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Nanaimo joins reporting program for carbon footprint and energy use in civic buildings

Building Benchmark B.C. is Canada’s largest voluntary building energy reporting program
The City of Nanaimo has opted into a voluntary reporting program that collects data on the energy use and carbon footprints of buildings within the city. (News Bulletin file photo)

The City of Nanaimo is going for full disclosure about energy use in civic buildings.

According to a city press release, Nanaimo has joined other B.C. municipalities in Building Benchmark B.C., Canada’s largest voluntary building energy bench-marking program.

In B.C., fossil fuels used to heat water and air in buildings contribute to about 11 per cent of the province’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, noted a press release.

Building Benchmark B.C., organized by the Open Green Building Society, supports cities as well as building owners and managers who opt into voluntary climate and energy disclosure. In return for participating, municipalities and landlords receive an energy and carbon performance report card and a ranking of their properties’ carbon emissions relative to peers. The information is intended to help them save on utility costs and in making decisions on capital upgrades. The program is also meant to help city sustainability and planning staff develop programs and policies to better fight climate change.

“We see Building Benchmark B.C. as a tremendous opportunity, not only for us to gain new insights into our carbon emissions, but to also build carbon and energy literacy at the community scale,” said Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog in the press release.

Canadian companies already voluntarily benchmark energy and emissions of more than 9,000 buildings, according to the release, and the City of Edmonton and the Province of Ontario are examples of places with bench-marking regulations.

“This type of measuring and management is only going to become more common in the future,” said David Ramslie, director of Open Green Building Society. “We don’t have a lot of time left to stave off the worst effects of climate change and it is great to see Nanaimo showing some real leadership in partnership with other B.C. local governments.”

To learn more about the program, visit

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