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The Environment

Environmental programs

Port Metro Vancouver environmental firsts:

  • First port to establish an environmental team. Today, our team includes about 15 experts in biology, air quality, atmospheric science, chemistry, soil science, geology, sustainability and energy management and environmental management systems.
  • First in North America to implement a mid-ocean ballast water exchange program,
  • First in Canada to install shore power for cruise ships
  • First port in North America to publish a sustainability report (2013 marks the fourth year of reporting)


Legislative mandate
The Canada Marine Act requires that port authorities support Canadian trade objectives while at the same time provide for a high level of safety and environmental protection.

To that end, Port Metro Vancouver has a long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship. We aim to take all reasonable measures to prevent adverse environmental effects resulting from activities on port lands, including impacts to air and water.

Environment Policy
Port Metro Vancouver created its first environment policy in 1991. The policy requires us to conduct reviews of all proposed projects, physical works or activities within Port Metro Vancouver jurisdiction that could have an adverse environmental effect on land, air or water, regardless of the presence of legislated requirements. We take a precautionary approach and uphold a high level of environmental protection within our jurisdiction that meets or exceeds legislative requirements.

Sustainability reporting
Port Metro Vancouver reports annually on the sustainability topics of greatest significance to Port Metro Vancouver and port stakeholders. It provides transparency and accountability to our operations and offers a platform for sharing our performance and receiving feedback. In 2013, our report covered a number of important topics including

  • the industrial land shortage in the Lower Mainland
  • the movement of coal
  • noise in proximity to residential areas
  • trucking
  • tanker safety
  • major port-related infrastructure projects

Read the 2013 Sustainability Report

The report is prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), G3.1, Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, a globally recognized framework for reporting on economic, social and environmental performance. The report meets the requirements of GRI’s B+ Application Level.

Key accomplishments
The following are some of the highlights of our sustainability achievements in 2013:

  • Port Metro Vancouver completed 198 environmental reviews on proposed projects and activities to identify and mitigate effects on land, air and water.
  • A 12% increase in participation in the EcoAction program, which promotes emission reduction measures by offering discounted harbour rates to shipping lines.
  • Participation in more than 500 community engagement events.
  • 82 cruise vessels successfully connected to shore power at Canada Place, enabling ships to shut off their diesel powered engines thereby reducing gas emissions by more than 3,000 tons.


Awards and recognition

Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery Project

Port Metro Vancouver concludes federal environmental assessment review for the Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery Project

In December 2013 Port Metro Vancouver concluded its federal environmental assessment review for the Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery Project and determined that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects after the implementation of mitigation measures and environmental conditions. This determination is consistent with the provincial decision rendered on December 12, 2013. 

Learn More


Project documents generated through the harmonized Environmental Assessment review process can be found on the BC EAO ePIC website under Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery Project.  

Documents on the EAO website include:
• Project Application Documents
• Agency and Public Comments
• Environmental Assessment Report
• Certified Project Description
• Table of Conditions

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