Clean Air Strategy

Emissions inventories

For emissions to be reduced, they must first be measured. That’s why we conduct air emissions inventories at the Port of Vancouver every five years, at the same time as regional and national inventories. The results identify trends so we can improve our programs and policies, and ultimately reduce emissions.

2015 Port emissions inventory report


Key findings

Air pollutant emissions have decreased significantly since 2010 despite growth in trade through the port – a result of stronger regulation and investment in technology.

Greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of cargo have decreased, but total emissions have increased and are forecast to continue increasing with growth in trade through the port.


Fossil fuels make up 95% of port-related energy use. We will need to work with government and industry stakeholders to reduce port energy consumption through conservation and efficiency, and facilitate a transition to low carbon energy alternatives like hydroelectricity.


The 2015 port emissions inventory estimates air emissions from marine, rail, on-road, non-road, and administrative activities associated with the Port of Vancouver. The 2005 and 2010 port emissions inventories focused on land-side operations, to complement inventories prepared by Metro Vancouver for the region, and Environment and Climate Change Canada, for marine activities.

2015 Emissions inventory report: Port of Vancouver [PDF]  
2015 Emissions inventory report: Port of Vancouver – summary [PDF]  
2010 Emissions inventory report: Port of Vancouver [PDF]  
2005 Emissions inventory report: Burrard Inlet and Roberts Bank [PDF]  
2005 Emissions inventory report: Burrard Inlet and Roberts Bank – summary [PDF]  

Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy

ASR2014_Emissions_TextAir emissions readily cross regional and national boundaries, which is why we work collaboratively with other major ports and government agencies in the region.

We partner with the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, The Northwest Seaport Alliance, Environment Canada, Metro Vancouver, and other government stakeholders, on the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy.

The Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy aims to reduce port-related air emissions in the Puget Sound-Georgia Basin air shed.

Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy [PDF]  


  • reduce diesel particulate matter emissions per tonne of cargo by 75 per cent by 2015 and 80 per cent by 2020
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of cargo by 10 per cent by 2015 and 15 per cent by 2020

The strategy includes performance targets for each of the primary port emissions sources, including ocean-going vessels, harbour vessels, cargo-handling equipment, container trucks, locomotives and port administration.


The strategy was established in 2007, and updated in 2013. We published our first progress report on the 2013 Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy objectives in 2014. Implementation reports are published annually.

2016 Implementation report: Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy [PDF]  
2015 Implementation report: Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy [PDF]  
2014 Implementation report: Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy [PDF]  
2013 Implementation report: Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy [PDF]  

Air quality monitoring

Air quality infographicAn emissions inventory helps us understand the quantity and source of pollutants emitted, but it does not tell us the impact of these pollutants in locations where people live, work and play.

For example, pollutants are dispersed by wind and can react with other components to create different pollutants. Ambient air quality monitoring helps us understand the concentration of pollutants in the air at a given location, be it from port or non-port sources.

We collaborate with Metro Vancouver and other partners to monitor air quality around the port. In 2014, we funded the purchase and installation of several new pieces of air quality and meteorological monitoring equipment to supplement existing air quality monitoring stations operated by Metro Vancouver.

The additions include two stations that continuously monitor air quality and meteorological information, and five passive (non-continuous) sites, all focused in the East Vancouver area of Burrard Inlet.

The expanded air quality monitoring infrastructure will enable us to more accurately capture and record changes in air quality. Metro Vancouver will operate and maintain the monitoring stations, and the data will be made available online along with data from other monitoring stations throughout the region.