Green Provincial Report Card 2012 Released

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Corporate Knights, a magazine established to increase dialogue on sustainability in the business world and highlight best practices, expanded its coverage to environmental rankings of businesses, cities and provinces. It just released its third bi-annual Green Provincial Report Card, evaluating each province and territory using a series of 35 indicators grouped into seven categories: air and climate, water, nature, transportation, waste, energy and buildings, and innovation. Here’s a look at how each province was graded overall. (The territories were also graded, but without the strength/weakness analysis provided for the provinces. See the full report for their grades and rankings.)

GREEN PROVINCIAL REPORT CARD 2012

 

Overall Grade

Rank

Strengths

Weaknesses

AB

C

9

-12.4% of land given protected status to conserve habitat of ecological importance-Tops in percentage of forest land certified under Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-Relatively high visits per capita to national parks-Highest GDP per litre of water used

-Above-average number of clean technology companies

-Nearly 10% of new housing starts are “green homes”

-Low energy productivity-Highest residential energy use per capita-Least amount of renewables in electricity mix at 5.72%-Highest number of km travelled per capita, for both heavy duty and light duty vehicles

-Second-highest GHGs per capita

-Second-lowest carbon productivity

-High emissions of non-GHG pollutants, including NOx, VOCs and chromium

BC

A-

2

-Gets 89% of its electricity from renewables-A hotbed for clean technology innovation-Lowest vehicle-km travelled per capital for both heavy duty and light duty vehicles-Relatively high GDP per tonne of waste disposed

-One of the highest waste diversion rates in the country

-Could do a lot more to lower GHGs and other pollutants-Lowest number of water stations with “normal” or “high” water quality-Less than 60% of its population is served with secondary wastewater treatment-GDP per kilotonne of GHG and non-GHG emissions are mostly above the national average, but not reflective of a province with vast green energy resources

MB

C+

8

-Relatively high GDP per litre of water used-98% of population has secondary wastewater treatment-All water monitoring stations show normal or high levels-Below-average release of toxins

-Electricity mix is virtually 100% renewable

-Only produces $40,000 in GDP for every tonne of waste disposed-Lowest waste diversion per capita in Canada-Its heavy-duty vehicle fleet averages second-highest km travelled per capita-Lowest fuel efficiency in the country

-National parks score lowest on ecological integrity

NB

C+

7

-Lowest levels of heavy duty vehicle usage after BC-Highest rate of diverted material per capita annually-Water quality leads the nation-Greatest percentage of cumulative species that aren’t in danger at 88%

-Along with Saskatchewan, residents took the greatest advantage of the federal ecoENERGY home retrofit program

-Only 3.1% of the province qualifies as a protected nature area-No FSC-certified forests-Uses greatest amount of water per capita-Residential water consumption is high

-Inefficient levels of GHG per capita push air and climate scores down, along with elevated sulphur oxide and mercury emissions

-Low energy productivity

-Inefficient residential energy use

NL

C+

6

-Strongest levels of ecological integrity in national parks-Second-highest score in species protection-High volume of Parks Canada visitation-Heavy vehicles are driven rarely, at an average of 437 km per capita

– 97% of electricity generation comes from renewables

-Lack of venture capital investment over the past decade-Contains the smallest number of clean tech companies per capita of any province-Water quality is low-Only 7.9% of the population has secondary wastewater treatment or better

-No FSC-certified forests

-Just 4.6% of land is designated as a protected area

NS

B-

5

-Leads all provinces in waste management, with the most efficient levels of waste disposal per capita and a high diversion rate-National parks have the greatest ecological integrity-Cumulative species status score is high-Residential energy use per capita is tied for second in efficiency

-Greatest percentage of new green certified housing starts

-Third-largest number of clean tech companies per capita

-Third-lowest air and climate score-GHG emissions grew 10.5% since 1990-Low levels of GHG efficiency-Elevated sulphur oxide levels

-Only 12% of electricity generation is derived from renewables

-Only 31% of residents live in areas with secondary wastewater treatment facilities or better

ON

A-

1

-Generates the most GDP per kilotonne of NOx, VOCs and particulates, and for every megatonne of CO2-equivalent GHGs-Reduced GHGs by 6.5% since 1990, making it the only province to reach Kyoto emission-reduction targets-High marks for building green homes and embracing energy retrofits for old ones-Clean technology leader -Waste diversion per capita is below the national average-Lowest visits per capita to national parks-Residential sector’s energy use per capita is slightly below the national average-In the area of water, scores near the bottom because of high levels of mercury, lead and cadmium releases relative to other provinces

PE

B+

3

-Low GHG emissions per capita-Reduced its GHG emissions by 3.4% since 1990-Treats 100% of municipal wastewater-Released no lead, cadmium or mercury

-Tied with Manitoba in generating the most energy—99%—from renewable sources, although this is largely because other sources of energy are   bought from neighbouring provinces

-Smallest amount of protected area set aside-Second-lowest cumulative species status score-Significant use of the least fuel-efficient heavy vehicles in the country-Water quality is poor

-Clean tech rank is lowered because it’s one of only two provinces that has received no venture capital investments since 2002

QC

B

4

-Reduced its GHG emissions by 1.9% since 1990-Leads the country with the lowest GHG levels per capita-Over 50% of its forests are FSC-certified- 97% of energy generation comes from renewable sources

-Light vehicles are fuel efficient, burning 9.9 litres per 100 km

-Maintains poor water quality-Releases large amounts of mercury, lead and cadmium into streams and rivers-Consumes 706 litres of water a day per capita-National park visitation is sporadic, with under 1.5 million visits last year

-Tied with Manitoba in generating the highest levels of waste compared to GDP output

-Chromium emissions are elevated in the air and climate category

SK

C

10

-Relatively low releases of mercury, lead and cadmium into water systems-Has secondary wastewater treatment for more than 90% of population-Virtually all monitored water stations report normal or high quantities with fairly average quality ratings-Highest number of applications per capita for the 2011/12 ecoENERGY home retrofit program -One of the lowest GDPs per tonne of waste disposed-One of the lowest waste diversion rates in country-Lowest energy productivity-Second-highest residential energy use per capita

-Electricity system is heavily dependent on coal

-Second-highest number of km travelled per capita for light duty vehicles and 3rd highest for heavy duty vehicles

-Highest GHGs per capita

-Lowest carbon productivity score

-Highest growth of GHG emissions in the country between 1990-2009

ANALYSIS

The full Green Report Card also grades and ranks each jurisdiction in each of the seven categories that went into the overall grades and rankings. The report card’s goal is to provide a snapshot of the environmental health and resource productivity of each Canadian jurisdiction to give a sense of how serious each is in dealing with such challenges. The creators of the report note that the indicators evaluated for the grades are influenced by not only past provincial/territorial policy decisions, but also municipal and federal policies. And they don’t reflect the impacts of relatively new policies and programs, which will no doubt affect the jurisdictions’ grades in future report cards.