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1 TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR SUSTAINABILITY: THE SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM MODEL APPLIED TO THREE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS & ONE REGIONAL GOVERNMENT IN GREATER VANCOUVER by BARBARA ANN EVERDENE B.A., The University of Victoria, 1999 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Planning THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA June 2005 Barbara Ann Everdene, 2005

2 Abstract Cities and regions contribute to global and regional ecological degradation and there is a need to focus sustainability efforts at a scale suited to understanding and mitigating their impacts. In Greater Vancouver, as the trajectory of economic and population growth, and over-consumption of materials and energy (and production of their associated wastes) continues unabated, local and regional government practitioners are professionally called upon to take preventative measures within their own jurisdictions. With new sustainability responsibilities and some regulatory authority, their democratic legitimacy and resources as public institutions, and their technical expertise and coordinative capacity, local and regional governments in Greater Vancouver have key opportunities to demonstrate leadership on sustainability. This study focuses specifically on what I term corporate ecological responsibility as a means to lend credibility to service provision and regulation roles and model sustainability processes and activities for replication in the community by other actors. Managing for sustainability performance demands a clear definition and understanding of ecological sustainability as a physical condition rather than simply a principle or an idea, and an effective system for managing institutional performance. A review of the literature on sustainability and performance management reveals that a practical model has not yet been devised to assist North American local and regional governments in adopting a strategic and systematic method to make a corporate contribution toward achieving ecological sustainability milestones. To fill this gap, I advance a Sustainability Performance Management (SPMS) model that is comprised of distinctive system components and recognizes five fundamental sustainability principles and organizational conditions of culture and capacity. In the study, I focus on corporate purchasing policies and building policies and projects as key tools for sustainability performance management. I then apply my SPMS model as a tool to assess what I term the sustainability performance management activities of four case organizations in Greater Vancouver: the Greater Vancouver Regional District, the City of Vancouver, the City of Richmond, and the City of Burnaby. The case presentations and assessments with a qualitative scoring tool demonstrate that the SPMS model has practical value for use in local and regional governments as a first template to encourage the development of a strategic, systemic, and sensitive approach to sustainability performance management where it does not yet exist and to correct organizational "blind spots" in existing approaches. The best practices of the case organizations enrich the model with specific examples of how to put the five sustainability principles into practice. ii

3 In addition, the use of the model as an evaluation tool reveals specific areas in which each case organization can its sustainability efforts. Assessed against the SPMS model, the City of Richmond is the clear sustainability performance management (SPMS) leader, although the GVRD and the City of Vancouver are more prolific in implementing performance management tools. To date, the GVRD has experimented most aggressively with ecologically responsible and innovative facility development, while the City of Vancouver has recently adopted ambitiously scoped purchasing and building policies. The City of Burnaby's efforts are rated least effective of the study organizations when compared to my model. iii

4 Table of Contents ABSTRACT TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES & FIGURES LIST OF ACRONYMS & ABBREVIATIONS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Parti 1 THE SUSTAINABILITY DILEMMA: GLOBAL & REGIONAL 2 TOWARDS A REGIONAL SUSTAINABILITY SOLUTION ~ 8 CORPORATE ECOLOGICAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT 9 OPERATIONALIZING CER THROUGH SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT 13 THE SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM MODEL 16 PART II 58 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS 58 PURPOSE OF RESEARCH 59 THEORETICAL LINEAGE: COMMUNICATIVE/COLLABORATIVE PLANNING 60 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK 61 CASE APPROACH 63 LIMITATIONS ON CONCLUSIONS 70 Part III 72 CITY OF RICHMOND 73 THE GREATER VANCOUVER REGIONAL DISTRICT 93 THE CITY OF VANCOUVER 114 THECITYOFBU RNABY 139 Part IV 153 COMPARATIVE SYSTEMIC SPM EFFECTIVENESS 154 SYSTEM COMPONENTS 157 COHESION BETWEEN SYSTEM COMPONENTS 161 CULTURE & CAPACITY 161 SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES 163 NEXT STOP: COMMUNITY 171 DIRECTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH 173 RECOMMENDATIONS 175 LITERATURE CITED 180 Appendices 193 APPENDIX A: Two CONCEPTS OF SUSTAINABILITY 193 APPENDIX B: CITIES AND REGIONS 196 APPENDIX C: INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE 199 APPENDIX D: SPMS SCORING SYSTEM 201 APPENDIX E: COMPARATIVE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES 206 APPENDIX F: COMPARATIVE ECOLOGICALLY RESPONSIBLE PURCHASING POLICIES 209 APPENDIX G: COMPARATIVE CHRONOLOGY OF SPM EFFORTS 213 iv

5 List of Tables and Figures Parti FIGURE 1-1: MANAGEMENT SYSTEM COMPONENTS 17 FIGURE 1-2: DESIRED CHARACTERISTICS OF INDICATORS IN A SPMS 26 FIGURE 1-3: THE PEOPLE PRINCIPLE - LADDER OF INVOLVEMENT 33 FIGURE 1-4: STAGES OF COMMFTMENT TO ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY 34 Part II FIGURE 11-1: CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK 63 Part III FIGURE 111-1: SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT IN RICHMOND 77 FIGURE 111-2: RICHMOND'S ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT STRATEGY 80 FIGURE 111-3: SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT IN THE GVRD 97 FIGURE 111-4: PHASES OF THE GVRD'S SUSTAINABLE REGION INITIATIVE 99 FIGURE III-5: SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT IN VANCOUVER 121 FIGURE III-6: SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT IN BURNABY 143 FIGURE Hl-7: ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY FRAMEWORK IN BURNABY'S OCP 145 Part IV FIGURE IV-1: COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS OF CASE UNIT SPM 154 FIGURE IV-2: COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS OF COMPONENTS OF CASE UNIT SPM 155 FIGURE IV-3: COMPARATIVE SPM INFRASTRUCTURE 157 FIGURE IV-4: DEGREE OF ADOPTION OF SPM PRINCIPLES IN CASE UNITS 163 FIGURE IV-5: COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS RATING FOR ALL CASE UNITS 170 Appendices FIGURE A-1: Two CONCEPTS OF SUSTAINABILITY 193 FIGURE D-l: DEFINITIONS FOR SPMS SCORING METHOD 201 FIGURE D-2: SCORING CRITERIA FOR SPMS PRINCIPLES 202 FIGURE D-3: POINT SCORING SYSTEM 204 FIGURE D-4: MASTER SCORING MATRIX FOR CASE STUDIES 205 FIGURE E-1: GVRD ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE 206 FIGURE E-2: VANCOUVER ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE 206 FIGURE E-3: RICHMOND ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE 207 FIGURE E-4: BURNABY ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE 207 FIGURE G-1: CHRONOLOGY OF SPM DEVELOPMENT IN GREATER VANCOUVER 213 v

6 List of Acronyms and Abbreviations ACE CBIP CCAP CVTF DSM EMS ESCO ETCC FCM GVRD ICLEI LCA LEED OCP ODP PCP sec SEFC SOER SOFE SPMS SRI SSM TFAC Advisory Committee on the Environment Canadian Building Incentive Program Climate Change Action Plan (City of Vancouver) Cool Vancouver Task Force (City of Vancouver) Demand Side Management Environmental Management System Energy Service Contract Organization Environmental Terms and Conditions of Contract Federation of Canadian Municipalities Greater Vancouver Regional District International Council for Local Government Initiatives Life Cycle Analysis/Assessment Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Official Community Plan Official Development Plan Partners for Climate Protection Supplier Code of Conduct (City of Vancouver) South East False Creek (City of Vancouver) State of the Environment Report Special Office for the Environment (City of Vancouver) Sustainability Performance Management System Sustainable Region Initiative (Greater Vancouver Regional District) Supply Side Management Task Force on Atmospheric Change (City of Vancouver) vi

7 Acknowledgements My warm thanks goes first to my Advisory Committee members Dr. Bill Rees, PhD. of the School of Community and Regional Planning and Deborah Curran, LL.M. of West Coast Environmental Law for providing clarity and insight through my process of writing and revision. A thank you is also given to Dr. Michael Leaf, PhD. for his willingness to serve as a third reader of this study. I am indebted to all staff at West Coast Environmental Law for the exceptional flexibility and moral support they have given me over the course of this study. Finally, I am deeply grateful for the patience, encouragement, and sense of humor of my core team of supporters: my parents Ken and Margitta Ewert, my partner Tariq Jooya, and my invaluable friends Jodi Newnham, Dean Rempel, Antonella Nizzola, and Sandra Zalunardo...to name only a few. vii

8 Part I Corporate Ecological Responsibility & Sustainability Performance Management in Local & Regional Government 1.1 INTRODUCTION. In the 15th century, Niccolo Machiavelli ( ) observed that: "it is necessary not only to pay attention to immediate crises, but to foresee those that will come, and to make every effort to prevent them. For if you see them coming well in advance, then you can easily take the appropriate action to remedy them, but if you wait until they are right on top of you, then the prescription will no longer take effect, because the disease is too far advanced...in the beginning the disease is easy to cure, difficult to diagnose; but, after a while, if it has not been diagnosed and treated early, it becomes easy to diagnose and hard to cure (cited in 11 Wootton 1994)." Machiavelli's practical wisdom holds true as a comment on the sustainability dilemma of the 21 st century. Although the optimistic claim has been made that "in the battle of big public ideas, sustainability has won: the task of the coming years is simply to work out the details (Campbell 1996 cited in 30 Berke and Conroy 2000)", the expansionist economic worldview and its instrument, the market capitalist system, still dominates all levels of government in North America and beyond. The disease is far from cured and the battle far from over: more work must be done to make sustainability meaningful in ecological and practical terms. The purpose of this research is to position sustainability (and un-sustainability) as a physical, ecological condition rather than a principle or an idea, and to set forth a strategic, systematic, and sensitive method for local and regional governments to "work out the details" of making a corporate contribution toward achieving ecological targets. 1.2 STUDY OVERVIEW. This study focuses in on change opportunities at the local and regional government level. Cities and regions are centers of production and consumption and contribute to global and regional ecological degradation. There is a need to focus sustainability efforts at a scale suited to understanding and mitigating the impacts of cities and regions. By focusing on a local and regional scale, I do not argue that cities and regions can be made sustainable in and of themselves (see Appendix B). Rees and Wackernagel observe that according to the principle of patch ecology, cities are unsustainable by definition because "modern cities and industrial regions are dependent for survival and growth on a vast and increasingly global hinterland of ecologically productive landscapes (29 Rees and Wackernagel 1

9 1996)." Rather, I argue that taking responsibility for sustainability means that immediate actions must be taken in the context of the existing milieu and governance structures and institutions. In a recent address to the professional planning community, Judith Maxwell observed that Canadian cities have inherited major new responsibilities as provinces and the federal government have scaled down their activities ( ). With these new sustainability responsibilities and some regulatory authority, their democratic legitimacy and resources as public institutions, and their technical expertise and coordinative capacity, local and regional governments have powerful opportunities to demonstrate leadership on sustainability. In Part I, I portray the current and projected sustainability condition of the Greater Vancouver region in terms of economic growth, population growth, and consumption as a case for local and regional governments to take action on achieving ecological sustainability milestones. Secondly, I present a review of the literature on city management and sustainability to point out that a management system designed to track performance on corporate ecological sustainability targets for North American local and regional governments has not yet been devised. To fill this gap, I posit a model of a sustainability performance management system on the basis of the literature on sustainability and management. To demonstrate the applicability of the model to local and regional government, I focus on purchasing and building projects and policies as key corporate functions to calibrate toward greater ecological sustainability. Subsequent Parts detail the methods used to obtain case information and present the results of an assessment of the sustainability efforts of the Greater Vancouver Regional District and the cities of Vancouver, Richmond, and Burnaby against my Sustainability Performance Management System (SPMS) model. While this study is exclusively concerned with a local and regional government's corporate (i.e. their own organizational operations), rather than community-based, sustainability efforts, it assumes that local and regional governments should undertake what I term corporate ecological responsibility not simply as an end in itself. Rather, corporate ecological responsibility should also be viewed as a means to lend credibility to service provision and regulation roles and model sustainability systems and activities for replication by other actors in the community. 1.3 THE SUSTAINABILITY DILEMMA: GLOBAL & REGIONAL. This section illustrates the rationale for local and regional government leadership on sustainability, pointing out that even the highly livable and abundant Greater Vancouver region is symptomatic of unsustainable economic growth, population growth, and consumption when examined from an ecological sustainability perspective. Before examining the region in greater detail, I will distinguish a definition of ecological sustainability from the many uses of the term sustainability. 2

10 The term sustainability, since the Brundtland Commission report in 1987, has been used as a loose ethic to steward resources for future generations and has come to define - at least nominally - a wide array of definitions and frameworks. Edward Jepson jr. astutely points out that most accepted public definitions of sustainability are vague descriptions that avoid the inherent competition between ecological and expansionist economic worldviews - a "vagueness [that] serves to protect the dominance of the former while accommodating (without necessarily furthering) the yearnings of the latter ( )." For clarity and precision, I distinguish between a shallow concept of sustainability and strong, or ecological sustainability. Along with Rees (2004, pers. comm.) and Simon Bell and Stephen Morse ( ), I consider these two views of sustainability as mutually exclusive with unique philosophical assumptions. The concept of shallow sustainability resonates with neoliberalism, and strong sustainability resonates with many of the major principles of ecological economics. While shallow sustainability concentrates on mitigating the damage rather than challenging the behavior of industrial economies and [northern] lifestyles on local ecosystems or the global environment (9 Boyd 2004), ecological sustainability is concerned with the transformation of those human ideologies, systems, institutions, and behavior patterns driving the causes of un-sustainability (478 Jacob 1994). In ecological economic terms, while shallow sustainability assumes that manufactured capital can be substituted for natural capital, ecological sustainability contends that a healthy functioning biosphere must be preserved and that manufactured capital cannot substitute for the integrity of natural systems and resources. For further detail on this distinction, see Appendix A. The importance of the concept of ecological sustainability demands a more detailed explanation. In basic terms, systems theory and the science of ecology define sustainability as the attainment of a balance in which the demands placed on an ecosystem (in terms of resource extraction and waste assimilation) do not exceed the capacity of the ecosystem to meet those demands (Rees 1995). Further, these disciplines conceive of human social and economic systems as interdependent with and subordinate to the ecosphere, and hold that a condition of relative stability can be attained or undermined based on the activity of one or more of these subsystems (Allen and Starr 1988 cited in Jepson Jr. 2001). In keeping with these notions, an assembly of Swedish scientists determined that the planet and the society of its human inhabitants can be deemed sustainable when materials from the Earth's crust and materials produced by society are not systematically increased in the ecosphere and when the physical basis for the productivity and diversity of nature is not systematically diminished (Natural Step 1988). On the basis of this literature, I posit that ecological sustainability denotes an actual, end condition; moreover, I also argue that progress towards ecological sustainability - or put another way, progress towards reducing the degree of un-sustainability - can be made and measured by degrees. Like a doctor that uses his or her understanding of the conditions of optimal health when 3

11 examining a patient, we can now examine the state of the globe and the region with this definition of ecological sustainability. How balanced are the flows of consumption and regeneration across the global ecosphere? At the turn of the millennium, the planet's energy, water, and materials are being consumed faster than natural cycles of regeneration can replenish them, and materials from the Earth's crust and materials produced by society are being systematically increased in the ecosphere. Put another way, the physical basis for the productivity and diversity of the ecosphere is being systematically diminished and degraded by human demand for resources and waste generation (Factor 10 Institute 2004; Natural Step 2004). In ecological terms, half of all global ecosystems have been transformed and are being managed in some way for human purposes (5 Rees 2001). Mass consumption and burning of fossil fuels, largely used for space heating and transportation as well as industry, is responsible for the accumulation of gases in the atmosphere, climate change, and its consequent impacts (Homer-Dixon 1999; UNDP 2001 cited in 5 Rees 2001). Environmental scientists are generally in agreement that the global environment continues to deteriorate at an accelerating pace. The literature demonstrates that the ecological deterioration that defines un-sustainability is driven largely by the economic growth assumptions of global market capitalism that reinforce increasingly consumptive behavior among a rising global population. Rooted historically in human industrialization, this globally dominant economic system has been largely abstracted from the functioning of the global biosphere. 1 Ecological economist Paul Hawken vividly summarizes that: "in its late maturity, industrial society runs on life support systems that require enormous heat and pressure, are petrochemically dependent and materials-intensive, and require large flows of toxic and hazardous chemicals. These industrial 'empty calories' end up as pollution, acid rain, and greenhouse gases, harming environmental, social, and financial systems (1999 cited in 14 Throgmorton 2003)." Given their development within this economic context of industrialization and growth, conventional financial systems and techniques from pricing to accounting have failed to adequately value the ecosphere. We are not even able to quantify its many life support services 1 ' 4. Despite these theoretical and practical oversights, this economic system has had very real ecological impacts. The expansion of the economy and individual incomes is reliant on increasing consumption, and further increases in consumption are made possible by economic growth and rising incomes. 1 E.O. Wilson goes on to argue that human culture has advanced in complexity because of its ever-increasing ability to use and manipulate natural resources, leading to enormous cultural optimism about the capabilities of science to continually provide technological solutions to scarcity that continues today ( ). 4

12 Ecological footprint analysis demonstrates that the largest ecological footprints belong to those in the developed north, pointing out that northern countries are generally the higher consumers and waste generators. In many developed countries, per capita energy consumption is thirty or more times that of developing countries (6 Rees 2001). In the developing south, per capita consumption and population are rising very quickly with the expansion of industrialization and electrification in some areas of the developing south (58 Homer-Dixon 1999). At the broadest level, a recent figure from the United Nations Population Division (2002) predicts that there will be an additional 2.9 billion people on Earth by 2050 (14 Nierenberg and MacDonald 2004). The combined effect of human numbers and human consumption is driving the sustainability crisis; if uncorrected, this dangerous positive feedback loop between human behavior and the ecosphere threatens to undermine human health and overwhelm the regenerative capacity of the ecosphere to restore the balance (Factor 10 Institute 2004; Natural Step 2004). Each region of the globe experiences unique impacts from these global conditions and makes a unique contribution to ameliorating or exacerbating them. In general terms, the developed north has remained relatively insulated from the worst effects of ecological deterioration, while profiting from the economic dependence of the south. This is true of the Canada's ecologically abundant but highly consumptive Greater Vancouver region. 2 Despite their relative health, local ecosystems in Greater Vancouver now show signs of population and consumption pressures, the same dynamics that characterize the global sustainability dilemma. On the basis of availability of existing studies, the following section will summarize the current condition of the region and projected economic, consumption and population trends to 2031 (UFI I 2003; UFI II 2003) to demonstrate the urgency of public leadership on strategically and systematically setting course for ecological sustainability REGIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH. The Greater Vancouver region is characterized by a market capitalist economy that has constituted the main engine of economic growth in the province of British Columbia over the past five years (8 GVRD SR 2002). The region is a single, diversified, and highly interdependent economy in which boundaries do not play a prominent role. People, goods, services, capital, and information all move freely within the region. The region is governed by the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD), a non-hierarchical federation of 21 member municipalities and one electoral area ( GVRD SR). 3 Through the GVRD, 2 In general, Canada enjoys a surplus of natural capital, with a biocapacity of approximately 14 hectares per capita. For reference, this represents a biocapacity of almost 7.5 times what is available to the other six billion people on earth (6 Anielski 2004). 5 The GVRD is referred to as a single organization by this study but is in fact a body of three legal entities: the Greater Vancouver Water District (GVWD), the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District (GVS&DD), and the Greater Vancouver Regional District. The former two own and command water storage lakes, pumping stations, water mains, air quality monitoring stations, wastewater treatment plants, sanitary sewers, solid waste transfer 5

13 the provincial energy utility BC Hydro, and senior governments, Greater Vancouver is also bound together by shared infrastructure that sustains its economic base (2 BCBC 2002). According to the Business Council of BC, the region is modestly under-performing economically within the Canadian context (2 BCBC 2002); however, future economic scenarios created by Urban Futures (I 2003) predict modest economic growth over the next thirty years." An employment distribution scenario created by Urban Futures (2003) relates the relative contribution of each municipality to regional economic activity and makes projections for the contribution of each towards future economic growth. On the basis of 2001 data, Vancouver provides approximately 36% of the region's employment, with Richmond at 12% and Burnaby at 11 % (15 UFI II 2003). By 2031, Vancouver is expected to offer 23% more employment, Richmond 37%, and Burnaby an additional 38% (15 UFI II 2003). The model predicts that Vancouver will continue to drive the regional economy over the next three decades. There is no indication that private and public sector actors in the region will address alternative economic models that are more ecologically sustainable in the same timeframe, which also indicates that regional consumption patterns are unlikely to meet global reduction targets for the developed north REGIONAL CONSUMPTION. The Greater Vancouver region is characterized by an ecological footprint roughly nineteen times its land area (86 Wackernagel and Rees 1996). It is estimated that the average Canadian requires six to eight hectares of productive land to support his or her consumer lifestyle; as a point of reference, the average human ecological footprint is estimated between 2.2 to 2.8 hectares, given that citizens of the world's poorest countries have average ecological footprints of less than half a hectare (WWF 2004; 12 Rees 2001). These figures clearly demonstrate the scale at which consumer lifestyles must be recalibrated. Put another way, if every person alive today consumed at the rate of an average person in the Greater Vancouver region, almost four more planets would be required to supply the demand (Rees 2004, pers. comm.). 5 Other jurisdictions have shown that this consumption is excessive: some developed Northern European countries in similar climatic conditions as British Columbia have managed to use 10% the energy as provincial residents do (9-3 Van. SOER 1995). Moreover, by 2031, the region's moderate stations, a landfill, and a Waste-to-Energy facility (GVRD SR 2002). The latter is responsible for regional growth, air quality, parks and related functions. 4 Urban Futures (UFI) analysts suggest that the combined influence of the projected population and changing demographics could fuel Greater Vancouver's labor force to grow between 30 to 36% over the next three decades. The scenario suggests that there will be a constraint in the range of one percent per year on employment growth, with any economic growth beyond this level relying on increases in productivity (viii UFI I 2003). s This assessment is based on average consumption in the United States. Canadian consumption patterns are relatively close to the US, and given that this is a very general measure, the approximation stands (15 Nierenberg and MacDonald 2004). 6

14 economic growth and rising population will drive the construction of nearly a fifth of a million additional housing units in Vancouver, Richmond, and Burnaby alone (5 UFI II 2003) REGIONAL POPULATION. Managing demographic change promises to be one of the most important sustainability issues in the region in the future, given that the future needs and services demanded by the region's population in 2031 will be greater overall and considerably different from the requirements of current residents. Currently, there are approximately two million people who enjoy the region's reputation as one of the most desirable places in the world to live. 7 A model created by Urban Futures projects population for the Greater Vancouver Regional District to be just under three million by 2031, representing projected total growth of 44%. 8 Taken together, Vancouver, Richmond, and Burnaby represent almost half of the population (46.2%) of the Greater Vancouver region, on 12% of its geographical area. 9 None of these study municipalities are expected to take the majority of this growth, though each may expand between 20-45%.' The population over the age of 65 is expected to double relative to the number of people of working age." 6 Urban Futures (UFI) divided the Greater Vancouver region into eight "sub-regions" that follow jurisdictional boundaries (1 UFI I 2003) to model population rather than 21 member municipalities. UFI then created predictive scenarios of sub-regional population distribution (1 I 2003) based on life cycle trend analysis. First, the capacity of the existing housing stock in a sub-region to accommodate people was identified. The capacity of this stock was compared to the future housing demands of the sub-region's current population to identify both (a) the requirement for different forms of housing, and (b) the potential for the sub-region to accommodate additional population. In turn, this demonstrates the extent to which net new housing stock is required to accommodate projected population. The sub-regional distribution of housing indicates the distribution of population across Greater Vancouver and its sub-regions. ' The best available population estimate for the Greater Vancouver region (GVRD) is 2,126,806 (27 Urban Futures II 2003). The Mercer Human Resource Consulting Overall Quality of Life Report gave the GVRD a second place ranking overall in the world (iv GVRD SR 2003). Zurich, Switzerland was rated first, and the GVRD tied with Geneva and Vienna for second place. 8 The UFI reports use a "continuing recent trends" distribution scenario methodology to make predictions about housing, population and employment in eight sub-areas (based on municipal boundaries) of the Greater Vancouver Regional District over the next three decades ( ). The methodology first accounts for demographic change of the current (2001 's) residents in each sub-area and their future pattern of occupancy demand by structure type (ground-oriented and apartment) as they age through the lifecycle of housing maintainership. The next step allocates growth in regional housing occupancy demand to the existing housing stock already in each subarea, with net additions based on the regional pattern of development as indicated by annual housing starts data for the past two decades. The reports rely on 2001 Canadian Census data (1 UFI II 2003). 5 Vancouver occupies 11,309 ha, or 4%, of the GVRD's land area of 275,681 ha and is anticipated to expand its current population of 545,671 by 21 % by Richmond occupies 12,420 ha, or 4.5% of the GVRD's land area and is anticipated to expand its current population of 164,345 by 45% by Finally, Burnaby occupies 8,845 ha, or 3%, of the GVRD's land area and is anticipated to expand its current population of 193,954 by 44% by ' Of the 909,000 additional residents projected for the GVRD over the coming three decades, it is estimated that the most rapidly growing area within the GVRD will be the Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge sub-region. The Surrey- White Rock sub-region is predicted to see the greatest absolute growth at 252,000 new residents or 28% of overall regional growth (17 Urban Futures II 2003). " This population scenario for the GVRD shows the 65 plus population increasing by 425,000 people (from 12% to 22%) over the next thirty years due to increasing life expectancies, continued immigration, and the ongoing aging of GVRD residents (22 Urban Futures I 2003). 7

15 While each municipality and the regional district can expect to see variable impacts in the future, all share the overall economic, consumption, and population dynamics that are typical of the developed north. The expansionist economic worldview and the economic institutions that support it can be expected to remain dominant over the next three decades, underlining the need for a strategic approach to ecological sustainability that can begin breaking down the barriers to a more sustainable way of life. 1.4 TOWARDS A REGIONAL SUSTAINABILITY SOLUTION. A clear understanding of the solutions required at the global scale is needed to direct ecological sustainability efforts at a local and regional scale and calibrate them to the institutions that have a strategic opportunity to make a difference. Jepson Jr. (2004) posits that the long-standing arguments of ecological economics have been unable to challenge the dominance of the economic expansionist worldview and that integrating the ecological worldview into the institutional realm affords the major opportunity for change (7 2004). He argues that public and social institutions can and should influence the development of more sustainable values and beliefs in citizens to set in motion a feedback cycle wherein civil society transforms the "working rules" of economic institutions over time (Jepson jr. 2004). Even while institutions begin the often slow process of internal shift, sustainability practitioners remain tasked with lowering human population everywhere, and reducing fossil fuel-based energy and material consumption and waste production by 50% over the next several decades (5 Rees 2000). 12 Furthermore, if allowances are made for necessary growth in the developing world and the needs of an additional three to four billion people on the planet, practitioners in the industrialized north face the monumental task of influencing their communities to reduce their consumption by 80-90% (5 Rees 2000). With this global diagnostic in hand, and a strategic awareness of his or her regional sustainability conditions, the local and regional government sustainability practitioner is tasked with setting out practical ecological sustainability targets within the institution's jurisdiction and a process of systematic change within the institution itself. Jepson Jr. cautions against the common pitfalls of expecting too much, relying solely on expert reasoning, or triggering risk-averse responses in colleagues (9 2004); on the other hand, a process is needed that is grounded in science while respecting its limits, focused on the needs, concerns, and positive potential of people, and rigorous enough to contribute to the attainment of meaningful objectives. As a first step in meeting this challenge, I argue that practitioners should understand ecological sustainability as an end condition and responsibility as the organizing principle of change. 12 The term 'practitioner' is used rather than 'planner' to reflect the fact that many practitioners take on a planning function as part of their municipal or regional responsibilities. 8

16 1.5 CORPORATE ECOLOGICAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT. Institutional organizations like local and regional governments can and should evolve and adapt to become more ecologically sustainable by degrees as their focus sharpens and commitment strengthens; however, as a primary but often overlooked step, they need an understanding of their change strategy. The "buzz words" of dematerialization and energy efficiency may be used without a strategic understanding of how they relate to two broad organizing principles or strategies: technological innovation and responsibility TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION AND RESPONSIBILITY. While the technology strategy emphasizes innovation, the responsibility strategy prizes voluntary simplicity and husbandry. Taking behavioral responsibility for attaining reduction targets involves encouraging more resourceful use of materials and energy and purchasing less, and more ecologically responsible, supplies. I posit that technological and design innovation is an important strategy, so long as it is subordinated to an overarching culture of corporate responsibility: market-driven technology alone cannot solve the sustainability dilemma. Technological innovation is typically favored in the economic context of market capitalism as the source of solutions to the sustainability dilemma. This is not a new phenomenon: since industrialization and the wealth it created, an unbounded optimism about the supply of natural resources and the capabilities of science to continually provide technological solutions to scarcity has characterized North American culture in particular (45 Wilson 1988). E.O. Wilson further argues that wealth from industrialization has prevented widespread critical review and revision of the assumptions underlying economic growth and the development of more integrated and responsive institutions ( ). In any case, a range of efficiency and dematerialization strategies have been developed to produce products that reduce energy use, reduce the amount of material (especially virgin material) used in manufactured goods, and to increase the quality and longevity of service that the good is designed to provide. Operational and production techniques have been created to serve as guidelines for making better products; some of these include product stewardship, design for the environment, the ecoefficiency management strategy, and cleaner production. These initiatives all involve systematically combining a series of successive savings in materials and energy at different parts of the value chain from resource extraction through every intermediate step of processing and transportation, to final delivery and ultimately recovery of discarded energy and materials. The fundamental point is that each of these initiatives is based on the notion that achieving better ecological performance can be compatible with, and even complementary to a firm's ultimate goal of earning more profit, increased growth, and competitiveness in the market. 9

17 Extreme proponents of this strategy have suggested that efficiency gains are capable of rescuing the planet from the ecological consequences of growth 19. On the contrary, studies have demonstrated that generalized efficiency gains throughout the economy can result in higher incomes chasing cheaper goods and services. 13 Individuals and firms tend to respond to efficiency savings by using more of a good or service and/or redirecting savings to alternative forms of consumption, which counterproductively results in a net increase in gross consumption (4 Rees 2001; WRI 2004). These findings clearly demonstrate that a responsibility strategy is required to pursue meaningful and enduring change CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY THROUGH TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION? In an irony of public discourse, a global movement has adopted responsibility as an organizing principle and strategy for sustainability while largely pursuing market-driven technological innovation and economic growth. Echoing Jepson's comment on the term sustainability, responsibility has become so vague in meaning to protect the dominance of economic growth and consumption while referencing (without necessarily furthering) the yearnings of voluntary simplicity. Corporate Responsibility (CR) as a movement began in the early 1990s within the realm of private enterprise as a philosophy that firms and institutions have a responsibility to ensure that their business practices do not undermine social and ecological systems locally or globally (6 SustainAbility 2004). CR represents a major departure from the conventional accounting focus on a single bottom line of profit and loss to describe the performance of corporations in use since the 1500s (6 SustainAbility 2004). The origin of the movement was driven both by external forces, such as increasing government and consumer expectations, and the internal opportunities for efficiency and cost reduction in the form of higher profit margins, lowered liability risks for wastes and toxins, and labor or human rights issues. Conventional CR promises firms a good public image and brand identity in the marketplace, where they expect to gain a competitive advantage, and a higher profit, by providing emerging socially aware markets with innovative and responsible products and services. As such, CR subscribes to a shallow understanding of sustainability that does not question the market capitalist assumption of unlimited economic growth, nor address the causal link between human economic and consumptive activity and ecosystem degradation. ' In 1865, Jevons observed that the economical use of fuel did not equate to diminished consumption, but rather accelerated it. A contemporary study of five sophisticated economies over demonstrated that resource savings realized from efficiency gains and economic restructuring were negated by population growth and increased per capita consumption (cited in 4 Rees 2001). 10

18 1.53 EMPHASIZING RESPONSIBILITY IN LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT. While the concept and conventional application of Corporate Responsibility has failed to attain its full potential and has even subverted the importance of voluntary simplicity, I argue that the term should be repatriated rather than rejected. Like sustainability, corporate responsibility has also triumphed in the battle of big public ideas, and now work must be done to make it meaningful in ecological and practical terms. Despite its lack of depth in economic and ecological analysis, the Corporate Responsibility movement has generated prolific and detailed research on institutional change and management effectiveness. The literature proposes two main strategies: (1) leadership through sponsoring other organizations and individuals who are contributing to sustainability, and (2) leadership by example, in which firms or institutions model social and ecological values in their own organizations and operations (WBCSD 2004).' 4 I posit that the leadership by example strategy of Corporate Responsibility can be successfully applied to the local and regional government sectors as an organizing principle for action on ecological sustainability. The concept can be used to direct efforts to build a culture of responsibility from politicians to practitioners so that local and regional governments demonstrate how sustainable material and energy use targets can be attained in their own operations. Corporate Responsibility is particularly appropriate for the local and regional government sectors for two main reasons. The first, and seldom recognized, is that un-sustainability, or increasing ecological scarcity, is likely to threaten political stability and the viability of government (42 Homer-Dixon 1999). Homer-Dixon argues that scarcity causes social friction, a concept he defines as competition among powerful groups and elites to protect their narrow interests. This social friction impedes the ingenuity and adaptation of institutions to remedy the ecological degradation that characterizes un-sustainability (42). 15 Secondly, unlike private sector firms, governments are democratic entities with a fiduciary duty to plan for the future in order to safeguard human health and ecological integrity. Local and regional government planners, in particular, are professionally concerned with responding in a forward-thinking manner to the local symptoms of global sustainability problems, recognizing that all facets of planning for the welfare of humans have effects on ecological processes (Dubos 1981; Beatley 1998 cited in 505 Jepson Jr. 2001). Recasting the issue in recognition of the interdependence between humans and ecosystems, legal theorist Andrew Gage argues that ecological protection is related to the public right to life, liberty, and security of person (2003). Beyond the basic fact that humans require water, air, and food from productive land to survive, research has shown that the increasing amount of human-made " This often takes the form of grants and scholarships for innovative research and development and donations for community and environmental projects and services. 15 Homer-Dixon includes technology in his theory of adaptive failure. Scarcity can hinder institutional and technological adaptation. Rather than inspiring the wave of ingenuity predicted by economic optimists, environmental scarcity instead sometimes reduces the supply of ingenuity available in society (42). 11

19 substances, especially those that are acutely toxic, persistent, bio-accumulative, carcinogenic, mutagenic, and endocrine-disrupting (6 Boyd 2004), pose major threats to human health. Local and regional governments that strive for ecological sustainability targets also contribute to fulfilling their public trust responsibilities in health and ecosystem management. Local and regional governments have tripartite roles as regulators, service providers, and corporations; the corporate role exists for the sole purpose of carrying out other roles and provides the foundation for successfully doing so. Moreover, each of these roles presents opportunities for making sustainability progress. However, local and regional governments also have limitations on how they can take effective action toward ecological sustainability. They remain legally and politically subordinate to provincial and federal governments and economically to the pervasive influence of globalized international trade. In choosing a sustainability strategy, these institutions cannot consider directly extra-jurisdictional concerns, though they can seek to exert influence on them for strategic purposes. The leadership by example strategy of the Corporate Responsibility model demands that the corporate role of a local or regional sustainability practitioner is the logical starting point for action on sustainability. In Greater Vancouver, local and regional governments have a key opportunity to harness the insights from the Corporate Responsibility movement, ground them in the ecological sustainability framework, and take a lead corporate role in advancing a cultural shift towards sustainability in their jurisdictions. The functional jurisdiction of local governments in the region is enshrined in the provincial Community Charter and, in the case of the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Charter. Each municipality has a Mayor and Council elected democratically on a three-year cycle on the basis of representation by population; Vancouver City Council comprises the Mayor and ten Councilors, while Richmond and Burnaby are each individually governed by a Mayor and eight Councilors. The Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) has a unique function to provide services to its member municipalities, and municipalities deliver services to the taxpayer. These services mainly take the form of utility provision, namely drinking water, sewage treatment and solid waste disposal. In addition, the GVRD provides the strategic framework for regional growth and development and manages a policy and regulatory framework for regional air quality and pollution control. The GVRD has only indirect jurisdiction over energy-related issues in its mandate to manage regional air quality and increasingly, greenhouse gas emissions. Member municipalities and one electoral area form the GVRD's governing Board of Directors on the basis of representation by population.' 6 As such, Vancouver, Richmond, and Burnaby are active participants in the governance of the Greater Vancouver region and help set the direction of the GVRD by their political representation on 16 The number of Directors per municipality depends on the population of that municipality, as well as the weighting of each Director's vote. Each Director, an elected mayor or councilor, exercises one vote for every 20,000 population, to a maximum of five votes, capped at 100,000. Every municipality in the GVRD is represented on the Board, as is the electoral area, which elects a director to serve on the board for a three-year term. Thus, municipalities with large populations (such as the cities of Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby and Coquitlam) have more than one director. One municipality, Abbotsford, is a member of the GVRD for the parks function only (GVRD 2004). 12

20 the GVRD Board. In turn, the GVRD exerts significant informal influence and coordinative capacity among its member municipalities C E R THROUGH DEMATERIALIZATION AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY. With an eye to these jurisdictional niches and the prevailing political context of support for economic growth, the sustainability practitioner must investigate how to assist the local or regional government in becoming less material and energy intensive. In Greater Vancouver, addressing corporate consumption and waste production provide the strongest opportunities for local and regional governments to show leadership on sustainability. Due to limitations on the scope of research, this study will only address waste issues insofar as they are included in stories about procurement." In general, local and regional governments can take two approaches to reducing consumption of materials, water, and energy: supply side management and demand side management. The former is largely the realm of purchasing and planning and the latter with operations, maintenance, and behavioral training. Supply side management is concerned with making best value purchases that satisfy the multiple criteria of an organization's needs and preferences. Demand side management (DSM) involves educating individuals about the choices available to them and the ecological impacts of those choices. A successful DSM program can reduce and/or postpone the need for supply. DSM can also be effectively embedded within supply side management in the form of performance specifications or criteria that request more efficient and less wasteful and/or harmful products and services. In theory, supply and demand side management approaches are closely related. While conventionally dealt with as independent activities in practice, supply and demand side management objectives can work in tandem to achieve ecological sustainability targets. 1.6 OPERATIONALIZINC CER THROUGH SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT. Sustainability performance management is a process for "working out the details" of how an organization can employ dematerialization and energy efficiency as strategies for taking corporate ecological responsibility for action towards sustainability. The review of the literature thus far demonstrates that the corporate ecological responsibility model is a suitable instrument to organize the reduction of materials and energy and thus drive local and regional governments as corporations toward the destination of ecological sustainability. It sounds simple in theory, but it is well known that the planning context is characterized by ambiguous and poorly defined problems, incomplete information about alternatives, and limited time, skills, and resources. A strategic, systemic, and sensitive approach is " More specifically, the study considers stories about waste production and the management of waste as part of descriptions of "organizational culture" within study organizations but does not include waste production and waste management in the scoring system for system components or principles of sustainability performance management. The latter is discussed in detail in the remainder of Part I. 13

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