The District of Saanich is one of three finalists for the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Earth Hour City Challenge in Canada with Vancouver and Edmonton.
There are 45 finalists from around the world. Earth Hour is on March 18.
Saanich was recognized for its commitment to corporate and community greenhouse gas reductions.
Municipal and community initiatives recognized in the challenge include assessing and adapting to climate change impacts, including storms and sea-level rise, and providing sustainability grants to community partners to lead building energy, cycling and local food programs.
“Trying to do things on a different scale has been very positive for us,” said Mark Boysen, Saanich’s sustainability manager.
Plans for 2016 include reviewing the feasibility of 100 per cent renewable energy in municipal operations by 2025 and developing a community building retrofit strategy.
Saanich will now vie for the title of Canadian Earth Hour National Capital. The winner will be announced in May and the chosen capitals from each country then compete for the title of Earth Hour Global Capital.
Saanich’s new compost collection service, energy efficient and low-carbon electric vehicles along with heating and lighting retrofits helped it get the nod.
“Saanich is thrilled to be nominated for this highly-respected award,” said Mayor Richard Atwell.
“We do regular reporting in our annual report and during budget deliberations,” Boysen said. “We get evaluated by the programs built up over the years. We are making movement on all fronts.”
Boysen said it was recognition for what Saanich is doing over time and new programs have been added gradually.