Saanich Climate Plan Report Card highlights progress as well as need for bold action

March 8, 2022

Media release

For immediate release

Saanich Climate Plan Report Card highlights progress as well as need for bold action

Saanich, BC – The District of Saanich has published the second annual Climate Plan Report Card, which provides a summary of progress towards our Climate Plan targets and objectives and the status of actions in each focus area for 2021.

The Climate Plan is built on decades of climate action within Saanich. Today, Saanich is sharing the progress that the District of Saanich and residents have made in 2021 to bring us closer to meeting our Climate Plan goals. At the same time, we’re also recognizing that there’s a significant amount of work to be done to move the dial on climate change and address the climate emergency.

“This past year we experienced multiple record-breaking extreme weather events, which demonstrated the serious impacts of the climate crisis and this latest Climate Plan Report Card is a clear indication that, while much progress has been made, our collective actions matter now more than ever,” said Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes. “The best way to take bold action to reduce GHGs and to boost our resilience to climate change is to work together to implement our current Climate Plan as quickly as possible.”

2021 was a year marked by devastating heat waves, fires and floods in BC, demonstrating the critical need to ensure we meet or exceed our climate targets and prepare for the climate changes that are not only projected, but also already upon us. These extreme weather events also underscore the importance of resiliency and the need for accelerated action in our Ecosystems and Community Well-Being focus areas, which will be supported by work in 2022 and beyond on Resilient Saanich, the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, the updated Urban Forest Strategy, the Integrated Stormwater Management Plan and our Asset Management Strategy.

As highlighted in the 2021 Climate Plan Report Card, the District is making important progress, including:

  • A 17% reduction in our 2020 community-wide territorial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory compared with our 2007 baseline;
  • A 12% reduction in our 2021 corporate GHG emissions inventory compared with our 2007 baseline; and
  • 72% of actions are on track/achieved, thanks to increased funding in 2021 (only 58% of actions were on track in 2020, mainly due to COVID budget constraints).

Despite this progress, it is important to recognize that we are still not on track and more reductions are required to meet our climate targets.

While implementation of our climate actions is certainly effecting change, COVID-19 has also resulted in many behavioural changes that influenced our community emissions for this reporting period. While devastating in many respects, the pandemic has presented opportunities to establish more sustainable behaviours, particularly around personal travel, with a considerable reduction in transportation emissions seen in our 2020 inventory. At the same time the pandemic has highlighted the impact of fossil-fuel consumption in other areas, such as the climate impact of home heating with natural gas, which saw considerable emissions increases in this reporting period.

With the pandemic continuing to evolve, it’s difficult to determine at this stage whether behavioral changes will be altered long-term or whether they will return to pre-pandemic levels. However, we are actively supporting the continuation of those behaviours that are positively impacting our emissions inventory.

2021 highlights

Progress has been made in all Climate Plan focus areas; some highlights include:


Buildings and infrastructure

  • 267 households received Saanich top-up rebates to switch from fossil fuels to renewable electric heat pumps for home heating and cooling
  • 38 commercial buildings representing 3.7 million square feet in Saanich are working towards achieving GHG reductions through the Greater Victoria 2030 District

Food and materials

  • Single-use plastic bags were phased out with the introduction of the Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw
  • The Saanich battery recycling drop-off program was expanded to include electric mobility batteries


  • 2,450 trees were planted in Urban Forest and Natural Areas, more than doubling our rate of tree planting
  • The District acquired land to expand Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary by 1,089 m2

Community well-being

Leadership in District Operations

We need to do this together

Our collective success requires action from everybody, including residents, businesses, community organizations, institutions, neighbouring local governments, and senior levels of government.

At you can read the full plan, check out a three minute introduction, or use the Residents' Climate Action Guidebook to help make your own personal climate plan.

Visit to find out what support is available for your climate-friendly home and transportation upgrades!

Join the Saanich Climate E-Newsletter to stay up to date with all the latest local climate information.

Where can you learn more?

Learn more about how we’re doing. The Climate Plan and the 2021 Climate Plan report card can be found at


Media contact:
Megan Catalano
Communications Manager