Helping BC Housing Demonstrate their Commitment to Reducing Environmental Impacts

BC Housing develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options. They partner with over 800 housing providers in more than 280 communities across British Columbia and provide support to more than 104,000 households.

Making the Commitment to Reduce Environmental Impacts

BC Housing has an active energy management program, performing energy audits and implementing innovative solutions to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as part of their livegreen strategy. Since 2008, Prism has helped BC Housing to calculate GHG emissions from their building portfolio and track progress towards GHG targets in order to fulfill their reporting commitments as part of BC Carbon Neutral Government (CNG). 

Tracking Progress

Consolidating BC Housing’s building portfolio GHG emissions is a massive undertaking. BC Housing has over 500 buildings, with over 12,000 utility accounts across the province. In 2008, Prism started by working with utility providers to gather account numbers for every BC Housing-owned and leased building. To complete the GHG emissions report for the BC Climate Action Secretariat (CAS), Prism organizes the utility data by fuel type for each building and reports in a consolidated format each year, ensuring the anonymity of tenant data. 

Prism’s Utility Monitoring and Analysis (PUMA) software and team have been instrumental in facilitating BC Housing’s CNG reporting over the years. PUMA’s capacity to efficiently consolidate data into the required reporting format and to automate data imports from utilities has made CNG reporting much easier. Where data is not available in electronic format, staff members of the PUMA Team collect and import data for these sites. Where no data is available, the building consumption is estimated by an engineer. Prism’s GHG reporting methodology has been audited twice and is considered best in class practice.

PUMA’s features like custom activation periods, weather correction, and ability to set up user-defined groupings such as by geographical region or ownership portfolio, allows BC Housing to generate reports that inform development of specific projects for effective energy management. 

 

"The significant reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions have been possible due to investments in building upgrades and energy retrofits of many social housing sites in the last few years, adoption of higher efficiency standards in the new buildings, and the development of tools and resources. Having a reliable way to measure energy use across thousands of social housing units plays an important role in our success. Prism Engineering leads this work and we benefit greatly from their professional expertise and passionate commitment to sustainability."

--Bill MacKinnon, Energy Manager, BC Housing

Meeting Targets & Creating a Culture of Sustainability

In concert with their efforts to reduce GHG emissions, BC Housing strives to incorporate sustainability into all aspects of their organization. From procurement procedures to tenant engagement campaigns, BC Housing is committed to environmental and social responsibility while delivering their housing programs and services. BC Housing has been recognized for their commitment to sustainability, as winners of Canada’s Greenest Employer award for the past three years.

BC Housing’s Licensing and Consumer Services branch plays a significant role in conducting research and providing education for the residential construction industry. In partnership with BCIT, they have helped develop the High Performance Building Lab, where they are now supporting education and training for the design and construction of lower emission housing.

BC Housing has reduced GHG emissions from their building portfolio by 33% (as of 2015) compared to their 2005 baseline, contributing to BC’s provincial GHG reduction target. In part, due to the work Prism has done over their decade-long client relationship, BC Housing can report with accuracy on reduced GHG emissions and celebrate the success of their programs in shrinking their environmental footprint.