Monday, December 6, 2021

What's Going On

What on Earth are we doing? We’re saving for the future.
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What on Earth are we doing? We’re saving for the future.

Summary: New sustainability key performance indicator (KPI) now part of YYC's business strategy.

YYC’s environmental programs have been growing. We’ve been working hard to achieve the goals within the strategy. And now it’s time to share it broadly across Team YYC and eventually to our communities and guests. The aviation sector and our country are making bold commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, eliminate wasteful materials (ex: single use plastics), and make public assets resilient to climate and environmental change. 

Here’s the golden question we can ask ourselves: Do we care about the future? 

Sustainability is about just that – taking action to care for our wellbeing, economic prosperity and environment in an equitable way today and into the future. It’s behaving and operating in ways that recognize the limited natural resources we have, and the importance that the environment has on wellbeing, prosperity and the health of plants, animals and natural systems. Whether it’s reducing the potential for destructive heat waves and wildfires, keeping our drinking water clean, and ensuring the abundance of pollinators for our crops, we can all think of examples of how keeping our environment healthy sets the foundation for our society to thrive. Ignoring it has the opposite outcome. 

YYC’s sustainability strategy focuses on five pillars (coming soon to  

  1. Climate action 

This pillar is about lessening our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and assuring resilience to climate change impacts (such as increased heat, wildfires, lightening advisories, and other extreme weather events). YYC is on a path to net-zero emissions and our biggest contributor is electricity.

  1. Materials & Resource Management 

We’ve been working hard to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills, handle hazardous materials safely and understand the lifecycle of products we use. In 2020, we diverted 33 per cent of waste from the landfill by sorting, recycling and composting, but we need to do better. We’ll be further developing documentation and standards related to safe material handling and anyone who buys, uses, or encounters hazardous materials must follow requirements. 

We introduced sustainability into our project delivery framework in the research phase when considering vendors with sustainable values and products. One project example of sustainability this year is Apron I repaving – we’re recycling the concrete and using carbon entrapment technology to make a stronger, longer-lasting product by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and injecting it into the concrete. We’ll also be working closely with airlines and retailers to reduce single-use plastics. 

3. Land & Wildlife Management 

Did you know? We work hard to keep wildlife hazards off the airfield in order to maintain the safety of our operation but also ensure key species like hawks and eagles can thrive in the Calgary area (outside our fence!). To protect our natural prairie grass and plants’ biodiversity, we also remove any identified invasive plant species that can overrun the area.  

  1. Healthy People & Communities 

One of our action areas, in effect for several years, is to increase engagement with our neighbours and hear and reduce their noise concerns, ultimately increasing their quality of life. If you’re interested, here’s how we engage our communities.  

  1. Protecting our Water  

We’re looking to save as much water as we can. The threat of drought in the Bow River Basin is real. More water in the river allows fish to thrive and our neighbours downstream to prosper (ex: for irrigation of crops). Moving forward, you’ll see a push toward reusing greywater, lowering our water consumption and removing the need to irrigate. We partner with the City of Calgary and Alberta Environment on the Nose Creek Watershed program to ensure our stormwater run-off into Nose Creek is healthy; which has been a huge driver for major investments by YYC in restoring the water quality in our ponds and pipes. 

What’s next? 

We’ll be reviving our cross-functional sustainability working groups to collectively improve the sustainability Key Performance Indicators (KPI). The Sustainability KPI is one of 14 corporate KPIs that is focused on the reduction of waste, water use and emissions, benchmarking against 2018. We need everyone’s help to achieve these strategic goals. 

Interested in providing input to the strategy?

Comment below or email  





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