Sustainability Checklist




A Measuring Stick of the Community’s Sustainability Values

Port Coquitlam's Sustainability Checklist provides a comprehensive assessment of a development project’s contribution to sustainability by balanced scoring of environmental, economic and social criteria.The purpose of a Sustainability Checklist is to encourage new development and buildings that support and advance community sustainability objectives. A Sustainability Checklist is a measuring stick for staff and Council/Board to ensure development proceeds in accordance with the community’s sustainability values.  

A Sustainability Checklist is a non-regulatory tool. It provides local governments with the ability to influence the approvals process in order to meet their sustainability and climate change objectives. A Sustainability Checklist is usually custom-made by each jurisdiction to meet their goals.  It is however, useful to review other local government Sustainability Checklists (for example, Port Coquitlam, and Vernon,) and consult Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard forms to get a sense of what will work for your community.

Normally, local governments require development and building permit applicants to complete a checklist as part of the approvals process. A Sustainability Checklist can be a separate checklist, or can be integrated into an existing development or building checklist. Once the Sustainability Checklist has been completed, staff and the developer discuss the results, and if necessary, explore ways to improve performance in relation to sustainability objectives.

A Sustainability Checklist can include a scoring system (numerical, weighted, or letter-graded) to advise development applicants about how their project proposal fares in relation to the stated sustainability objectives on the Sustainability Checklist.

Some local governments use a Sustainability Checklist as an incentive tool, tying a high score on the Sustainability Checklist to rewards like Tax Exemption, Development Cost Charges (DCC) reduction, Parking relaxation, and Application Fast-tracking. 

In some communities, non-profit organizations and citizen groups, rather than local governments, have taken the lead by creating their own Sustainability Checklists to evaluate the merits of development applications, and provide feedback to the local government and developer.  For example, the North Okanagan Social Planning Council’s Sustainability Checklist.

Sustainability Checklists Examined

This chart summarizes several Sustainability Checklists and four third-party rating systems criteria. 

This Sustainability Checklist chart summarizes several community Sustainability Checklists as well as four third-party rating systems.

For further information about the chart please contact Cameron Scott: Planner, Community Planning , City of Victoria (250) 361-0534,

Communities with Checklists downloadable online:

Third Party Rating Systems

 [Use the tab above to learn HOW to reduce emissions with this tool.]