Office of the President

Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor

Petter's Perspective: Notes from the President


Responsible investment pays dividends for environment

November 24, 2016

Sustainability is identified as an underlying principle of our Strategic Vision to be Canada’s Engaged University. Our community demands it. And our world needs it.

That’s why SFU is taking action to counter climate change through our investment practices – as we promote sustainability in our own operations.

On November 24, the SFU Board of Governors committed to decrease the carbon footprint of its investment portfolio by at least 30 per cent by 2030.

This target is in line with Canada’s climate commitment, and enables SFU to actively encourage companies to pursue lower carbon solutions, while also reducing our investment risk.

I am pleased that SFU is demonstrating leadership in this area. We are a signatory of the Climate Change Statement of Action for Canada, the Paris Pledge for Action, and the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. We have created a Sustainability Strategic Plan, a Responsible Investment Policy, and an Energy Utilization Policy.

Thanks to these efforts, SFU has reduced its energy consumption by two percent annually since 2010, despite the university’s growth. At the same time, we have diverted 75 per cent of our total waste from the landfill.

SFU is also a charter participant in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS), a self-reporting framework that enables colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. In 2014, we earned a STARS Gold Rating.

I commend the dedication and advocacy of SFU350, the student group who has urged the university administration to amend its investment policies. And I thank the many members of the SFU community who have played a part in furthering sustainable practices on campus and in the community.

SFU will continue to seek solutions, share best practices and show leadership in our efforts to realize our commitment to create a cleaner and greener future for us all.