Environment & Natural Resources
The Surrey Board of Trade’s Environment & Natural Resources team reviews issues that impact businesses while promoting the development of green initiatives and a clean energy future. Under the guidance of the team, Surrey Board of Trade is a member of the National Zero Waste Council, and the team’s chair sits on the council’s executive. It is a delicate balance between the environment and business growth, however, the team goes deep to ensure that SBOT’s policies reflect that both can be achieved.
ADVOCACY: issues related to environment and infrastructure locally, provincially and federally
EVENTS: to initiate engagement, education and action (Surrey Environment & Business Awards, Dialogues)
PROJECTS: position papers and other projects to encourage environment initiatives for business
For further information or to join, contact Policy & Research Manager, Jasroop Gosal.
Reports & Presentations
COSIA Innovator Presentation
Canada’s Natural Gas and Oil Emissions: Ongoing Reductions, Demonstrable Improvement by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)
Clean Fuel Standards Presentation by Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
Conference Board of Canada’s Report on LNG’s Importance to the Canadian and BC Economy
City of Surrey’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy
Camp We Empower Presents to the Surrey Board of Trade about their Climate Change Challenge
Province of BC Presents to the Surrey Board of Trade About CleanBC
City of Surrey’s Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy
Gas Prices & Energy – The Future of Energy in BC
On November 27, 2018 the Surrey Board of Trade held a Surrey Hot Topic Dialogue with members to discuss how gas prices are determined, where the economy is headed in terms of energy usage, and how businesses can adopt clean technology. The presentations made by panelists are included here for your information.
Morgan Maryk, Director of Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association
Manny Dhillon, President of Dhillon Holdings
Blair Qualey, President & CEO of New Car Dealers Association of British Columbia
Lenny Freilich, Director of Strategic Accounts for Mitacs
Siraz Dalmir, Key Accounts Manager for Municipalities for FortisBC
Other Reports & Presentations
The following documents are for information purposes only, and may not reflect official Surrey Board of Trade positions.
National Zero Waste Council: Circular Economy Business Toolkit
Issue: Funding for Climate Changement Adaptation – Coastal & Waterfront Community Flood Protection
What’s it about:
Flood protection works are deficient in many coastal communities, which are due to climate change, at an increasing risk of flooding due to long term sea-level rise. Current disaster mitigation funding programs provide limited funds to address long term dike improvement and shoreline protection works, with significant financial responsibility falling to local government, which do not have the financial capacity to assume such significant costs. Senior levels of government should work with local governments and First Nations to fund and assist in implementing a streamlined approvals process for long term flood protection adaptation programs.
Issue: Broader use of greywater
What’s it about:
Of the overall available water resources on earth, approximately 97% is in the oceans with the remaining 3% available for direct use; however, out of this 3% the water available for use by humans is estimated at one one-hundredth. Survival remains one of the key factors of water use along with food production, industry, and domestic needs.
Global demand for water has or will soon reach or exceed the natural capacity of watersheds. Much of the world is affected by acute water shortage and over-exploitation of water resources resulting in the destruction of these resources and high levels of freshwater pollution resulting from anthropogenic factors. Urbanization, industrialization, and population growth have resulted in unsustainable water demand. Canada is not immune to these problems.
As growth and demand continue where will the water come from to sustain industry, food production, ecological and human activities? The widespread reuse of greywater is a viable option that should be explored to meet some of this demand for water.
Issue: Pandemic Preparedness
What’s it about:
The Surrey Board of Trade has released Pandemic Preparedness Guides (also to be used as Business Emergency Continuity Guides).
As part of Canada’s business community, the Surrey Board of Trade has released the ‘Business Continuity and Recovery Planning Guide’ as well as the ‘Crisis Communications Planning Guide’.
Issue: Amending Protocols for Economic Recovery from Disaster for All Businesses
What’s it about:
Public Safety Canada has prepared comprehensive plans that address issues of business continuity post-disaster: “Recognizing that some services or products must be continuously delivered without interruption, there has been a shift from Business Resumption Planning to Business Continuity Planning.” The goal of the protocol is to enable “critical services or products to be continually delivered to clients”(including financial assistance).
SBOT Position: The Surrey Board of Trade is advocating for the inclusion of all businesses as recipients of the Business Continuation Plan (BCP) funds.
For the full submission click here.
Issue: Floods – An Emerging Economic Threat
British Columbia has several thousand kilometres of coastline along which communities are located. Likewise, Fraser River and other rivers flow through BC that are vulnerable to flooding. Floods from rivers and oceans could destroy or affect residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural properties as well as affect transportation means (roads, highways, bridges) and cause widespread disruption to day to day living requiring significant expenditure to restore areas back to pre-flood conditions. The damage to the economy and businesses due to floods are significant, in the hundreds of million dollars. Flood protection structures, measures such as dikes and associated infrastructure (pump stations, flood boxes, rip rap and relief wells) throughout BC need to be upgraded to combat the threat of sea level rise of up to 1 m by 2100. Significant timebound expenditure is needed to upgrade flood protection infrastructure throughout BC.
Read the full policy here.
Climate change as a result of global warming leading to melting ice caps in the north and south poles is causing sea level rise. The BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has directed cities to prepare for a 1m rise in sea levels by 2100. Extreme weather events causing significant rainfall/snowfall are being seen in BC communities. This can cause significant flooding of rivers flowing through BC. Flooding poses catastrophic risks to BC’s economic vitality, safety, environment, property owners and communities.
Although cities have been directed to prepare for sea level rise, there remains the need for significant dollars (running into billions) to upgrade dikes and associated infrastructure over the coming years to prepare adequately for such flooding events especially the 1m rise of the sea level in the next 80 years. There is a 0.5% chance of an extreme flood today while there is a 50% chance of an extreme flood by 2100 AD. Complete restoration of coastal communities and infrastructure following a major flood event could take several years, needless to say, causing severe disruption to the economy resulting in losses of several hundreds of million dollars. To help prevent damage and losses, dikes across BC have to be upgraded in a timely manner and in a priority sequence.
As part of its long-term flood adaptation strategy, the City of Surrey has embarked upon a full review of existing dike infrastructure throughout the City limits and has identified priority areas around rivers (Nickomekl, Serpentine) and the coastline (boundary bay) requiring significant investment for upgrades over the next several years for which both provincial and federal funding will be required in addition to city funding.
It is understood that dike inventory maps, designs etc. have been prepared by the Provincial Government and that funding for upgrades from both the federal and provincial government have arrived in pockets over the years since at least 2014. However, as stated previously, additional significant and strategic funding and planning is required to study flooding patterns of rivers, understand climate change implications with respect to sea level rise especially time sensitivities, as well as improve and upgrade flood protection measures throughout BC.
Overall, we found the B.C. government is not adequately managing the risks posed by climate change. It is very likely that B.C. will not meet its 2020 emissions reduction target of 33% below 2007 levels, and models suggest the province is not on track to meet the 2050 target. Government has work underway to adapt to climate change, but more needs to be done. Actions are taking place at the ministry level—notably to build a strong foundation of knowledge and develop tools—but adaptation needs to be better integrated into policies and decision-making processes. Key climate-driven risk areas, like flooding and wildfires, require additional attention. We found that government may not be able to manage flood risks, given that roles and responsibilities are spread across many agencies and levels of government, and these organizations may not have adequate staffing or technical capacity. Government’s current activities to prevent wildfires are not sufficient, as a substantial number of hectares of forest require fuel treatments. Treatments have not been occurring in a coordinated manner, nor have they been targeting areas of highest risk. Adaptation is not just a provincial government issue. Local governments are on the front lines, but we heard that they are challenged to effectively take action. This includes a lack of financial support, reliable data and knowledge, and policies at the provincial level. As well, the provincial government has not yet significantly involved First Nations in provincial action.
The chamber recommends
That the Provincial Government:
Partner with BC municipalities to provide guaranteed provincial funding through a strategic plan over time to ensure upgrades to flood mitigation infrastructure.
 2019, Surrey Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy – Presentation to the Surrey Board of Trade Environment Team by the City of Surrey Environment and Drainage Manager https://businessinsurrey.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/CFAS-Surrey-BOT-Feb-14-2019-compressed.pdf
 Serpentine and Nikomekl Lowlands – City of Surrey https://www.surrey.ca/city-services/3654.aspx
 Flood protection structures in BC https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/water/drought-flooding-dikes-dams/integrated-flood-hazard-management/dike-management/flood-protection-structures
Issue: Single Use Plastics
What’s it about: The Surrey Board of Trade is advocating for the elimination of single-use plastics.
SBOT Position: The Surrey Board of Trade reiterated their position in support of the elimination of single-use plastics.
“Ensuring economic development moves forward in tandem with clean growth initiatives is key for Surrey Board of Trade members,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.
For the full submission, click here.
Issue: Clean Growth Initiative
What’s it about: The BC Government is asking for input on how to achieve the Clean Growth Initiative.
SBOT Position: The Surrey Board of Trade reiterated their position in support of the Clean Growth Initiative, and to not only implement the suggestions but to expand the sectors in which Clean Growth Initiatives can be implemented.
“Ensuring economic development moves forward in tandem with clean growth initiatives is key for Surrey Board of Trade members,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.
For the full submission, visit https://businessinsurrey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/180822-SBOT-Environment-Submission.pdf.
Issue: Pipeline Politics
What’s it about: The BC Government is asking the Supreme Court consider the question on whether the province has jurisdiction over the Kinder Morgan pipeline project rather than the Federal Government.
SBOT Position: The Surrey Board of Trade reiterated their position in support of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline Twinning project in the face of recent news that the BC government may restrict or delay this project further.
“Despite the BC Government’s decision to further review and consult on the pipeline expansion, the Surrey Board of Trade continues their support of the Kinder Morgan Expansion Project with the development of 15,000 jobs, mostly in the trades,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.
“As we understand it, the BC Government, as they had announced last year, were going through a public consultation as it relates to the Environmental Management Act. In fact all projects are under review by this government. In the face of this new dialogue, the Surrey Board of Trade wants pipeline politics to stop and the consultation process to be expedited. Let’s get on with creating jobs and needed infrastructure.”
Pipelines play a crucial role in today’s economy. They foster international trade, generate investment in research and development and create jobs, a fact that is not to be taken lightly in the current economic landscape.
“Access to markets, including building trade infrastructure, is what we want to see government deliver. These infrastructure projects are trade enabling, and they will drive economic growth for decades to come. They will create jobs for Canadian families and generate tax revenues for governments confronting massive deficits.
Pipelines matter because they are crucial to the competitiveness of the energy industry, a sector that supports the livelihood of so many Canadians.
“Further, the Surrey Board of Trade believes the reviews that have already taken place which include a focus on environmental protections such as the 157 binding conditions by the National Energy Board as well as the investments in the Ocean Protection Plan, serve to address environmental and other concerns related to the project. Moving crude oil by rail through suburbs has proved to be far more hazardous than using state-of-the art technology in pipelines.”
The Surrey Board of Trade has extensively reviewed Kinder Morgan’s commitment to ensure that the proposed twinned pipeline will meet and exceed the most stringent conditions to get product to market in the safest possible way.
Issue: Metro Vancouver Generator Levy and Hauler Licensing
SBOT Submission to Metro Board Chair: November 2017
The Surrey Board of Trade has a responsibility to review changes of policy or legislation or programs at all levels of government if they impact our members. Often we agree that such changes may improve economic opportunity. At other times, however, we find that suggested changes will in fact impede members’ ability to compete fairly in an equally balanced marketplace. The proposed generator levy, coupled with a hauler licensing program, is one that has caused us concern.
Members of our Environment & Resource Infrastructure Team have reviewed the proposed levy and licensing, and have hosted representatives from Metro Vancouver and the Waste Management Association. The members discussed the pros and cons in detail and have come to the conclusion that there are challenges to our members and to the concept of fairness of economic opportunity. As such, we cannot support the program as outlined for the following reasons.
1. Inherent Conflict of Interest
This has been raised before, and we raise it again, as it unfairly skews the market in favour of Metro Vancouver. Metro is regulating the waste disposal/waste haul business in Metro Vancouver. At the same time it is the owner/operator of major waste disposal and waste transfer facilities in Metro. Its proposed regulation can easily be seen as a means of protecting its investment and supporting its operating cost rather than a sincere attempt to provide needed service in the most efficient way and at the lowest cost to the consumer/taxpayer.
There is also an inherent conflict between Metro’s zero waste initiatives and its need to provide revenue to its waste disposal and transfer facilities. Revenues are volume dependent and Metro cannot arbitrarily continue to raise per unit prices to compensate for declining volumes. Progress in environmental management should yield dividends for society at large. Metro needs an analysis to show how improved waste handling reduces everybody’s costs and a plan to scale back its waste management costs as progress takes hold. Less waste should logically mean less cost. A schedule increasing disposal fees from $80/tonne to $93/tonne (16%) over the next 5 years does not meet this expectation.
If waste haulers are paying a$40/tonne levyto Metro Vancouver, regardless of whether they utilize a Metro facility or a private facility, how can a private facility compete? Simply, they can’t. The market is skewed in favour of Metro.
2. Impact on Haulers
Most, if not all, commercial waste haulers already provide source separating containers for their clients. However, the onus is now on the haulers to change the behaviour of waste generators, as per Metro’s goal to increase the effectiveness of source separation of mixed solid waste. Haulers compete for client contracts – admonishing haulers for client inability to source separate through fines and other penalties, requires the haulers to be in the position of enforcers of municipal by-laws, without the means or the authority to do so.
The recourse of “off-loading” or downloading the fine onto their clients, breaches current contracts and is a detriment to future contracts. The challenge is that multiplex units and multi-family towers provide individual anonymity when it comes to non-compliant behaviour, regardless of how many times a hauler may leave letters and notices. Waste haulers realistically have little or no means to influence the behaviour of their customers. Source separation has inherent inefficiencies and there are better, more efficient ways to accomplish these objectives. These alternative solutions might even create a few jobs and a contribution to provincial GDP.
3. Licenses as Free Market Disincentives
As we understand the intended Commercial Waste Hauler Licensing (By-law 181 amendments), licenses are five years for private facilities, and ten years for waste haulers. Neither time period is sufficient to provide long-term stability required by financial institutions or business development strategies. Compounding the detrimental limitation is that the only avenue to appeal is through the same license granting agency.
The short license terms are a major disincentive to private sector investment. Metro is intending to build a transfer station facility in Coquitlam at a cost of about $57M. How can a private entity be able to raise similar investments with only a 5-10 year license; a license that is granted and reviewed by a competitor in the open market?
It is worth noting that across the street from the new proposed Metro facility, there is a private investor who has an approved license and is willing to commit the capital so long as the split fee and facility license are not in place. This would in effect save Metro Vancouver $57 million in capital costs.
Mayor Moore, with respect, the private sector companies — waste haulers and facilities — are full participants in the waste management for the Lower Mainland, and if given sufficient opportunity, could be the means by which Metro can save millions in capital expenditure and operating costs. We hope that you take our comments in the spirit intended, to assist you in making decisions that will help save residents and businesses in the long run.
Issue: Bill S-229
What it’s about: Senator Grant Mitchell introduced Bill S-233, Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act, for first reading in June 17, 2015. It has subsequently passed first reading and has moved to second reading and is known informally as Federal Ground Disturbance Legislation.
Since introduced, the Bill has been renumbered to S-229 in early 2017. The Surrey Board of Trade garnered the support of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in 2017 to further the efforts of the Senator and ensure that when it goes before the House, MPs know that Canadian businesses believe a one-stop hub for underground infrastructure information is necessary.
SBOT’s 2017 Resolution to the Canadian Chamber: Supporting Bill S-229 Federal Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act
The purpose of the bill is to require owners and/or operators of underground infrastructure (pipes carrying a range of materials, cables, ducts, equipment, etc.) that is federally regulated or located on federal land to register the location of same with a notification system, such as the One Call program that exists in BC. Currently, registration of underground pipes is voluntary and with, as Senator Mitchell pointed out at the November Environment meeting, there are over $30 Billion of pipelines in the Lower Mainland carrying oil, water, sewage and more with no common map of all the pipes. Metro’s Greater Vancouver Water District (GVWD) and the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District (GVS&DD) are good resources for One Call as is FortisBC. However, not all owner/operators have registered their infrastructure and accidents happen, as in 2007 Burnaby/Chevron pipeline incident.
The bill proposes
· Owner/operators register all underground infrastructure, even historically unused systems
· Require those undertaking work resulting in ground disturbance on federal land to inform a notification system of the proposed project
· Owners/operators would be required to inform project managers of any infrastructure that can be damaged by ground disturbance
· Owners/operators would be required to mark on the ground the location of the underground infrastructure after a locate request, and
· Various necessary amendments to related Acts.
Further, the bill proposes
· The notification centre means a non-profit corporation that would be a single point of contact for registration, requests and notifications
· The Minister may appoint a “Damage Prevention Organization” within individual provinces to be the notification centre for that province under the proposed act
· Ministry pay each provincial government specified amounts for the contracting of a non-profit organization to be the notification centre for that province
Subsequent sections of the bill detail the contract and the roles of various government agencies (federal and provincial), plus the amendments to the various Acts for alignment purposes.
There is support from CAPP and other industry associations for a common map of underground infrastructure as no one wants to be the cause of a spill or to risk worker safety due to contact with live electrical cables.
The bill would:
· Enforce registration of all infrastructure on federal property, with incentives for private owners (large) to register as well
· Provide incentives for provincial governments to support a notification non-profit corporation to be that conduit of information (One Call in BC)
· Foster collaboration across industry and various government agencies to ensure infrastructure is registered and notification is responsive
· Provide a comprehensive inventory and geo-location of infrastructure both current and historic.
Timing – Senator Mitchell intends to encourage the movement of the Bill out of the Senate and into the House of Commons for adoption, hopefully as early as May or June 2017. Consultation with stakeholders needs to be done quickly with letters of support to MPs to be sent in next few weeks.
Senator Mitchell has connected with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) with an invitation to participate, however, their involvement would be voluntary.
SURREY BOARD OF TRADE SUPPORTS BILL S-233:
The issue: Emergency Planning and Business Recovery
What it’s about: Public Safety Canada has prepared comprehensive plans that address issues around business continuity in the event of a disaster. From their website:
“Recognizing that some services or products must be continuously delivered without interruption, there has been a shift from Business Disruption Planning to Business
The stated goal of the protocol is to enable “critical services or products to be continually delivered to clients” (including financial assistance). Certainly the maintenance of critical services and products is understood and unquestioned, as is the value of the Business Continuation Plan (BCP). However the goal to expand the criteria beyond just the critical services or products, to encompass the whole business community, which may not meet the critical definition, and to include the business community in the further development of these criteria, and the promotion of the programs such as the BCP.
The team determined that a more comprehensive disaster planning and recovery guide is recquired to assist businesses not only be prepared for emergencies, but recovery sufficiently and effectively so that losses are minimized and they can continue to operate.
What the Surrey Board of Trade did: Team members had several meetings with Surrey’s Fire Chief and city officials and recommended a Surrey-based emergency guide that focused on recovery planning for businesses.
The result: The City of Surrey has developed an Emergency Preparedness Toolkit for Surrey Businesses, which does cover most of Surrey Board of Trade’s recommendations. More work needs to be done.
The issue: Waste Not… Achieving Zero Waste
What it’s about: Despite effective diversion rates and programs for plastics, paper, glass, and now organics among other waste products, local governments still spend about $2.6 billion per year to manage waste. To be sustainable, businesses, residents and cities need to consider a range of options to not only divert end-of-life material,
but to create economic advantages for up-cycling material (creating something new from waste) or to foster circular economic partnerships (one firm’s waste is another manufacturer’s raw material).
What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Environment Team had a number of guest speakers attend meetings and explored the potential of developing a made-in-Surrey circular economy program. As more work needs to be done to develop Surrey – South Fraser economic opportunities, Surrey Board of Trade became a member of the National Zero Waste Council.
The result: Members attend NZWC workshops, meetings and the annual Zero Waste Conference. Advocacy is ongoing.
The issue: Styrofoam Recycling Policy.
What it’s about: The increased use of Styrofoam (a non-environmentally friendly material) in packaging electronics, furniture, etc. throughout the Lower Mainland and its eventual disposal into municipal landfills over the years has been identified as a serious environmental concern. Styrofoam, technically known as expanded polystyrene)
EPS), a man made product, can remain in the environment for hundreds of years and resists biodegradation. It occupies 19 times more volume in a landfill when compared to other solid municipal waste. Currently, there is no waste collection and recycling program specifically for Styrofoam, nor is there a product stewardship program such as one that exists for electronics.
What the Surrey Board of Trade did: Working with local manufacturers of EPS, the Team composed a policy asking the Federal Government to actively promote the domestic reuse and remanufacture of waste expanded polystyrene (EPS), by initiating a dialogue with the Canadian Plastics Industry and research institutions to explore ways to stimulate and encourage research and develop competitive and high value, job-rich products made in Canada, from recycled EPS.
The result: Unanimous adoption by Canadian Chamber of Commerce to lobby Canadian government to work to solve the EPS issue.
The project: Position Paper on Local-Scale Agri-Food Systems for Sustainable Cities.
What it’s about: British Columbians are increasingly interested in what we eat, and our demand and support for locally produced food continues to grow. We must seek and embrace new opportunities, try new things, develop new products and markets, and participate in opportunities presented by the emerging low-carbon economy. We
must all realize how important innovation can be: how it can change a farm, a community and a province.
What the Surrey Board of Trade did: Worked collaboratively with Kwantlen Polytechnic University and composed a leadership document for Surrey and for Canadian cities. The full integration of agriculture and the food system within the planning, design, development and function of our communities is an alternative food system path for the urban sector in North America. It is an agri-food system intended to connect urbanites, in real and meaningful ways, to their environment and a human enterprise undeniably crucial to their well-being. It is also a way of reducing vulnerability and dependence on an ecologically unsound and increasingly vulnerable global agri-food system. Regional agri-food systems represent a significant means to contribute to the advancement of sustainable urban communities (socially, economically and environmentally).
The potential benefits of municipalities advancing and supporting local-scale, human-intensive agriculture in British Columbia include:
We therefore recommend that Surrey capitalize on its rich and diverse agricultural heritage, the agricultural knowledge inherent in its diverse citizenry and its access to lands to:
The result: Paper released. Ongoing communication with the Ministry of Agriculture and the City of Surrey.
The issue: Response to Metro Vancouver Integrated Solid Waste & Resource Management Plan.
What it’s about: The Surrey Board of Trade is vitally interested in the sustainability of our community – not only its economic sustainability, but its social and environmental sustainability as well.
What the Surrey Board of Trade did: Recommendations to Metro Vancouver: Our concerns deal with potentially dramatic costs of the current three proposed waste treatment options and the need to re-open the scope of solid waste management options to allow for more flexibility of solid waste management over time. We encouraged Metro Vancouver to that they not limit solid waste management options to waste-to-energy and Vancouver landfill – that they leave all options open. Metro Vancouver and communities like ours need the flexibility to use a variety of waste management options to reduce our waste and recycle as much as we can. New options seem to be coming available each year.
We also encouraged Metro Vancouver to undertake due diligence of the short and long-term costs of all options to the taxpayer, including comprehensive multiple criteria analysis, financial risk analysis, lifecycle analysis and GHG and carbon footprint analysis of all options. The current information from Metro Vancouver is sketchy at best, and does not provide this.
We are also concerned that the present report assumes all remaining waste will be accommodated in the Vancouver landfill even though the regional district has a contract with Belkorp to use the Cache Creek landfill until 2016, a landfill which has had its life extended by 20 to 25 years.
The result: Response received and recommendations taken into consideration. Ongoing observation and action.
The project: Reducing Emissions through Climate Smart.
What it’s about: Surrey Businesses Take the Lead on Reducing Emissions
Reducing paper use, diverting waste and changing fleet operations top the list of emission reduction strategies being developed by thirteen Surrey businesses who
recently completed the Climate Smart pilot project.
Climate Smart is B.C.’s first municipally supported climate change program designed specifically for the small- and mid-sized business community to help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
This is an environmental leadership project in Surrey providing hands-on training in order to develop effective carbon footprint reduction strategies with a focus on cost savings and brand development. The program has given the Surrey Board of Trade and other participating businesses tools to become more competitive in an era of carbon regulation and volatile energy prices.
What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Surrey Climate Smart training program began in April 2010 with funding support from the City of Surrey and Metro Vancouver, and was co-hosted by the City and the Surrey Board of Trade. The participants developed GHG inventories and reductions strategies, which will help the City track progress in its community-wide carbon emission reduction efforts. The Surrey Board of Trade Business and Environment Achievement Awards are presented annually to the business that has demonstrated exceptional dedication to environmental leadership.
The issue: Proposed Air Quality Bylaw for Non-Road Diesel Engines.
What it’s about: The Surrey Board of Trade wishes to congratulate Metro Vancouver on its efforts to clean up the air shed, and in that regard, we support all efforts to regulate diesel engines with respect to emissions. Following a review of the proposals for regulation of non-road diesel engines, emission control and replacement of
older engines altogether, we are fully in support of these initiatives with one exception, diesel-powered stand-by power generators. Undoubtedly, the intention is to deal with those engines which are in frequent use, however we wonder if the matter of rarely used diesel stand-by power units was considered. There certainly are a number of significant consequences, which may arise out of this bylaw.
What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Surrey Board of Trade Transportation and Infrastructure Team offered the following commentary: There are many older stand-by power diesel engines and other infrequently used engines (perhaps even decades old) still in service, that met the emission standards in effect at the time of manufacture. No doubt our municipalities and private businesses own many of these. Given the stable nature of our power grid, they are rarely called upon and probably only average 20 – 50 operating hours per year (mostly for testing purposes). Thus, a thirty year old engine may have only 600 – 1000 hours of operation. It seems to us that these engines are not the emissions problem. There is (as required by regulation) one of these engines in every public, apartment or commercial building, with an elevator, in the city. New machines and engines for stationary applications already have strict Tier I, Tier II and now Tier III emission standards to meet. None of these will be a problem. However, the thousands of older engines could pose a huge problem to the business community and the public sector including the City of Surrey, if they had to be replaced. If they were to be included under the proposed bylaw, what would be the logistics of ensuring the compliance of these engines to meet the proscribed emission requirements? What would be the financial consequences?
Given that the intention of the bylaw is to control the emissions of engines which are in frequent operation, and given the potential for enormous financial impact on both the public (including Metro Vancouver) and private sectors, to upgrade the hundreds or thousands of engines that are seldom used, perhaps this class of engine (based on some basic criteria such as hours of operation per month or year) be excused from the bylaw, at least until this aspect has been adequately addressed.
The result: Comments received. Ongoing observation and advocacy.
The project: The Surrey Board of Trade Sustainability Policy.
Statement of Policy: Businesses and business organizations like the Surrey Board of Trade are the engines and stewards of the economy and as such must ensure that the actions and decisions that we take today do not impact negatively on future generations. The Surrey Board of Trade endorses the definition of sustainable
development as defined by the UN-sponsored Brundtland Commission: development that meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
By acting in a catalyzing role, the Surrey Board of Trade will pursue activities in the following areas:
- Education of members about sustainability (cost effective for business)
- Advocacy of sustainability from a business perspective among membership and in the community
- Recognition of businesses that use sustainable practices and that are models of the strategic advantages of sustainability
- The City of Surrey Sustainability Charter as it relates to commerce activity will be a significant piece in helping to develop strategies – social, economic and environmental
- SBOT leading by example on sustainable practices (ie double–sided photocopying; 100% recycling
- Value of food security (agriculture)
- Waste (garbage) strategy through a business lens
- Canadian Sustainable Energy Strategy
- Environment Awards and Luncheon – September each year
The project: Emergency & Disaster Management/Business Continuity Plan.
What it’s about: Emergencies and disasters can occur any time without warning. The more you are prepared for them, the better you will be able to act, minimizing panic and confusion when an emergency occurs. Relatively speaking, small businesses may have more to lose than large companies when a disaster — natural or otherwise —
strikes. Because of high costs or lack of resources, many smaller companies have less rigorous business-continuity plans in place, and some have no formal processes at all. The purpose of the bulletin was to help employers develop emergency response plans that will meet the specific needs of their small businesses. The plan should take into account the type of business you are in and the nature of your worksite.
What the Surrey Board of Trade did: In partnership with WorkSafeBC created an Emergency Response Tool Kit and promotes this continually to members.
The result: Phase 2 of this plan in progress. The Surrey Board of Trade believes in doing this leadership work around Emergency and Disaster Management, especially in light of a possible Earthquake. Hosted Leadership Surrey Business Dialogue session on this issue. Ongoing.
The issue: Surrey Board of Trade wants to delay Bylaw 280 to regulate municipal solid waste and recyclable materials.
What it’s about: Metro Vancouver has the authority for the management of municipal solid waste in the region, and has set aggressive waste reduction and recycling goals as part of the Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan (ISWRMP).
Certain haulers are currently delivering some residential and institutional, commercial, and light industrial (ICI) waste to disposal facilities other than regional facilities (Metro Vancouver and City of Vancouver transfer stations and disposal facilities). The region would like to achieve the diversion targets set out in the ISWRMP. Control over tipping fees, disposal bans and material prohibitions are tools to reduce waste and ensure recyclable materials are diverted from disposal. Metro Vancouver has developed a strategy which requires residential and commercial/institutional garbage to be delivered to regional facilities while allowing for the development of private sector mixed waste material recovery facilities for the purpose of recovering recyclables and organics from multi-family residential and commercial/institutional waste following source separation.
Metro Vancouver asserts landfills are a last resort and is poised to spend $470 million on one or more waste-to-energy facilities by 2018 to handle 370,000 tonnes of garbage annually. It is being argued that Metro Vancouver could be creating a garbage monopoly that could restrain private enterprise. The proposed Bylaw 280 would ensure that garbage generated in Metro Vancouver is processed at regional facilities, not transported to areas outside of the region (e.g., Abbotsford, Washington State, etc.). Metro Vancouver, in their efforts to reduce materials to landfill, reduce potential revenue to waste processing plants. Metro Vancouver then indicates that as a result they must increase tipping fees to maintain current and proposed infrastructure. This requires further assessment. The other key element is that all these residuals (under Bylaw 280) must come to Metro Vancouver to support existing and proposed infrastructure moving forward (which could restrict competition and creative solutions). The focus now turns to the B.C. Government, which must ultimately approve the bylaw.
What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Surrey Board of Trade has been involved in Metro Vancouver’s efforts to find solutions to the steadily growing issues around the waste disposal issues in Metro Vancouver.
We have followed, and frequently been in support of, their efforts to increase recycling, deal with the problems of multi-unit housing, and in particular, those issues that affect the business community. We have also closely followed the discussions concerning the waste to energy proposals. This is a landmark piece of legislation with enormous economic and philosophical ramifications for the business community (as well as individual taxpayers). The Surrey Board of Trade recommends:
- That the BC Government and Metro Vancouver take a cautious approach to Bylaw 280 to take the necessary steps that will ensure a more comprehensive, simple understanding of Bylaw 280 amongst the business community in terms of its impacts on the cost of doing business and to the future of waste management. The BC Government and Metro Vancouver need to be receptive to feedback from the business community.
- That the BC Government and Metro Vancouver delay signing Bylaw 280 to allow time to assess the ramifications of Multi-Materials BC and other changes to garbage collections taking place currently.
- That the BC Government impose conditions on Metro Vancouver, if Bylaw 280 is approved, that would ensure that municipal solid waste is managed in a cost effective and environmentally sustainable manner, that ensures no unintended financial impacts to local taxpayers and that opportunities to maximize waste diversion through private sector participation are clearly defined and realized. Further, there needs to be scheduled review periods of the bylaw.
The Surrey Board of Trade wants to work together with the BC Government and Metro Vancouver to create a world-class waste management system. The Surrey Board of Trade will continue to receive and consider additional information that stakeholders provide.
The result: Waiting for decision from the B.C. Government. Have sent our recommendations to the B.C. Minister of Environment and Metro Vancouver.
The issue: Surrey Board of Trade Says No to Recycling Program (Multi-Materials BC – MMBC)
What it’s about: The Surrey Board of Trade is not supporting the new recycling regime under the direction of Multi-Materials of BC (MMBC). A rising number of concerns being raised by small businesses, which comprise a large percentage of our membership, indicate concern that the financial and administrative impact on business will
result in much higher fees required to comply with the law, or administrative loads necessary to comply with these additional levels of red tape. This will increase the cost to business and, in effect, our economy.
The Surrey Board of Trade is concerned that as businesses continue to struggle with a still fragile economy these additional fees and administrative pressures will force prices up, and create another level of bureaucracy imposed with little consultation, much ambiguity and no consideration for the problems now coming to light. Certain sectors, such as the printing and publishing industries, are facing serious consequences, which threaten their ability to continue in business at all.
Some businesses have stated that the changes will result in additional charges for this collection, which currently returns about $120 per tonne.
What the Surrey Board of Trade did: A letter to the BC Minister of Environment and a media release were issued, receiving significant media attention.
Despite the May 19th, 2014 deadline to enroll, the program was clearly not ready, and we strongly urged the Provincial Government to impose a delay in its implementation or stop it all together until these problems are resolved. The Surrey Board of Trade was and is prepared to participate with the provincial government assisting with stakeholder consultations and workshops to help resolve some of these issues. We will also assist in disseminating program information, facilitating workshops and communicating to the monitoring table for this program.
The intent of this program was to reduce waste, to reduce the packaging used in consumer goods. Instead business is now faced with actual added costs – and that is not acceptable.
The result: No response from the BC Minister of Environment. MMBC program launched on May 19th, 2014. SBOT will monitor cost impacts from MMBC.
The issue: Trans Mountain Expansion Project
What it’s about: The conveyance of crude and refined petroleum products is a critical aspect of Canada’s export activity through the Western Gateway. This is in line with national and provincial economic interests involving key commodities critical to the Canadian economy. Due to twinning, revenue creation at the federal, provincial and
municipal levels is expected to boost the economy both over the short and long terms. The Surrey Board of Trade is cognizant of the significant environmental risks due to spills associated with operation of the pipeline and the transport (rail, road and marine) of petroleum products. Oil Spill response is a priority for the Surrey Board of Trade.
What the Surrey Board of Trade did: The Surrey Board of Trade supports the Kinder Morgan project to twin its Trans Mountain Pipeline.
The Surrey Board of Trade advocates for:
1. The selection of a route/corridor for the pipeline, which will cause minimal environmental and negative economic impacts as a result of a spill over the lifetime of operation of the pipeline.
2. The implementation of sophisticated spill control measures and the deployment of state-of-the-art technologies to control spills along the length of the pipeline.
3. A review of the Transportation of the Dangerous Goods Regulations, followed by any necessary amendments to the regulations that would increase the safety of the transport of crude oil and other refined petroleum products.
4. Enhancements to the Provincial Spill Response Program that would help minimize the risks of a spill of petroleum products/crude from tankers, ships or rail cars and thereby create very safe conditions for transporting such dangerous goods.
5. Adequate financial security as part of the twinning to deal with the adverse economic impacts as a result of an environmental disaster due to a spill or accident causing a release of petroleum products into marine/freshwaters or environmentally sensitive land.
Components of the Surrey Board of Trade’s position paper include:
- How the pipeline twinning affects Surrey and BC residents.
- Effect on the Canadian economy.
- Implications to environmental safety within the footprint of the pipeline traversing through BC and in marine waters.
- Emergency Response.
The result: Full position paper sent to National Energy Board and stakeholders. In progress.