The environmental engineering and construction industry is growing in Edmonton due to the increasing demand from industry and the public sector for greater environmental stewardship and sustainable living.
This has opened up financing and policy incentives, making Edmonton a competitive location to enter this emerging industry. Edmonton has a global reputation in environmental engineering with a focus on waste management, carbon capture and storage, and land and water remediation technologies.
Edmonton is dedicated to becoming a more sustainable and resilient city. Therefore, the City of Edmonton has developed the Green Building Plan to encourage the construction of greener residential and commercial buildings in Edmonton.
The plan promotes green building technologies and LEED certification through recognition, coordination and finance incentives — giving green builders and innovators prime market potential. Currently, there are approximately 180 LEED certified buildings and projects in Edmonton and that number continues to grow.
In addition, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, located in Edmonton, offers a Sustainable Building and Environmental Management program, which will help build the educated workforce needed in green building science and environmental management.
Major green building organizations include Alberta WaterSMART, Built Green Canada, and the Canadian Green Building Council.
The Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment plant, opened in 1956, continues to be one of the most innovative facilities in North America and a leader in wastewater technology.
Edmonton is also home to the world’s first industrial-scale municipal waste-to-biofuel facility that converts approximately 100,000 tonnes of sorted municipal solid waste into 38 million litres of ethanol annually. In addition to Edmonton’s recycling and compositing programs, this waste-to-biofuel facility enables the city to have a waste diversion rate of 90%.
In addition, the Edmonton Metropolitan Region houses Canada’s first four large-scale carbon capture and storage projects.
With the continuing expansion of Alberta’s energy sector, public policies and new regulatory frameworks are constantly being introduced to protect the environment.
This has led to an increase in public and private sector funding for green technology and environmental solutions, making Alberta a national leader for environmental protection expenditures.