The burning of fossil fuels has contributed to rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and has accelerated the impacts of climate change. The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods and storms have impacted many municipalities, and adaptation and mitigation measures are being factored into future infrastructure decisions.
The County of Simcoe is committed to fighting climate change by understanding and reducing GHG emissions related to County operations including buildings, vehicles and waste.
Green Energy Act – O. Reg 397/11
Every year, the County of Simcoe complies with provincial legislation to submit and publish the energy use and GHG emissions from over 25 County buildings.
The County also published its first CCEMP – Corporate Conservation and Energy Demand Management Plan – in 2014. As required by the GEA, a CCEMP update will be published online no later than July 1, 2019.EnergyCAP
The County has implemented the energy management software EnergyCAP to track the electricity, natural gas and water used by facilities. By understanding and analyzing how resources are used, the County can target efficiency opportunities proactively and prioritize future projects that reduce energy and GHG emissions.
In 2014, Fraser Basin Council and Fleet Challenge Ontario awarded the County of Simcoe with an E3 gold rating for green fleet management, one of the country's premiere environmental rating programs.
Today, there are 350 cars, trucks, ambulances, buses, plows and maintenance and heavy equipment vehicles in the County's fleet, and many opportunities have been implemented to improve efficiencies:
- To support employees to 'go green', the County has implemented a Sustainable Travel Policy to encourage staff to carpool and avoid using drive-thrus, as well implemented an Anti-Idling Policy for all County vehicles.
- The County's Administration Centre has 55 designated spaces for carpool users, and staff who drive 'green vehicles' (using 6.5 litres or less per 100 km) can use priority parking spaces.
- Each new County vehicle goes through a 'right-sizing' process to ensure the vehicle suits the needs of the job and nothing more, which helps to eliminate oversized vehicles and reduce excess fuel use and emissions.
- Vehicle tracking software has been implemented by Paramedic Services to monitor trips, travel speeds and idle time of ambulances, which will help to identify and improve efficient transportation opportunities. A tracking program is currently being implemented by Solid Waste Management and Roads departments.
- A compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel station services four County vehicles, and additional vehicles will be evaluated for CNG conversion in the near future. This significantly reduces emissions versus diesel fuels.