BC Ferries: Navigating a cleaner future
S1: BC Ferries started out in 1960, with two vessels going back and forth, between Victoria and Vancouver and today has grown into a company that has 35 ships and 47 terminals and 4,500 employees. Because we are probably the biggest shipping company on the West Coast, and in British Columbia, I think we're held to a higher standard. So environmental stewardship is very important to BC Ferries. It's really in our fabric and everything that we do.
Right now, we have three key environmental focuses, it's the fuel efficiency of the vessels, our sewage treatment plans and sewage discharge and the third one is just working with our suppliers. We have a big supply chain and it's important that we work with suppliers that are environmentally friendly.
S2: At our terminals we've replaced gasoline-powered vehicles with electric vehicles. For vessels, we've also looked at hull coatings and propeller designs to improve fuel consumption.
S1: Being able to reduce the fuel consumption by 6 million liters per year, while at the same time building bigger ships and adding more capacity into the system, and if you you think about the environmental footprint around that, I think that's huge.
S2: Another initiative BC Ferries has implemented is shore power. Shore power is when the vessels come in at night and no longer run their engines. Instead they hook in with a cable into shore power and they can operate all the amenities on board, through hydro-electricity, rather than burning and consuming diesel fuel.
S2: BC Ferries has implemented a $62.5 million pump to shore program. What that does is it takes the effluent that we would normal discharge into the sea, and now we're disposing to land-based facilities. What that does is it puts it in the hands of on-shore professionals that are trained and certified for sewage treatment. This will significantly reduce the amount of contaminants going into the marine environment.
S2: Approximately five years ago BC Ferries contacted ZEP, to assist us with improving our environmental performance, through product procurement. Through ZEP we started identifying more environmentally-friendly products, to be used at their terminals and on board our vessels.
This helped us move our sustainability goals forward. Less harmful products mean less risk to our staff and to the environment.
S1: At the end of the day, we all live in British Columbia, and use the coastal waters every day. So it's important that we take care of the environment that we live in and work in.