Surrey was awarded the "Overall Sustainability Award" and Watts was tickled pink.
“Winning this award is a real testament to the way that Surrey has grown to become an example of what sustainability looks like. This award extends beyond our efforts to develop and implement our newly unveiled Sustainability Charter – it effectively recognizes the whole spectrum of initiatives that we have undertaken to enhance our City’s social, environmental and economic foundation.”
This recognition comes on the heels of Surrey being awarded the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Green City award in 2008.
Since becoming Mayor, Watts has been working hard over the last 4 years to begin reshaping and modernizing Surrey's image. Besides her efforts on the environmental file, she was also instrumental in helping to ensure Surrey was selected as Canada's Cultural Capital a few years back.
According to the City of Surrey, the Fraser Basin Council recognized the work they have been doing to imiplement their Sustainability Charter.
Taking sustainability well beyond statements of principles, the Charter is a unique combination of sustainability policies, a robust strategy for the implementation of these policies and, most importantly, a "Scope of Sustainability" component that describes 57 detailed scope items. As an indication of the significance of the Charter, Council has unanimously directed that it be used as the City's overarching policy document to guide all other policies, plans, projects, and practices.
To "kick-start" the Charter's implementation, Council has also approved Immediate Actions supporting 32 of the Charter's 57 scope items for completion over the coming year, notably the establishment of a Sustainability Office, the development of a comprehensive sustainable development checklist and the creation of a community task force to confirm sustainability indicators and targets.
Kudos to Watts and the City of Surrey for yet another well-deserved recognition. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a special series of posts on "The New Surrey".