste management plan

Replacement of high bay lights with LED fixtures at Brennan Park.

Large gaps between doors and windows at the adventure sealed

Replace all roof top units in the forestry building for heat

As a signatory to the climate charter, the district had to be carbon neutral by 2012, or it would have to buy carbon offsets or invest in an offset eligible project.

At the current rate, the district will have to spend $29,474 to purchase offsets.

Ashekian said the district has undertaken an offset eligible project, specifically the curbside yard waste compost pickup.

“For carbon neutrality, we offset what we emit, because it is not possible to bring corporate emissions down to zero,” she said.         


  1. Paul Lancaster says:

    GHG “green house gas” emissions have become tainted by the concept that natural gas is clean. No fossil fuel is helpful but less use of it is the one way to do some good. The best way would be to join the renewable energy train and installing a local renewable green power plant makes sense. UBC uses a sustainable biomass Nexterra power generator to serve their campus on their “microgrid”
    Maybe Quest could lead in a similar way. How are Squamish carbon offset projects selected; how are they reviewed and approved, who installs them and who audits the results.

  2. Observer says:

    That’s OK we can all breathe in the greenhouse gases that China sends us ,carried by the prevailing winds produced by mostly what we send them, from our tar sands, coal fields and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) mines . They can burn it faster than we can anyway and they have no guilt!! Also we can try to pat ourselves on the back as we look in the mirror. We will be able to give thanks as we bask in the future desert sun, munching on grasshoppers. What a wonderful world! All this reminds me of those plastic junk games, made in China, where you slide /push the squares around to get the pattern you want. Our trick is to get all the dark coloured squares on one side and leave ours light and clear!

  3. Dave says:

    When will we stop thinking that putting the same amount of effort into doubling our efforts to export our fossil fuels at the same time as halving our greenhouse gas emissions here will make any difference to the progress of global warming.
    As an old BC/ Scottish/ Journalist/Broadcaster used to say, “STUPID,STUPID, STUPID”!!
    Stop/reduce digging the stuff up and pursue the development of other energy sources. If there much oil and gas under the arctic ice we are really screwed.