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Partners for Climate Protection Program Spotlight: Lethbridge

The City of Lethbridge is creating a more sustainable community.


The City of Lethbridge is southern Alberta’s commercial, financial, transportation, education, and industrial centre. The City of Lethbridge is working to reduce emissions in these sectors to create a sustainable community.

Completed Milestone 2: Set an emission reduction target for corporate emissions of 40 per cent under 2018’s levels by 2030.   

The Partners for Climate Protection program guides and supports municipal action on climate change through a five-step milestone framework to create lasting sustainable changes. From creating a baseline emissions inventory, to setting and reaching emissions reduction targets, each step moves municipalities closer to achieving their goals.

Tip: Learn more about the Partners for Climate Protection program.

The Action Centre recently spoke with Evan Comeau to learn about his previous experience as the Environmental Sustainability Analyst at the City of Lethbridge’s Corporate Sustainability Team.

Watch: The City of Lethbridge discuss their greenhouse gas emissions inventory.

Key Plans, Projects, and Results

Evan outlined the various plans, policies, and projects that Lethbridge is currently working to complete.

Corporate Sustainability

Corporate sustainability is a long-term approach to sustainable business operations that considers social, economic, and environmental best practices for municipal operations, within the limits of the built and natural environment. Lethbridge considers sustainable operations daily by referring to the acronym “EMPOWER” as they support strategies:

E – Economic, Social and Environmental Impacts

M – Meeting and Exceeding Environmental Regulations

P – Partnerships

O – One City

W – Walk the Talk

E – Everyday Best Practices

R – Resiliency

Municipal Solar Generation

The City of Lethbridge invested in two solar photovoltaics projects on municipal buildings:

Photo: Solar photovoltaic system on the ATB Recreation Centre roof, funded in part through the Action Centre’s Alberta Municipal Solar Program.

Energy Efficiency

The City completed a lighting retrofit of the Henderson Ice Centre, updating over 70 metal halide and incandescent fixtures to LED equivalents, with funding from the Recreation Energy Conservation program. This lighting retrofit resulted in a cost savings of $6,585.88 over the lifetime of the project.

Several energy audits are underway at other City facilities that will identify opportunities for efficiency upgrades.  

The City also tracks the efficiency of vehicles in their municipal fleet, with a live dashboard monitoring fleet fuel consumption.  

Upcoming Climate Action Projects

Landfill Gas Capture System

The City plans to capture methane released from the local landfill and use it as fuel to generate electricity.

Energy Conservation Master Plan

With an emission inventory in place and reduction targets set out by City Council. Lethbridge is creating an energy conservation planning document with guidance from Milestone 3 in the Partners for Climate Protection program.

Advice and lessons learned for creating municipal greenhouse gas inventories

Evan offers these tips for creating an emissions inventory for your municipality.

  1. Develop a physical GHG inventory to visual environmental impact.
    • The Partners for Climate Protection Milestone tool is a straightforward resource that simplifies the process.
    • Understand the different emissions factors, quantification methods and calculations that apply. Document the numbers used and their sources.
    • Accept a reasonable room for error and understand how the assumptions made in your inventory impact your analysis.
  2. Understand the benefits of climate action and how an emissions inventory helps visualize these benefits.
    • Reducing operating costs by investing in climate change initiatives is a motivation that exists in all City departments.
    • Understanding stakeholders and providing information on the benefits is a crucial engagement activity.
  3. Learn from other communities.
    • Working together with other municipalities has been a great way to work through challenges related to environmental initiatives, especially learning from other municipalities who have already create an emission inventory.
    • Council and the Senior Management Team may be interested in how projects worked in other cities, so having a relationship with other communities greatly improves the ability to reference sound project plans and case studies.

LEARN MORE

The Partners for Climate Protection program is managed and delivered by FCM and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability Canada. Program membership is free and gives you access to tools, case studies, and other informational resources, as well as support from the PCP Secretariat.

Author: Ronak Patel, Energy and Climate Change Advisor

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for your municipality with the Partners for Climate Protection program.