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Greenest City 2020 goals and targets

The Greenest City 2020 Action Plan is divided into 10 goal areas, each with specific 2020 targets.

Together, these address overarching areas of focus:

  • Carbon
  • Waste
  • Ecosystems

These goals and targets are ambitious and we’re on track to achieve them with 120 related projects currently underway.

Review our third annual progress report in the table below, or download the complete GCAP 2013-2014 Implementation Update, to learn more about metrics, priority actions, and progress. 

Goals, targets, and progress for 2013 - 2014

Goal 1: Green economy

Targets Indicator Per cent change Improved over baseline?
Double the number of green jobs over 2010 levels by 2020 Total number of green jobs



Double the number of companies that are actively engaged in greening their operations over 2011 levels, by 2020 Percentage of businesses engaged in greening their operations

New survey in early 2015

Goal 2: Climate leadership

Target Indicator Per cent change Improved over baseline?
Reduce community-based greenhouse gas emissions by 33% from 2007 levels Total tonnes of community CO2e emissions from Vancouver -6% Yes

Goal 3: Green buildings

Target Indicator Per cent change Improved over baseline?
Require all buildings constructed from 2020 onward to be carbon neutral in operations  Total tonnes of CO2e from residential and commercial buildings -3%  Yes 
Reduce energy use and GHG emissions in existing buildings by 20% over 2007 levels Yes

Goal 4: Green transportation

Target Indicator Per cent change Improved over baseline?
Make the majority of trips (over 50%) by foot, bicycle, and public transit Per cent of trips by foot, bicycle, and transit +10%1 Yes
Reduce the average distance driven per resident by 20% from 2007 levels Total vehicle km driven per person New survey in fall 2014

Goal 5: Zero waste

Target Indicator Per cent change Improved over baseline?
Reduce total solid waste going to the landfill or incinerator by 50% from 2008 levels Annual solid waste disposed to landfill or incinerator from Vancouver -12% Yes

Goal 6: Access to nature

Targets Indicator Per cent change Improved over baseline?
Ensure that every person lives within a five-minute walk of a park, greenway, or other green space by 2020 Per cent of city's land base within a five-minute walk to a green space +0.1% Yes
Plant 150,000 additional trees in the city between 2010 and 2020 Total number of additional trees planted 23,400 trees Yes

Goal 7: Lighter footprint

Target Indicator Per cent change Improved over baseline?
Reduce Vancouver's ecological footprint by 33% over 2006 levels Number of people empowered2 by City-led or -supported projects to:
  • Take personal action in support of a Greenest City goal
  • Reduce levels of consumption (cumulative)
+1,117% Yes

Goal 8: Clean water

Targets Indicator Per cent change Improved over baseline?
Meet or beat the most stringent of BC, Canadian, and appropriate international drinking water quality standards and guidelines Total number of instances of not meeting drinking water quality standards 0 Yes
Reduce per capita water consumption by 33% from 2006 levels Total water consumption per capita -18% Yes

Goal 9: Clean air

Target Indicator Per cent change Improved over baseline?
Meet or beat the most stringent air quality guidelines from Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada, and the World Health Organization Number of instances where air quality standards3 were not met -100% Yes

Goal 10: Local food

Target Indicator Per cent change Improved over baseline?
Increase city-wide and neighbourhood food assets4 by a minimum of 50% over 2010 levels Number of neighbourhood food assets in Vancouver +30% Yes


  1. A new survey will be conducted in late 2014. There has been a 10% change from the baseline of 40% and a 4% increase in trips made by foot, bike, and transit.
  2. For the purposes of this proxy, “people empowered to take action” is defined as those who are:
    • Enabled to change their lifestyle (learning to preserve food or ride a bike through a community centre class)
    • Implementing a community project that helps Vancouver achieve its Greenest City goals with support by a City-led or City-supported program (such as the Vancouver Foundation and the City's Greenest City Fund)

    The definition excludes people:

    • Participating in a dialogue or consultation
    • Attending an event
    • Using infrastructure (such as bike lanes or food scraps collection)
    • Receiving a personal incentive (such as a home energy retrofit)
  3. Air quality metrics combine data from two Vancouver monitoring stations at Kitsilano and Robson Square, as measured by Metro Vancouver for comparison to world standards. The four metrics are the number of instances where the:
    • 24-hour average of particulate matter (PM 2.5%) concentration exceeds 25 ųg/m3
    • 1-hour average of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentration exceeds 200 ųg/m3
    • 24-hour average of sulfur dioxide (SO2) concentration exceeds 20 ųg/m3
    • 8-hour average of ground-level ozone (O3) concentration exceeds 52 ppb
  4. Food assets include the number of:
    • Community garden plots
    • Farmers markets
    • Community orchards
    • Community composting facilities
    • Community kitchens
    • Community produce stands
    • Urban farms

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2014 GCAP Implementation Update

Read the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan 2013/2014 Implementation Update

Check our progress toward becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020. Read the 2013-2014 Implementation Update for the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. 

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Last modified: Thu, 03 Jul 2014 15:12:32

Green economyClimate leadershipGreen buildingsGreen transportationZero wasteAccess to natureLighter footprintClean waterClean airLocal food