Carrying the torch into 2023, this year’s Earth Day theme compels us once again to “Invest in Our Planet”. As climate change and its effects continue to intensify, it is more important than ever to take accountability for the well-being of current and future generations. In recognition of our members’ collective interest in addressing climate change, the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) remains committed to advancing sustainable solutions and practices across the planning profession and Canada.
Achieving Carbon Neutrality: 2022 in Review
This year, CIP proudly celebrates four years of carbon neutrality. Since CIP’s centenary in 2019, the organization has tracked its emissions across the following categories: office space, paper and printing, employee commuting, magazine production and distribution, and staff and volunteer travel. CIP continuously strives to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from its operations, including at the annual national conference, and to offset our emissions through the yearly purchase of carbon credits of Gold Standard-certified projects.
In 2020 and 2021, CIP saw a significant reduction in carbon emissions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent reduction in employee travel, in-person events, and office operations. With a return to in-person work, events, and staff and volunteer travel, CIP saw an increase of 125% in emissions in 2022 when compared to the previous year. To offset emissions from 2022, CIP has invested approximately $1,065 in carbon credits.
Throughout 2022, CIP worked to take its commitments to the environment and carbon neutrality further by introducing new environmentally-friendly policies and initiatives across the organization. When the office reopened in April 2022, CIP moved to a hybrid work model, with Ottawa employees no longer commuting daily. CIP also introduced a hybrid model for the annual national conference, eliminating the need for all conference participants to travel and attend in person. Additionally, for the upcoming national conference, Navigation 2023, CIP is working with Bullfrog Power to ensure additional offsets to emissions at the Halifax Convention Centre.
In light of these policies, CIP is proud to share that we recently completed the CSA Group’s rating guide on Environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainable development goals (SDGs) for associations, and scored the gold level.
CIP at Work for Our Members on Climate
Reducing work-related carbon emissions, and offsetting those required for operations, is one of many integrated actions CIP is taking to address the complex issue of climate change. Here are other ways the Institute is working to address this priority issue:
- Represented the planning profession through collaborations and conversations with Health Canada, Natural Resources Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Service, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Canadian Water Network, and the World Urban Pavilion in Regent Park;
- Issued statements and letters of support in support of Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy and the CAP Call to Action on Sustainable Urbanisation;
- Member of Natural Resources Canada‘s Adaptation Skills Working Group (ongoing);
- Acted as a signatory of the Global Planners Network’s Katowice Declaration 2022: Transforming our Cities for a Better Future;
- Worked with the Climate Risk Institute to develop the national Climate Adaptation Training;
- Assisted in the development of the Federal Land Use Guide for Flood Risk Areas;
- Worked with the Atlantic Planners Institute (API) to build Navigation, the 2023 national conference – which includes climate-related programming and a partnership with Bullfrog Power to offset emissions;
- Continued coverage of climate and environment-related themes and content in Plan Canada
For Earth Day—and every day—CIP has compiled a list of climate-related planning resources. In the spirit of “Invest in Our Planet”, we encourage you to spend some of your time pursuing the sustainable solutions and practices shared below.
Canadian Planning and Policy Journal
- Community Energy Planning Special Issue Vol. 2021
- Scaling up local climate action: A survey of climate policy priorities in the Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities region
- Ecosystem Services in Canadian City Planning: Opportunities for Policy and Practice in an Era of Climate Change
CIP Resources and Webinars
- CIP’s Policy on Climate Change Planning
- CIP Climate Change Library
- Webinar: Planning for Climate Change
- Webinar: Nature-Based Solutions and Resilience Trade-Offs for Rural Communities (from PLACE21)
- Webinar: Planning for Biodiversity
- Webinar: Planning for Disaster Resilience
- Webinar: Planning for Equity with Data
Planning Association Resources
- Climate Change Resources (American Planning Association)
- 7 Need-To-Know Trends for Planners in 2023 (American Planning Association)
- Planning for a Climate Crisis (Ontario Professional Planners Institute)
- Addressing climate change through advocacy, policy, and planning (Canadian Architect)
- Role of planning in adapting to a changing climate (Planning Institute of Australia)
- Role of planning in reducing carbon (Planning Institute of Australia)
Additional Guides and Resources
- Smart Energy Communities Benchmark
- Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate
- Canada’s Changing Climate Report: National Issues Report
- Accounting for Natural Assets: A Low Carbon Resilience Approach
- Climate Atlas of Canada
- Irreversible Extreme Heat: Protecting Canadians and Communities From a Lethal Future (Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation)
- Adaptation Resource Pathway for Planners (ARPP) (Climate Risk Institute)
Do you know of more resources that are relevant to the planning community? Help us to gather and share learning resources by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.