The purpose of Edmonton's Report on the Environment is to keep citizens informed about the larger state of the environment within the city boundaries and the City of Edmonton’s corporate environmental performance. This report contributes to informed decision making amongst City administrators and citizens alike.

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Edmonton's Annual Report on the Environment showcases the progress being made towards the City’s goal of becoming the nation’s leader in setting and achieving the highest standards of environmental preservation and sustainability. This report contributes to informed decision making amongst City administrators and empowers citizens to take action to improve Edmonton’s environment and reduce their own ecological footprint.

Many human activities have the potential to adversely impact the environment. Everything from industrial development to energy use to urban growth and transportation may adversely affect air, land, water and biodiversity. As such, the environmental impacts of these activities must be measured, evaluated and reported if they are to be effectively managed. Understanding the state of our environment helps us make choices to lessen our impact and implement systems and programs to mitigate adverse effects. A healthy urban environment contributes to a rich quality of life for all Edmontonians.

This report keeps citizens and decision makers informed about the larger state of the environment within the city boundaries and the City’s corporate environmental performance as it relates to environmental management. The state of Edmonton's natural environment is integral to the citizens of Edmonton, as it directly impacts the health, quality of life and resiliency of our citizens and our city. We all have a part to play in continuing to improve our environment.


Our Annual Report on the Environment presents a good opportunity for us to reflect on the progress we have made towards our goals in The Way We Green, the City's environmental strategic plan. In many areas we are making good progress. The community has made excellent progress in increasing the number of solar panels that are adding local electricity to the Edmonton area and more Edmontonians are purchasing electric and hybrid vehicles, which helps reduce our community greenhouse gas emissions. But we still have more work to do to improve air quality and move towards becoming a carbon neutral city. As our city grows and takes on a denser urban form, it is important to keep track of how the environment is responding. Our environment provides us with the basics of life including air quality, water purification, carbon storage and food. Environmental monitoring and data tracking can help us better protect the environment, and ultimately our health and well-being. While it is sometimes difficult to track meaningful trends year to year, in 2015 we saw a number of environmental improvements: more hectares of natural priority areas were preserved, the Contaminant Reduction Index (which measures the volume of pollutants entering our river) improved, and there are more air quality monitoring stations in the Alberta Capital Airshed, just to name a few. Environmental conservation and protection is a shared responsibility of the government and citizens, and by working together we can ensure a healthy environment for today and into the future.


The Way We Green is the City of Edmonton’s environmental strategic plan. It sets out principles, goals, objectives, policies and approaches for Edmonton to live in balance with nature.

The Way We Green’s two main focuses are: (a) sustainability: our society’s ability to endure over a prolonged period as an integral part of Earth’s natural systems and (b) resilience: the capacity of our city to withstand and bounce back intact from environmental disturbances.

DYNAMIC AND ADAPTIVE: What the City of Edmonton currently reports on is not final or exhaustive in character; the report needs to be regularly refined as scientific knowledge improves, programs are developed, policies shift and data availability increases. Edmonton's Report on the Environment includes both community and City operation measures.


The City of Edmonton is committed to environmental sustainability and effective environmental management. To do this we need many tools. The Way We Green is the City of Edmonton’s environmental strategic plan. The plan was approved by City Council in 2011 and outlines principles, goals, objectives, policies and approaches to preserve and sustain Edmonton’s environment. The Way We Green encourages Edmontonians to understand nature’s limits and live within them. This strategic plan presents a holistic approach to Edmonton’s environment and includes the themes of Land, Water, Air, Energy and Climate Change, Food and Solid Waste.

The Way We Green is Edmonton’s overarching strategy on the environment. Supporting the strategy are detailed initiatives and plans focused on specific environmental challenges that Edmonton faces, such as:

Edmonton's Community Energy Transition Strategy

Urban Parks Management Plan

City of Edmonton Wetland Strategy

River for Life Strategy

Green Building Plan

City Operations Greenhouse Gas Management Plan

Sustainable Fleet Management Plan

Sustainable Purchasing Plan

fresh – Edmonton’s Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy

Waste Management Strategic Plan

And many more

The work outlined in all of these strategies, plans and initiatives, as well as others currently being developed, is needed for effective environmental management and sustainable development in Edmonton.

The City of Edmonton also has an Environmental Policy (C512) that commits the City to prevent pollution; to continually improve its environmental performance; and to meet or exceed environmental legal requirements. One way the City does this is through Enviso, the City’s ISO 14001 environmental management systems.

ISO 14001 is the International Standard for Environmental Management Systems. It identifies the process of building an environmental management system, and requires that each system be governed by a Plan-Do-Check-Act model, in order to ensure continual improvement and adaptive management. The City has annual independent third-party audits and certification of each system. In 2014, twelve areas of City operations received and maintained ISO 14001 certification for their Enviso Systems: Community and Recreation Facilities; Community Standards; Fire Rescue Services; Neighbourhoods Branch; Fleet Services; Drainage Services; Waste Management Services; LRT Design and Construction; Roads Design and Construction; Buildings Design and Construction; Transportation Operations; and Transportation Planning.

Leading the City’s continual environmental improvement is the Environmental Management Steering Committee, made up of leaders from different areas of City operations. This committee develops, executes and oversees the City operation’s Environmental Management Business Plan, which drives and governs various environmental initiatives throughout City operations.

As part of this continual improvement process, the City of Edmonton encourages feedback from citizens on the report. If you have any feedback or comments you would like to share, please send them to