Greater Victoria Harbour Authority targets multiple emissions sources to deliver big results

Project Type

Climate Smart Certification


Victoria, BC, Canada

Actions Implemented

  • Completed LED lighting retrofits for buildings and parking street lights
  • Purchased electric vehicles, an electric scooter, and electric golf carts
  • Removed free car parking for staff and introduced a subsidized bus pass program and office facilities for bike commuters (locked dry storage, lockers, showers, etc.)
  • Replaced old equipment with new electric equipment
  • Paperless invoicing and record keeping
  • Onsite recycling sorting


decrease in absolute emissions*


decrease in emissions per full-time equivalent employee (FTE)*


decrease in electricity consumption*

The Big Picture

Climate Smart Service

Climate Smart Certification, 2011 — 2020




Victoria, BC, Canada

About Greater Victoria Harbour Authority

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) is a not-for-profit organization that owns and operates deep-water terminals, marinas, the Victoria Cruise Terminal, and several community amenities at Victoria Harbour. GVHA’s vision is a harbour where people live, learn, work, and play - a spectacular gateway into Victoria’s past and into its future. Taking action to reduce their environmental impact is a key priority for GVHA.

The Challenge

GVHA takes climate change and its emissions seriously. As an owner of marine and public amenities, the GVHA understands its important role in not only achieving ambitious reductions of its own carbon and emission footprint, but also facilitating and inspiring other organizations across the harbour and industry in pursuit of their own reductions. The work completed since joining Climate Smart in 2012 has been an important step towards this end.

Going Climate Smart

GVHA is committed to the stewardship and sustainable growth of Victoria’s dynamic working harbour. Since 2012, GVHA has participated in Climate Smart to measure and effectively manage its greenhouse gas emissions to support its goal of sustainable growth. Alongside other marine industry businesses like Prince Rupert Port Authority, Squamish Terminals, and Global Container Terminals, GVHA is committed to moving beyond compliance and demonstrating year-over-year improvement in measurable ways. This commitment is also key to GVHA’s Green Marine certification - an industry-led initiative that complements the Climate Smart certification.

Climate Smart has helped GVHA create a greenhouse gas inventory in accordance with the international standard Greenhouse Gas Protocol and establish a baseline for their emissions. And with the help of a Climate Smart Client Advisor, GVHA’s team authored a Carbon Reduction Plan—an action plan to change the trajectory of their corporate emissions output for good.

The Results

With a commitment to sustainability from the outset, GVHA has steadily reduced emissions by approximately 2% per year. This is despite an increase in the number of FTEs (which would normally contribute to an increase in emissions). GVHA’s reductions against their baseline are equivalent to removing 8 passenger vehicles off the road each year!

Some other big wins for GVHA include:

  • 52% reduction in emissions from equipment
  • Paper emissions cut in half
  • Staff commuting emissions reduced by 14 tonnes of CO2 equivalent

These results have been achieved in GVHA’s FY2020 inventory compared to their FY2012 baseline.

"I am incredibly proud of our organization for an unwavering approach to environmental sustainability and improvement, which is showcased in our Climate Smart, Green Marine, and Clean Marine BC initiatives."


How they did it

  • Investment in lighting upgrades to LEDs for building and street lighting
  • Office relocation to be better served by public and active transit
  • Electrification of fleet including vehicles and golf carts
  • Installed a public electric charging station at the Breakwater District to support electrification of fleet as well as public EV charging
  • Switching to electronic file storage and invoicing to reduce paper consumption by 77 reams in FY2020 compared to their FY2012 baseline
  • Multi-faceted approach to staff commuting emissions including flexible working arrangement, biking facilities, subsidized bus pass program, and removing free staff car parking on site
  • Implemented a composting system at Fisherman’s Wharf to divert the significant commercial compost waste volumes from landfill and encourage the elimination of single-use plastics

What's next for Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA)

GVHA renews its Climate Smart Certification annually, and is deeply committed to exploring new ways to achieve emissions reductions. Their plans for 2021/22 include:

  • Moving their feasibility study for Shore Power into the next Proof of Concept stage to facilitate electrification of hoteling cruise ships
  • Building capacity and engagement across the organization by setting up a Green Team
  • Monitoring energy consumption shifts relative to COVID-19 operational changes

Help the planet. Become sustainable.