Environmental Policy & Initiatives
At Squamish Terminals, we are committed to a clean, healthy environment. We are committed to environmental excellence and continual improvement of our Environmental Management System (EMS). For our full Environment Policy, click here.
Squamish Terminals has been a certified member of Climate Smart since 2013 and measures greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory annually. Moving forward, Squamish Terminals is continuing to minimize their emissions by focusing on strategies aimed at reducing electricity, heat, transportation, staff engagement, paper consumption, and waste.
Squamish Terminals aims to reduce its emissions per 1000 metric tonnes of product by 1.5% every year.
Squamish Terminals is a certified member of the Green Marine program which was founded in 2007. Green Marine is a voluntary marine industry initiative with the goal of achieving levels of environmental performance that exceed regulatory requirements in areas such as air emissions, community impacts, cargo handling and storage, and environmental leadership. There are currently over 70 ship owners, port authorities, terminals and shipyards from coast to coast, in Canada and the United States, participating in the program.
Squamish Terminals has been a member of Green Marine since 2012, the Green Marine philosophy of continuous improvement aids allows the terminal to show continual improvement in environmental leadership and best practices. The program requires regular auditing and verification which ensures our systems and results are validated.
Green Marine provides members with an action plan for addressing six key environmental issues. Companies must demonstrate measurable year-over-year improvement in these areas to maintain their certification.
- Greenhouse gases and air pollutants
- Spill Prevention
- Dry bulk handling and storage
- Community impacts
- Environmental leadership
- Waste management
Squamish Terminals and other participants complete a detailed annual self-evaluation, and reports are independently audited every two years. Squamish Terminals also undergoes regular external regulatory compliance audits and audits of our management systems, to help us continually improve.
Green Marine program results – which are public and available on their website – determine members’ rankings for each performance indicator on a 1-to-5 scale. Level 1 constitutes the monitoring of regulations, while Level 5 indicates leadership and excellence.
In 2019, Squamish Terminals proudly achieved the following rankings from Green Marine:
- Greenhouse gases and air pollutants – Level 5
- Spill Prevention – Level 3
- Dry bulk handling and storage – N/A at Squamish Terminals
- Community impacts – Level 5
- Environmental leadership – Level 4
- Waste management – Level 3
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a national program which is recognized as one of the largest direct action conservation programs, as well as the most significant contributor to the International Coastal Cleanup in Canada. Cleanups are organized annually in every province and territory and are made possible with the support of sponsors, donors, and partners. In 2012, the Shoreline Cleanup celebrated its 19th anniversary with more than 57,000 volunteers. Squamish Terminals hosted its 1st Shoreline Cleanup in September 2011 and it continues to be an annual event.
The development of Squamish Terminals (SQT) in 1972 opened new spawning areas for herring which had been in decline in the area for many years. Bladder wrack seaweed growing in the newly placed riprap along the Terminal shoreline allowed some herring to spawn successfully. However, most of the herring sought the more protected and quiet area to spawn under the East dock. The dock was constructed in the traditional style of the time with pilings that were treated with creosote to protect them from marine borers that would attack wooden structures in the ocean waters. The creosote unfortunately and unknowingly killed the herring eggs laid upon the pilings. In 2006, the Squamish Streamkeepers were checking the net pens that SQT put in to aid salmon enhancement and stumbled onto dead herring eggs on the creosote pilings under the East dock. With support from Squamish Terminals and funding from the Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO), the Streamkeepers began wrapping the pilings with various materials to see what might protect the delicate eggs from creosote damage. After multiple attempts a material was found that protected the herring eggs and a successful hatch was the result. With Squamish Terminals’ cooperation, efforts by the Streamkeepers and good spawning conditions around the Terminals, the Howe Sound herring run is seeing positive results with a few billion eggs hatching out since 2006 and juvenile herring schools have been observed leaving Howe Sound for the open sea. Findings in 2010 proved that herring prefer the wrapped pilings and seaweed over everything else.
Squamish Terminals partners with Tenderfoot Creek Hatchery (operated by the Department of Fisheries & Oceans) by providing floating fish pens to acclimatize young fish to the ocean before release. In April 2012, Squamish Terminals installed four (4) new fish pens. The objective of this joint initiative is to increase the survival rate of salmon smolts hatched and raised at Tenderfoot Creek Hatchery (THC). The smolts are placed in the Squamish Terminals pens, located in a confluence of fresh and salt water which allows them to become accustomed to ocean conditions while being protected from the fjord’s winds and marine animals. Overall, this program responds very well due to the productivity of the estuary around the net pens. The smolts are released after 2-3 weeks, at which time they will have grown in size, giving them an increased chance of survival. The smolts are fed by a timed feeder which is installed above each fish pen and automatically releases food at certain intervals. The feeders need to be refilled every 24 hours and Squamish Terminals employees help out in this regard. Typically, the conversion between the amount of fish feed given to the fish and the amount of weight gain on the fish is very high, meaning that 1kg of feed converts to 2kg or growth.
Squamish Terminals is proud to be a member of the Squamish Estuary Management Committee (SEMC) which is responsible for administering the Squamish Estuary Management Plan (SEMP). As with other Estuary Management Plans in BC, SEMP was commissioned by the Department of Fisheries and the Ministry of Environment to protect the estuary’s biological productivity while achieving its economic potential. SEMP is somewhat unique in that a cooperative approach between the Province of British Columbia, BC Rail and the Squamish First Nation; allowed transfer of lands within the estuary which became designated areas zoned for industrial/commercial development, transportation, wildlife management, planning and assessment. These zones are delineated within SEMP. This delineation removes confusion about what types of activities are allowed and in which areas. Further, in order to regulate activities within SEMP, there is a formal project review process administered by the Squamish Environmental Review Committee (SERC); which is comprised of regulatory authorities from the Department of Fisheries, the BC Ministry of Environment and the District of Squamish. This process ensures any projects proposed in the estuary are reviewed within the context of SEMP and current environmental legislation. Established in 1999, with the finalization of SEMP, SEMC membership includes stakeholders from industry, local and provincial government, First Nations and the community; and represents a balance between government and non-government members and between economic and environmental issues. Squamish Terminals offers a unique perspective to SEMC; as the terminal operation boundaries interface with the Industrial/Commercial Zone, the Wildlife Management Area, and the Transportation Corridor.
Squamish Terminals is proud to work in partnership with the Squamish River Watershed Society (SRWS) which focusses on a holistic approach to watershed management. Formed in 1998, the SRWS works on projects which examine the headwaters, key environmental factors and human influences in its commitment to enhancing and preserving the integrity and sustainability of Squamish and surrounding watersheds. Through their projects the SRWS is able to promote, conserve, protect and enhance the natural environment; provide connection to the natural environment through education and outreach programs and facilitate technical, academic and citizen science watershed stewardship opportunities. Other members of the SRWS partnership include representatives from Squamish Nation, District of Squamish, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ministry of Forests, Ministry of Highways, Environment Canada, Cheakamus Centre and others in and around the Sea to Sky Corridor.
Cargo Handling Equipment
Squamish Terminals has a modern, low-emission fleet of cargo handling equipment, which is upgraded regularly. Over 50 pieces of specialized equipment on site with lift truck capacities up to 40,000kg. (90,000 lbs) and trailer capacities up to 75,000 kg. (165,000 lbs). Specialized maintenance center for servicing and repairing of all terminal equipment at Squamish Terminals.
Squamish Terminals has two bike racks on site to encourage our employees to bike to and from work. A number of Squamish Terminals employees bike on a daily basis…even in inclement weather. The number of employees biking to work ramps up each year as we enthusiastically participate in Bike to Work Week, a great reminder of all the benefits associated with riding a bike to and from work.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
At Squamish Terminals we are passionate about our environment. The environment is an important part of how we do business sustainably, responsibly and safely. To that end, Squamish Terminals works with Recycle Smart, a company which helps provide creative solutions to our recycling and waste management challenges. One of our biggest goals is to divert waste from our local landfill through reducing, reusing and recycling our waste. We track our efforts through Recycle Smart’s management system on a regular basis with the ultimate goal of ongoing improvement.