We are committed to protecting the air environment by keeping our average annual emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide (the principal greenhouse gases emitted by our activities) at least 6 per cent below 1990 levels between 1990 and 2012.
We displace greenhouse gas emissions from other utilities in Canada and the U.S. by exporting power generated by our hydroelectric stations that emit miniscule quantities of greenhouse gases. Our Power Smart programs and our efforts to improve the efficiency of our system support this commitment by freeing up more power for export.
To support our mandate to protect the air environment, we:
- offer consulting services worldwide that encourage electrical efficiencies in developing countries;
- support research and development related to greenhouse gas and climate change issues;
- fund tree-planting through our Forest Enhancement Program. Trees not only absorb carbon dioxide but also shade and shelter buildings, reducing energy requirements for heating and cooling;
- foster public awareness of greenhouse gas issues and how to reduce emissions levels by funding educational projects, such as the Climate Change Greenhouse at Fort Whyte.
Reducing vehicle emissions
We include a number of gas/electric hybrid vehicles in our fleet, substantially reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
In addition, we:
- use biodiesel and E10 ethanol at our refuelling sites in Winnipeg and promote the use of biodiesel throughout the province;
- have installed more than 100 anti-idling signs at Hydro offices around the province to discourage idling of vehicles by employees and the public;
- have installed temperature sensitive command starts to cycle engines off and on;
- use technology to monitor vehicles and advise drivers of their idling performance.
Controlling ozone depleting substances
We reduce and control our use of ozone depleting substances, in keeping with Environment Canada's National Action Plan (NAP) for controlling Ozone Depleting Substances and their Halocarbon Alternatives.
As ozone-depleting substances containing refrigeration systems come up for major overhaul or replacement, those systems will be replaced with approved alternative refrigerants that contain non-ozone depleting substances.
For further information on ozone-depleting substances visit the Manitoba Ozone Protection Industry Association website.