The coastal city placed behind San Francisco and ahead of New York City in the U.S. and Canada Green City Index released today.
The index measures and rates the environmental performance of 27 cities on both sides of the border in nine categories: CO2, energy, land use, buildings, transport, water, waste, air and environmental governance.
Sponsored by Siemens, the index is a project run by the Economist Intelligence Unit, an in-house research unit of the British magazine The Economist. Cities were selected independently rather than through requests from city governments to be included.
A panel of global experts in urban environmental sustainability advised the unit in developing methodology for the index.
The EIU was also behind a survey released last month which saw Vancouver knocked off its perch as the world's most livable city, falling to third place behind Melbourne and Vienna.
Among the remaining Canadian cities on the green index, Toronto placed ninth overall, Ottawa was 12th, Calgary 14th and Montreal 19th.
Vancouver landed in the top 10 in each of the nine individual categories, ranking first among all cities with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions and best air quality.
According to the report, Vancouver emits 4.2 metric tons of CO2 per person, far below the index average of 14.5 metric tons. The report said the city's low emissions were a result of policies aimed at green energy promotion and the dominance of hydropower in Vancouver's energy grid.
The city's “impressive” performance in the air category was the result of low emission levels of all pollutants that were measured, including sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, the report said.
Calgary topped the list in the water category. According to the index, the city consumes 428 litres of water per person per day compared to the index average of 587.
The city was also cited for its low water distribution leakage rate, which the report said “reflects the city's vigilance in continually monitoring the system.” Calgary was also noted for its high percentage of metered customers and strong wastewater management.
Source: The Canadian Press