Canada’s west coast is a special part of the world with spectacular natural beauty. Vancouver consistently ranks as one of the world’s most livable cities. Its communities are vibrant and growing, with an economy grounded by diverse and strong business sectors. The port plays an important role in the region’s prosperity.

As the port authority responsible for Canada’s largest port, we carefully and constantly balance multiple priorities and interests. We facilitate trade that supports jobs in communities across the country, and also uphold port safety and security, protect the environment, and consider local community interests.

We believe a sustainable port delivers economic prosperity through trade, maintains a healthy environment, and enables thriving communities, through meaningful dialogue, shared aspirations and collective accountability.

Learn about our approach to sustainability and how initiatives such as Port 2050 have helped us to imagine and plan for the future.

2020 highlights

Economic prosperity through trade

Building a new truck staging facility: In partnership with Transport Canada and the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, we completed construction of the Deltaport Truck Staging Facility in Delta, part of the Deltaport Terminal, Road and Rail Improvements Project—a series of improvements that increased capacity for containers in and out of Roberts Bank from 600,000 to 2.4 million 20-foot-equivalent (TEU) containers per year.
Updating our five-year land use plan: We updated our land use plan to describe our long-term land use policy direction and our commitment to accommodating future trade growth in a socially, environmentally, and economically responsible way.
Supporting grain cargo through the port: Work continued on several road and rail projects that will improve grain capacity at the port, including the Burnaby Rail Corridor Improvements Project and Commissioner Street Road and Rail Improvements Project.
Increasing container capacity: In partnership with DP World, we significantly progressed construction activity on the expansion of the Centerm container terminal—a project that will increase capacity of the terminal by 60% while expanding its footprint by just 15%. In response to a federal review panel’s environmental assessment report, we worked through project design updates, permits and authorization, and furthered environmental studies for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project, proposed to add 2.4 million 20-foot-equivalent (TEU) containers per year of container capacity to the Port of Vancouver.
Enhancing marine habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife: We completed construction on the Maplewood Marine Restoration Project to enhance approximately five hectares of marine habitat from low-value to productive marine habitat. This involved creating a 1.5-hectare eelgrass bed from approximately 150,000 eelgrass shoots, providing important refuge and nursery habitat for juvenile fish.

Healthy environment

Participating in region-wide emissions-reduction efforts: Through the 2020 Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, we helped lead the development of a region-wide emissions-reduction strategy with a vision to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, seaport-related emissions in the Georgia Basin-Puget Sound airshed.
Encouraging environmental best practices: Through the port authority’s EcoAction Program, we offer the operators of the cleanest and quietest ships up to a 47% discount on port fees to promote the adoption of sustainable practices and technologies. In 2020, we added new qualifications that reward ship operators for taking measures to reduce underwater and terrestrial noise.
Enabling cleaner marine fuels: We’re working to facilitate the use of alternative marine fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) to reduce air emissions from ships. In 2020, we participated in the LNG Bunkering Summit and other industry events to raise awareness of the benefits of LNG as marine fuel.
Managing the impacts of marine shipping on at-risk whales: In 2020, the port authority-led Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program achieved record-high participation rates in two voluntary initiatives focused on reducing underwater noise in key feeding areas for southern resident killer whales.

Thriving communities

Monitoring noise in real time: Through our noise monitoring program, we created a new web portal to provide real-time data on noise levels throughout port lands and waters.
Building Indigenous relationships: As part of the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project, we secured agreements with Indigenous groups that offer mutual benefits.
Funding local channel dredging activities: We provided $116,000 to dredge small, non-commercial water channels to provide safe access for fishers, recreational boaters, and residents.
Contributing to our communities: We provided $700,000 across 39 organizations and initiatives in British Columbia.
Conducting virtual community events: In response to COVID-19, we pivoted our plans for our community events—Canada Day at Canada PlaceWorld Maritime DayChristmas at Canada Place, and others—from in-person to online due to provincial health restrictions.
Increasing awareness: We launched a new podcast series called Breaking Bottlenecks, featuring port authority, port, and industry representatives who shared their experiences and insights into the inner workings of the Port of Vancouver.
Supporting safe marine navigation: We delivered a range of navigational safety improvements, including new lights on Lions Gate Bridge and new requirements for bunker suppliers, to enhance the safe and efficient movement of ships within port waters.

Sustainability report 2020

Review past sustainability reports.