Greenhouse gas emissions
We strive to balance planned growth and the expectations of our investors with greater energy efficiency and reduced GHG emissions from new and existing buildings.
We endeavour to minimize waste across our operations, provide waste-reduction solutions, and reduce, reuse and recycle to minimize resource extraction and GHG emissions.
We take environmental considerations into account when developing specifications for products and services, including reducing the use of persistent toxic chemicals in the materials we procure.
We aim to minimize our environmental impact and, where possible, restore the ecological integrity and diversity of the urban ecosystems where we build, own and operate properties.
We thoughtfully use and monitor water consumption. We also strive to eliminate stormwater contaminants in receiving bodies of water while contributing to a healthy hydrological cycle.
We prioritize transit-oriented development opportunities and design and manage our communities to provide residents, tenants and employees with options for low-carbon transportation and healthier commuting.
11.47% GHG emissions reduction compared to our baseline year (2018)
At least 75% of all construction and demolition waste diverted from landfill
Water consumption decreased by 1.9% compared to 2021
70% of properties have an on-site waste compactor
Purchased 2,443,200 kWh worth of Renewable Energy Credits in Alberta
We identify projects that reduce our GHG emissions by reviewing how the buildings and systems are operating, and where they are in their life cycle. We then update our systems with equipment that is decarbonized. Our goal is to evaluate the success of these projects and the savings that we achieve, so we can better identify future projects.Kerri Jackson, Senior Vice President, Property Management
The Importance of Testing a Theory
To manage our GHG emissions, we first need to measure current assets and analyze potential new opportunities. We conducted energy audits across most of our commercial and residential portfolio, and in 2022, we installed new boilers at select residential sites to test how they perform in different regions of the country.
We found that a location’s climate plays a significant role in the boiler’s performance and overall efficiency. With more residents working from home, energy usage increased, which impacts how our boilers need to function. These are important considerations when finding solutions for managing emissions.
The potential emissions savings from a partial year of testing are promising: our Fraser Pointe 1 building observed an initial 32% reduction in gas consumption – or approximately 56 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided. We plan to reassess the results after a full year of testing.
Based on the encouraging outcomes of our pilot initiative, we are proposing similar measures for other residential buildings over the coming years. However, we concluded that there would be no universal solution due to the range of environmental factors, so we need to consider each building individually. This initiative reflects our commitment to managing carbon emissions and seeking sustainable solutions that serve our residents and our communities for the future.
Electrification of 600 Drake
In 2019, we launched a heat pump retrofit project at our 600 Drake building in Vancouver to save energy, reduce GHG emissions, provide improved comfort for our rental residents and address issues around air filtration.
Prior to the project, on average, the building used 424,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity and 5,000 gigajoules (GJ) of gas annually. Our energy audit projects an expected annual reduction of 1,590 GJ in gas consumption, which translates to a reduction of approximately 77.9 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
The suites at 600 Drake were heated using in-suite fan coil units that shared a hydronic loop with the domestic hot water system, with temperature sensors measuring heating performance. This means that heating and hot water systems are connected, limiting our capabilities for system management to reduce emissions. We added new electric heat pump units in each suite, thereby separating the systems and providing residents with conditioned units for both cool and warm weather.
With the new units, we found that even during Vancouver heat waves, the suites were kept comfortable, with a minimal increase in electricity usage.
Decommissioning of the fan coil units will continue through 2023. Once complete, we will be able to measure our carbon reduction success against the target set out in the audit.
AI Ecopilot at Head Offices
At our corporate offices in Vancouver and Toronto, we launched a pilot project using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate processes controlling various building operations, including lights and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). These form what is called the Building Management System, or BMS. The goal is to maximize the comfort of our tenants (and employees) while minimizing energy consumption.
This technology uses a building’s thermal properties, weather forecast data, occupancy levels and other relevant parameters to adjust and save energy output. The system is designed to ensure that only occupied spaces are heated or cooled accordingly.
We found that between February 2022 and February 2023, our head office building at 1190 Hornby in Vancouver used 654 GJ less natural gas than the predicted weather-normalized baseline, resulting in emissions being reduced by 14% and electricity being reduced by 3%. From our total initial investment of $50,000, we saved more than $13,300 in utility consumption and achieved a return on investment of 26%.
In other commercial locations where we have implemented similar AI technology, we have achieved annual savings in both energy and CO2 emissions as well. Given these positive results, we expect to continue to implement AI across our commercial office spaces.
Buildings account for more than one third of global greenhouse gas emissions. In Vancouver and Toronto alone, they contribute to over 50% of each city’s current total emissions.
Our Environmental Sustainability framework is designed to reduce carbon emissions and other environmental impacts across our communities—such as water consumption and material waste.
Sustainability Goals & Targets
We are committed to cutting our corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.
Audit Climate Change Risk
By regularly assessing our communities, we reduce our tenants’ and purchasers’ risk of harm associated with climate change and natural disasters.
Best-in-Class Cycling Facilities
To inspire climate action in our communities, we aim to provide best-in-class end-of-trip cycling facilities across our developments.