Green future: Kitchener sets goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The City of Kitchener says it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by more than a quarter in the last decade.

Now it's committing to reduce its emissions even further by setting a number of sustainable development goals.

"This is a priority for people of all ages and if we're truly considering this an emergency, we need to take steps as municipalities and in our own lives as individuals in order to address some of the challenges that our world is facing," says Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.

One such development project was recently completed at Idlewood Creek. It will help naturally drain storm water and better prepare the city for flooding events.

On Thursday, city officials were at Idlewood to celebrate the city's first sustainability report, celebrating strides the city made in 2019 and also looking forward to goals for 2020.

Some of the city's other sustainable initiatives slated for the near future include using more vehicles and sourcing biofuel to power its fleet, retrofitting older buildings to make them more energy efficient, adding more solar panels on buildings and expanding the city's bike lane network.

"We're taking advantage of a lot of our construction cycles, so with road reconstructions we're installing perforated pipes, for example, so water can flow slowly into the ground rather than creating flooding events and even disrupting the infrastructure itself," explains Corporate Sustainability Officer Claire Bennett.

Storm water management is also a big priority in order to prepare the city for more extreme weather events.

Those projects will be supported by a $50 million grand through the federal government's disaster mitigation and adaptation fund.