Shifting to more environmentally-sustainable modes of transportation, such as transit, drastically reduces the number of single occupant vehicles on the road, reduces traffic, and helps achieve an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in support the Province of BC’s CleanBC Plan.
Electric Buses and Low Carbon Fleet:
The BC Transit Low Carbon Fleet Program is an initiative aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of public transit in British Columbia. To keep up to date on progress, visit the Low Carbon Fleet Program webpage.
100% of BC Transit’s Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) bus fleet runs on a biofuel called Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) which is a biogas produced from organic waste or other renewable sources. For diesel vehicles, BC Transit uses Hydrogenated-Derived Renewable Diesel (HDRD) in some of its buses. Both RNG and HDRD are cleaner, more sustainable fuel options that help reduce the carbon footprint of BC Transit's fleet.
BC Transit prioritizes the use of electric, hybrid or CNG vehicles in its fleet of non-bus vehicles, such as pool cars and repair trucks, whenever possible in order to reduce the environmental impact of its operations. By adopting cleaner fuel options, BC Transit is taking significant steps towards achieving its sustainability goals and contributing to a healthier environment.
BC Transit has committed to constructing new Operation and Maintenance Facilities to Step 3 of the BC Energy Step Code and to achieve LEED Gold or equivalency. This means that BC Transit facilities will incorporate cutting-edge building practices to minimize the environmental footprint, save money and resources, and create a positive impact on the health of occupants.
The first facility to be built to this standard is the Victoria handyDART facility, which is currently being designed and constructed to service Greater Victoria.
BC Transit is working to reduce the environmental impact of its existing facilities throughout the province through equipment retrofits. These retrofitting actions include high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, bus wash water recycling systems, energy-efficient lighting systems, and other green building practices, enhancing the sustainability and efficiency of facilities.
Climate Resilience and Adaptation:
BC Transit recognizes the importance of both climate mitigation and climate resilience in addressing the challenges of climate change. Climate resilience projects are essential to managing the impacts of climate change that are already occurring or expected to happen in the future. To adapt to the diverse impacts of climate change across British Columbia, BC Transit has completed a Climate Risk Vulnerability Assessment for high criticality facilities. This assessment helps identify vulnerabilities in BC Transit's infrastructure and operations that need to be addressed to ensure continued service delivery. The outcomes of the assessment are being used to develop strategies that mitigate climate risks and enhance the resilience of transit systems throughout the province.
BC Transit requires its operating partners to have robust environmental management systems and spill response plans in place to ensure the environmental impact of its operations are kept to a minimum. In addition, BC Transit monitors any potential impacts of its operations on the land that it owns and leases by conducting 3rd party site assessments and site inspections on a regular basis.
BC Transit has an active Sustainability Team (STeam) that develops strategies to reduce BC Transit's impact on the environment while encouraging team members to practice sustainable behaviours at the workplace and in their homes.
BC Transit and BC Scrap-It provides incentives to help British Columbians replace higher polluting vehicles with cleaner forms of transportation like transit and cycling. In Victoria, you can trade in your car for up to nine months of free transit. More details are available at www.scrapit.ca
Sustainable Procurement Policy:
BC Transit’s procurement policy includes provisions for environmentally sustainable practices. These practices prioritize suppliers and products that meet certain environmental criteria. This includes factors such as reducing carbon emissions, minimizing waste, and using more sustainable materials. By incorporating green procurement into its purchasing decisions, BC Transit is taking proactive steps to minimize the environmental impact of its operations and promote sustainability throughout its supply chain.
BC Transit has initiated a planning process to prioritize sustainability and bring together stakeholders to envision a future that is both equitable and environmentally friendly. This long-term Environmental Sustainability Plan will focus on promoting resilience and reliability in all aspects of transportation, while reducing the impact of vehicles on the environment.
The Sustainability Plan is being developed to provide a comprehensive framework for the organization's environmental sustainability initiatives focused around the following priority areas:
- Lower Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to meet intended targets
- Elevate sustainable procurement solutions
- Reduce water usage
- Eliminate waste
- Reduce, conserve or transition energy usage
- Ensure organizational readiness related to impacts caused by climate change
The Environmental Sustainability Plan will include specific targets and performance metrics to track progress over time, and will also incorporate stakeholder engagement and collaboration to ensure inclusivity and alignment with community and industry sustainability standards. Through the implementation of the Sustainability Plan, BC Transit aims to make significant contributions to reducing its environmental footprint while promoting sustainable practices and inspiring positive change within the transportation industry.