The City of Vancouver seeks to create a great city of communities that cares about our people, our environment, and our opportunities to live, work, and prosper.
Greenest City: A Renewable City
We collaborate with residents and businesses to achieve a low-carbon future while building a strong economy and growing Vancouver’s international profile as a forward-thinking city that meets the needs of generations to come.
The Challenge: Zero Waste Demonstration Site
An urgent need for Zero Waste solutions
There is an urgent need in Vancouver to identify and implement new waste solutions. The Vancouver Landfill was projected to reach its overall tonnage capacity limit by 2037; however, at current rates of fill, closure could occur earlier, thereby significantly limiting waste disposal options within the Metro Vancouver region. Innovation in zero- and low-waste technologies will be critical to help avoid waste issues and extend landfill capacity.
Vancouver aspires to be a zero waste community by 2040, largely by eliminating the need for solid waste to be disposed of in landfills and incinerators. The City of Vancouver is encouraging the development of innovative technologies that go beyond the status quo to help meet Vancouver’s Zero Waste 2040 goals and extend the service life of the Vancouver Landfill.
The Zero Waste Demonstration Site Challenge will foster innovation to help the City achieve its ambitious zero waste goals and avoid early closure of the Landfill.
The Zero Waste Demonstration Site (ZWDS or the “Site”)
The 0.4-hectare (1.1-acre) Site was formerly a recycling receiving yard located in Vancouver’s southern industrial lands. Moving forward, it will serve as a co-location site for innovators to explore the scaling up of innovative technologies that could reduce waste going to disposal, increase resource recovery, decrease greenhouse gases (GHGs) and increase green jobs in the region. For more information on the Site, please see the Zero Waste Demonstration Site Applicant Onboarding Guide.
The City of Vancouver is seeking zero waste innovators to participate in a low footprint pilot by operating or demonstrating their pilot plants at the Site for up to two years. If deemed successful, the Site could continue into future years and attract more opportunities for innovators, including partnerships, funding and other complementary benefits.
The Zero Waste Demonstration Site Challenge seeks a diverse array of solutions to address various streams of solid waste, compatible with the existing Site layout and infrastructure available, including (but not limited to):
Construction and demolition (e.g. natural, painted and treated wood; plastics; concrete; asphalt; rubble; soil; debris)
Composite waste (e.g. textiles, clothing, shoes, bagged pet waste, furniture)
Residuals from industrial processes (e.g. biosolids, grit, bottom ash)
With respect to scale or scope, we welcome solutions that are low footprint (minimal infrastructure requirements, e.g. power and water self supplied). The City and VEC will also consider passive (non-operating) displays that demonstrate innovative technologies, such as natural walls or improved concrete products.
We envision the Site to house five to 10 zero waste technologies operating or showcasing solutions that, if scaled up, could significantly:
Reduce waste going to landfill or incineration.
Reduce GHG emissions, including direct and lifecycle (e.g. transportation, processing and decomposition).
Be cost-effective to attract investment, strategic partnerships and adoption by the market.
Increase green jobs in the region through the development of the solution itself and the ancillary market that supports it (e.g. service providers in the supply chain, such as equipment repair, engineering, office construction).
Provide for feasible implementation (e.g. technological, regulatory and administrative feasibility).
Demonstrate effectiveness, reliability and climate resiliency.
Innovators selected to demonstrate their technology at the ZWDS will have the opportunity to showcase their solution to potential clients, investors, strategic partners, and other important stakeholders for 18 to 24 months at a safe and secure site.
During this time, and after their residency, innovators may be eligible to leverage the City of Vancouver’s $31 billion brand to increase exposure and open more doors to attract customers, investment and partnerships. If deemed an exemplary resident of the ZWDS, the City and VEC are happy to provide letters of support and references as appropriate to help innovators grow their business within Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada and globally.
Furthermore, engaging the City of Vancouver could potentially lead to an agreement, as outlined in its procurement policy regarding unsolicited proposals. In addition to use of the Site, the City and VEC will endeavour to further support innovators by providing them with in-kind support, comments, feedback and decisions as soon as possible.
Note: all inquiries and proposals must be submitted through the Project Greenlight website. If you have a question, check the FAQ for commonly asked questions; alternatively, you can submit your query using the contact form. Please do not contact members directly.
Existing or near-to-completion pilot technology plant: does the technology provider have a weatherized technology plant that can be moved to the ZWDS? Does the innovator have a solution that can be demonstrated within a container or weatherized display?
Technology readiness: is the technology between six to nine on the technology readiness scale (TRL)*?
Note*: Lower TRL solutions may be considered on a demonstration basis if they are especially novel. Technology solutions with higher TRL solutions will also be considered if they have been implemented in other jurisdictions and are still considered novel in Canada.
Waste impact: does the solution address a difficult-to-manage waste stream and/or contribute to a significant reduction of waste volume going to landfill?
Innovation: does the solution push the envelope of conventional ways to address waste?
Safety and environment: what risks to health and safety of the public or the environment (e.g. land, air, water, noise etc.) does the technology present? Are there safety challenges related to operating the technology? Will risks and/or challenges be effectively mitigated?
Low footprint: is the pilot plant size equal to or less than the size of a typical shipping container (8.5’ x 40’ or 2.44m x 12.19m)?
Please note that we will consider larger pilot plant footprints.
Minimal infrastructure*: does the solution have power, and are other utilities self-supplied?
Note *: Currently, the Site has limited infrastructure, which is why this criteria is important for the low footprint pilot stage, as the pilot is expected to last 18 to 24 months. If the ZWDS pilot is deemed successful, the City and VEC will explore expanding the Site’s services, including utilities, to meet most of the needs of future technical solution providers.
Effectiveness and reliability: is the solution reliable and ruggedized for outdoor conditions? Are sensitive parts properly protected and fit for purpose? How well does the solution mitigate risks, including public reputation, financial, environmental etc.? Does the solution require a high degree of human effort, or can it also be automated?
Climate impact: does the solution have the potential to reduce GHG emissions compared to the status quo? What is the cost of GHG reduction ($/metric tonne CO2e)?
Cost of solution: what are the required capital investment and ongoing operational and maintenance costs for the pilot and the innovator’s envisioned full-scale solution?
Value of solution: does the solution provide a competitive cost per unit disposal rate (e.g. $/tonne) as compared to the status quo (e.g. landfilling, waste-to-energy, material recovery, typical recycling)?
Economic impact: does the solution have the potential to increase green jobs in the region and across Canada?
Implementation feasibility: can a low-footprint pilot plant (i.e. utilities such as power and water self-supplied, no larger than a shipping container) be implemented and operational by April 2023?
Climate resiliency: has climate resiliency been considered in the development of the solution (e.g. sea level rise, hot/cold temperatures, rain events, drought, snowfall, wind etc.)?
The Project Greenlight team (composed of sector leads from VEC and Foresight Canada) has standardized all challenge reviews. Proponents should review the eligibility criteria for their specific challenge, as each has its own requirements. Proponents should also closely review the Applicant Onboarding Guide.
The process begins with an initial review of submissions, checking for completeness and ensuring compliance with minimum criteria. The Project Greenlight team will advise proponents of their eligibility for further consideration.
The Project Greenlight team will then share eligible submissions with the City of Vancouver. The team will act as an intermediary between the City of Vancouver and the proponent if needed.
A shortlist of proponents may be invited to make a direct presentation to relevant City of Vancouver senior managers. The Project Greenlight team will provide templates and format in advance, giving proponents at least 14 days of lead time to develop a presentation. Presentations will be followed by a Q&A.
Proponents should not be discouraged if they are not selected for a particular challenge. We encourage multiple applications and re-applications as deficiencies are addressed.
Transportation, Zero Waste, Green Buildings, and Rainwater Management
Green Vancouver: Taking bold climate action
Project Greenlight’s open call process solicits innovative ideas that address complex challenges facing public and private enterprises (“members”). Whether your submission involves an emerging technology you are bringing to market, or a commercially available solution used in an adjacent industry, it must be unique, scalable, and aligned with the City of Vancouver’s strategic priorities.
The City of Vancouver is open to innovative, novel ideas that address key challenges around its sustainability goals and digital priorities (outlined below). Solutions should fall within the key focus areas of transportation, zero waste, green buildings, rainwater management and digital infrastructure. These might include:
Transportation-related solutions, including but not limited to solutions that:
Build smarter and greener transportation infrastructure, including solutions that support active transportation and freight (e.g. smart/responsive pathway lighting for parks, e-bike charging stations, EV charging in facilities, curbside management).
Enable zero-emissions transportation, such as EV charging retrofits in buildings, curbside management and charging solutions, energy management systems, integration with energy storage or on-site renewables.
Zero-waste solutions, including but not limited to solutions that:
Streamline and manage solid waste and organic waste.
Prevent waste, including wasted and inedible food at all points between farm and table.
Process waste into compost, fuel or other value-added product.
Streamline solid waste collection and disposal systems with a goal to reduce GHGs while creating social and economic benefit (i.e. green jobs).
Building-related solutions, including but not limited to solutions that:
Support low-carbon construction requirements of the future, specifically around low embodied carbon construction materials for buildings and low emission equipment on construction sites.
Electrify and/or reduce energy and emissions in City-owned and operated buildings and facilities (e.g. advanced or unique heat pumps, novel heat recovery technologies, new envelope technologies).
Rainwater solutions, including but not limited to solutions that:
Manage and monitor rainwater runoff from impervious surfaces utilizing various green rainwater infrastructure (GRI) tools (e.g. street rain gardens and infiltration trenches, green walls, smart blue-green roofs) for a variety of building typologies/densities, to help achieve the city’s Rain City Strategy goals.
Monitor and manage sewer inflow and infiltration, and reduce the impacts of sanitary sewer overflows.
The City of Vancouver would like to pilot innovative, functional, and scalable technologies that align with one or more of its strategic priorities. Successful submissions will demonstrate significant potential to reduce carbon pollution and/or adapt to our changing climate.
Proposals should directly relate to the Climate Emergency Action Plan and/or the Rain City Strategy. Where relevant, they should also align with, and help advance, the Healthy City Strategy and the Digital Strategy. Proponents will need to demonstrate measurable outcomes in achieving these strategies.
Engaging the City of Vancouver could lead to one of the following agreements, as per the City’s procurement policy regarding unsolicited proposals:
A proponent demonstrating its solution.
The City issuing a call for market responses to the goods and services being offered.
The City pursuing the proposal.
The City choosing to not pursue the proposal.
Another mutually agreed option.
Note: all inquiries and proposals must be submitted through the Project Greenlight website. If you have a question, check the FAQ for commonly asked questions; alternatively, you can submit your query using the Contact Us form. Please do not contact members directly.
Given the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, the City of Vancouver has limited financial and staff resources to proceed with projects that do not meet the above-stated priority areas, and do not address a specific need or present a clear outcome. The city will focus on high-impact, low-cost projects.
The City of Vancouver is targeting companies with solutions that land between six and nine on the technology readiness scale (TRL) , although it will consider lower TRL solutions on a demonstration basis if they are especially novel.
Proponents must explain how their solution meets the basic certifications and/or minimum standards required to deploy any product and/or service (i.e. CSA, Technical Safety BC, Health Canada, National Sanitation Foundation, WorkSafe BC).
Proponents must demonstrate Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) compliance for any innovation that handles personal information.
Proponents should explain the technology’s ongoing service and site-support model, including costs. The City of Vancouver prefers an investment payback/cost recovery within fewer than five years. However, it will consider five- to eight-year paybacks with additional due diligence.
If applicable, proponents should explain coverage (i.e. how many nodes will the solution need?), effectiveness (how well will the solution mitigate risks or improve performance?), and reliability (how well will the solution perform in real-world environments?).
All Project Greenlight review processes have the following criteria:
All companies must demonstrate financial stability and ongoing operational readiness.
Proponents should explain their intellectual property strategy, including appropriate protections secured or in process.
Proponents should identify their technology’s associated risks, including those that may emerge during deployment and operation, and outline a corresponding plan to mitigate them.
Proponents should explain a strong business case potential for any submissions, with a return on investment that can be subjected to a sensitivity analysis based on performance metrics.
Proponents should explain their desired outcomes with respect to promotion of the results of any engagement.
The Project Greenlight team (comprised of sector leads from Vancouver Economic Commission and Foresight) has standardized all challenge reviews. Proponents should review the eligibility criteria for their specific challenges, as each has its own requirements. Proponents should also review the Application Handbook [PDF] closely.
The process begins with an initial review of submissions, checking for completeness and ensuring compliance with minimum criteria. The Project Greenlight team will then advise proponents of their eligibility for further consideration.
The Project Greenlight team will then share eligible submissions with the City of Vancouver. The team will support this process and act as an intermediary between the City of Vancouver and proponent, if needed.
At this time, given the heightened demands on the City’s staff due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Project Greenlight team will take the lead to review proposals on an ongoing basis and forward promising proposals for further review. The City of Vancouver will endeavor to review shortlisted proposals on a capacity informed, semi-regular basis.
A shortlist of proponents may be invited to make a direct pitch to relevant City of Vancouver senior managers. The Project Greenlight team will provide proponents with templates and clarify the format of the meeting with at least 14 days of lead time. Pitches will be followed by a Q&A.
Proponents should not be discouraged if they are not selected for a particular challenge. We encourage multiple applications and re-applications as deficiencies are addressed.
Wondering if your technology is the right fit for City of Vancouver? Have questions about the evaluation process?
Talk to a member of our team using the live chat service in the bottom right corner of this window.
Read through a list of commonly asked questions in the help centre.
If you would prefer, you can send as an email.