Gregor Robertson

Mayor, City of Vancouver

Proving that “Vision” was not just the name of the party he represented, under Mayor Robertson’s leadership, Vancouver now has Canada’s fastest growing, greenest, and most resilient economy – proof positive that going green is good for both people and business. Over the course of his ten year term in office, Gregor has overseen the creation and implementation of the “Greenest City 2020 Action Plan” that aims to make Vancouver, already the greenest city in North America, THE global environmental leader. While the Mayor would be quick to recognize others for their leadership (some included on this page and elsewhere on this website),  given the Clean50 is all about leadership, we want to take a moment to recognize his exceptional leadership – and the very long list of accomplishments under his watch. Chief among those has been getting the Zero Emissions Building Plan approved in 2016  - a significant upgrade to the building code which has now been duplicated across BC and adopted in Toronto. In 2015, Vancouver committed to becoming the first major city in North America to transition to 100% renewable energy future for all sectors by 2050 or sooner. Another area of focus has been to encourage electric vehicles: In 2018 Vancouver became the first major city in the world to adopt a 100 percent EV-ready policy for all new multi-unit buildings,  building on  previous policy from 2014 that enabled over 20,000 EV charging circuits to be built in new homes. Vancouver also has the largest municipal electric vehicle fleet in Canada. With the recent purchase of 44 medium and heavy duty trucks, Vancouver will own the largest number of EV trucks of any municipality in Canada. Other milestones include:
  • 20% decrease in greenhouse gases (GHGs) from buildings since 2007 – Target met
  • 36% decrease in vehicle km driven per person since 2007 – Target met (6 years ahead of schedule)
  • 50% of trips made by bike, walking or transit since 2008 – Target met (6 years ahead of schedule)
  • 43% reduction in carbon pollution emissions from buildings since 2007
  • 15% decrease in community greenhouse gases since 2007
  • 23% decrease in solid waste sent to landfill or incinerator since 2008
  • 53% new local food and green jobs since 2010
  • 56% decrease in greenhouse gases from City operations since 2007
  • 5000 community garden plots added since 2010
  • 18% decrease in water consumption per capita since 2006
  • 106,000 new trees planted since 2010
  • 26 hectares of natural area restored or enhanced since 2010
  • Approved Zero Waste 2040 strategy
  • Approved Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy – banning straws and polystyrene foam by 2019
The next mayor of Vancouver has a problem:  They will have very big shoes to fill,  while leaving only a very small footprint. The rest of Canada hopes Vancouver chooses wisely.

Sean Pander

Green Building Program Manager, City of Vancouver

Sean leads Vancouver’s Green Buildings Team which developed the Zero Emissions Building Plan and established the foundation for the BC Energy Step Code. Recently approved City requirements under the Plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new buildings in Vancouver by over 60% by 2021. Sean’s team has also been developing incentives to accelerate near zero emissions buildings in Vancouver, moving from one Passive House in 2015 to over 1,100 residential units of Passive House development either built or in process. More than 24 BC municipalities are following Vancouver’s lead resulting in a complete transformation in how new buildings are designed and built in the Province, as is Toronto's Green Standard.