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SFU launches community-developed 20-year sustainability vision and goals

March 02, 2017
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After a year-long envisioning process, SFU students, faculty, staff and senior leadership joined President Andrew Petter at the Burnaby campus’s Diamond Alumni Centre on Mar. 1 to launch the University’s finalized 20-Year Sustainability Vision and Goals.

The vision includes ambitious plans for SFU to be a globally recognized leader in sustainability, move towards 100 per cent renewable energy sources, become a zero-waste university and more. To view the rest of the vision and goals, learn more about the development process, or to get involved with sustainability at SFU, please visit www.sfu.ca/sustainability.html.

“Sustainability is a priority for SFU and an underlying principle of our mission to be Canada’s ‘engaged university’,” says SFU President Andrew Petter. “The 20-year vision provides further evidence of how this principle has become part of our institutional fabric, and is being applied across all areas of the University.”

The 20-year vision lays the foundation for the SFU’s next 5-Year Sustainability Strategic Plan, which will encompass all vice-presidential portfolios working collaboratively towards shared targets. It also further reinforces the University’s commitment to advance economic, social and ecological sustainability—not only for this generation, but those to come.

The SFU community, which created the sustainability vision and goals, will ultimately be responsible for the vision’s success, through collaborative academic, research and operational sustainability initiatives.  As Petter explains, “We have an opportunity—and a responsibility—to be a leader in sustainability.” 

Developing this vision began in 2016 when SFU created an innovative engagement methodology and invited the entire University community to envision SFU’s sustainable future.  Through a variety of engagement activities across all three campuses, the community identified core themes of interest.

These themes were then refined into a set of draft goals through extensive dialogues, and were filtered through global and internal sustainability plans and commitments.  Senior leadership and the community at large reviewed them before they were approved by SFU’s vice-presidents on Nov. 28, 2016.