The Metro Vancouver Zero Emission Innovation Centre will be a new, purpose built organization to catalyze, accelerate and scale climate action innovation across the region and make an important contribution to the zero carbon economy across B.C. SFU’s Renewable Cities initiative at the Morris. J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue was tapped to establish the organization, with an interdisciplinary team of experts: Lidstone & Company, Rhiza Capital and WCS Engagement + Planning.

The Metro Vancouver ZEIC will be an independent, not-for-profit charitable foundation, seeded by a generous $21.7 million federal contribution. With a special focus on impact investment, market mobilization and innovative financial instruments, the Centre adds new tools to the urban climate action toolbox. In announcing the start up process, Federal Environment Minister Wilkinson said, “Many promising urban low-carbon solutions fail to make it from proven concept to implementation due to a whole range of different factors, including difficulty accessing capital and markets, risk aversion and policy barriers.  (This) centre will help overcome these barriers.”

To establish the organization, the Start-up Team is engaging with advisors: City of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, the BC Government, Federation of Canadian Municipalities and non-profit start-up, business, governance and social innovation experts.

The top priorities for establishing this new independent entity are:

    1. Tapping into the region’s immense social, financial and intellectual capital to shape the organization’s governance, focus, leadership and climate action network
    2. Evaluating climate action challenges, opportunities and gaps, and applying lessons from low carbon innovation centres
    3. Recruiting pragmatic, visionary, savvy and engaged leaders to the board, advisory bodies and executive
    4. Identifying and initiating programmatic priorities, and integrating the Zero Emission Building Exchange to support building sector capacity building
    5. Catalyzing leverage of the generous federal endowment from private, public and social sectors


The Metro Vancouver ZEIC will be part of a Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) network with organizations in seven of the country’s largest cities supported by an $183 million federal investment. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities serves as the secretariat for the LC3 Network and manager of a broader, federally supported $187 million Community Building Retrofit Initiative for local governments outside the LC3 urban regions to catalyze retrofits and deep carbon reductions.

VISION (working)

Metro Vancouver has achieved zero emissions by 2050 through mass, transformative innovations in buildings, transportation, energy supply and other GHG-intensive sectors.

MISSION (working)

To advance policy innovation, facilitate capacity building and collaboration, and catalyse market investments to accelerate zero emissions innovation in collaboration with local governments.

For more information about the project, please contact Brad Doff, Project Manager and Analyst for SFU’s Renewable Cities.