The City has approved its first Environmental Sustainability Plan (ESP). This plan incorporates the City’s environmental goals and objectives and actions into one overarching strategy that will provide a clear and flexible framework to help guide future decisions, ensuring the long-term resiliency and sustainability of our community.
The ESP will guide future decisions that support the long-term environmental resiliency and sustainability of the community including:
1. Goals, strategies and actions organized into five themes:
2. A plan to implement the goals, strategies and actions.
3. A plan to monitor our progress.
The ESP was developed through comprehensive research and analysis, as well as through extensive public engagement, over a four-phase process that began in spring 2019. In total, through the entire project development, the team had more than 1,600 survey responses, more than 4,500 comments and 35 pop-up, in-person or virtual engagement opportunities. To learn more about the engagement process visit the project page.
The Climate Action theme includes topics covering energy management, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction and climate adaptation. The City is already a signatory to the provincial Climate Action Charter, and through the ESP has established new targets for corporate and community GHG emissions reductions including:
In addition, Coquitlam is acting to reduce the impacts of a changing climate by implementing the Climate Adaptation Strategic Plan to address climate risks and advancing risk mitigation strategies and actions. Development of a new Climate Action Plan (an 'A' Priority on the City's 2022 Business Plan) will advance progress in this theme.
Learn more about Climate Action on page 13 of the Environmental Sustainability Plan.
The Water Management theme includes topics covering water conservation, water quality, storm and watershed management, and liquid waste management. The City’s Water Conservation Program is robust by regional standards, employing a range of tools, including bylaws, education and incentives. The City conducted extensive water quality monitoring of the Coquitlam River from 2012 to 2016, which resulted in the removal of the Coquitlam River from the Top 10 List of Endangered Rivers of BC. The City has bylaw requirements in place to protect watercourses from development impacts, such as soil erosion and sedimentation. The City has also completed Integrated Watershed Management Plans (IWMPs) for the City’s urban watersheds, and a City-wide Rainwater Management Strategy is in place to help maintain base flows in streams, prevent erosion, improve water quality and protect fish habitat.
Learn more about Water Management on page 42 of the Environmental Sustainability Plan.
The Built Environment theme includes topics covering land use and urban design, transportation and buildings. The City incorporates sustainability considerations into its City planning efforts, which includes the design of complete streets and compact neighbourhoods that provide strategic densification around defined urban centres. Through this approach the City directs over 50% of its growth into transit-oriented neighbourhoods that allow people to make more sustainable transportation and housing choices, and provides access to local amenities, jobs, shopping, etc., while also maintaining access to parks, open spaces and connection to green spaces and nature. The Citywide Official Community Plan (2002), the Strategic Transportation Plan (2012); and the Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan and Implementation Strategy (2017) guide the overall future of the City with a framework for managing change and positions the City for residential and commercial growth over the next several years.
Learn more about Built Environment on page 23 of the Environmental Sustainability Plan.
The Natural Areas, Wildlife and Habitat theme includes topics covering watercourses, fish and wildlife, biodiversity, forests and trees, and parks and green spaces. Coquitlam has over 100 municipal and regional parks comprised of over 7.7 square kilometres of forested land that provides significant ecological value. Coquitlam has an inter-connected system of natural and semi-natural areas, including terrestrial, freshwater and riparian areas, several watersheds, including the lower Coquitlam River and the Coquitlam Lake reservoir, and connections to the Fraser River. These areas are ecologically diverse and provide critical ecosystem services, including habitat for many plants and animals and social, recreational, economic and environmental benefits to the community. The City is also currently the only Bear-Smart certified community within the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley Regional Districts.
Learn more about Natural Areas, Wildlife and Habitat on page 52 of the Environmental Sustainability Plan.
The Waste Management theme includes topics covering reducing, reusing and recycling solid waste (garbage, recyclables, organics and green waste). The City provides curbside collection services to approximately 26,000 single family and duplex households, along with a variety of additional services such as large item pick-up and seasonal unlimited yard waste collection. The City also manages a newly enhanced staff-serviced Town Centre Depot, operational since 2018, to promote recycling and minimize the potential for illegal dumping. The Town Centre Recycling Depot also provides an opportunity for direct communication and education on waste reduction and recycling to residents visiting the site.
Learn more about Waste Management on page 34 of the Environmental Sustainability Plan.
This Top 10 list of priority actions was identified for implementation beginning in 2022. With Council’s approval of the ESP, staff are proceeding with implementing these actions as well as other short-term actions captured in various 2022 departmental work plans. The majority of the ESP’s implementation is planned to take place over the next 10 years and will involve broad collaboration with the community, businesses, various levels of government and First Nations to bridge connections and amplify positive impacts.
|Develop and implement a new Climate Action Plan that incorporates emerging best practice approaches and innovative technology, and prioritizes actions to achieve the City’s community and corporate climate change targets||Climate Action|
|Develop a Carbon Offset Reserve Fund policy to guide decision-making in allocating funds to high-value GHG emission reduction projects||Climate Action|
|Develop an Electric Mobility Strategy to advance vehicle electrification and support greater e-mobility in the City||Built Environment|
|Implement BC Energy Step Code requirements for new building permit applications in advance of provincial adoption schedule||Built Environment|
|Implement a single-use item bylaw that reflects the regional approach developed by Metro Vancouver ||Waste Management|
|Implement the Enhanced Water Conservation Strategy to further reduce water consumption||Water Management|
|Pursue targeted education and enforcement opportunities to reduce pollution in watercourses by analyzing and mapping the City’s spill response data||Water Management|
|Create and expand education and outreach and volunteer opportunities related to residential stormwater management||Water Management|
|Develop a citywide Urban Forest Management Plan that considers tree retention, stewardship, forest and ecosystem health, public safety and climate change impacts||Natural Areas, Wildlife and Habitats|
|Measure tree canopy cover percentages in developed neighborhoods.||Natural Areas, Wildlife and Habitats|