University Energy Utilization (GP 43)


November 26, 2015

Revision Date


GP 43

Revision No.

1.    Preamble


1.1.   The energy SFU consumes in fulfilling its institutional mandate is primarily in the form of electricity, fuel oil and natural gas.

1.2.   All of these energy sources have financial costs and environmental impacts. The BC Government regulates GHG emissions from specified carbon-based sources.

1.3.   BC’s public sector organizations report their operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emission footprints annually to the Province as mandated by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, (“the Act”), report their operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emission footprints annually to the Province and must be carbon neutral, a state they can achieve through a combination of reducing GHG emissions and purchasing carbon offsets for their remaining emissions.

1.4.   The Act sets specific targets for reducing GHG emissions:

·          33% by 2020 (using a 2007 baseline);

·          80% by 2050 (using a 2007 baseline).


2.    Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to:

2.1.   Incorporate the above regulatory requirement to reduce and offset SFU’s carbon intensive energy consumption, requiring all members of the SFU community to be mindful of the energy demands created by their University activities and to seek means to carry them out effectively and efficiently to both conserve energy and improve SFU’s energy-related environmental impact (e.g., GHG footprint).

2.2.   Promote optimizing energy use from all sources (carbon based and renewable) to reduce financial costs and environmental impacts.

2.3.   Shift toward more environmentally benign renewable energy sources to improve SFU’s GHG footprint.

2.4.   Recognize the need to transition to a renewable energy future, that this transition will necessitate shifts in systems, technology and expertise, and that this transition will not happen overnight.

2.5.   Support the commitments outlined in SFU’s Sustainability Policy (GP 38).


3.    Definitions

“Energy” is usable power (as heat or electricity).

“Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs)” are atmospheric gases created by the burning of fossil (carbon-based) fuels. GHGs include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (NO2), and water vapour. Other greenhouse gases identified in the Kyoto Protocol are: chloroflourocarbons (CFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). Greenhouse gases are usually expressed in metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e).

“GHG footprint” sometimes called a “carbon footprintrefers to the total greenhouse gas emissions produced to carry out the activities of an institution, business or as individual persons, primarily through, but not limited to, the burning of fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels (e.g., natural gas, coal and heating oil), including the consumption of electricity produced by burning fossil fuels, contributes to the GHG footprint. A GHG footprint is usually measured in tonnes of carbon equivalents over the period of a year (i.e., CO2e/year).

“Energy conservation” refers to the effort to be both efficient in the use of energy required and to minimize the demand for total energy use wherever possible.

“Energy efficiency” refers to using less energy to provide the same products and services.

“Renewable Energy” refers to fuels or sources of energy the supply of which is, for practical purposes, unlimited, and that are being continually renewed by ecospheric and thermonuclear processes, e.g., direct solar radiation, geothermal, wind, biomass, tidal, etc.

4.    Policy

4.1.   SFU will make energy conservation, energy efficiency, and the transition to more environmentally benign, 100% renewable, energy sources, an institutional priority in order to conserve fiscal and natural resources and to demonstrate social and environmental responsibility in carrying out its mandate.

4.2.   All members of the SFU community are expected to contribute to this above stated priority in their various roles as faculty, staff and students by including energy use as one of the key factors in decision making processes, and, where applicable, making energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and applications the focus of study and research.

4.3.   Campus community groups are expected to voluntarily contribute to the achievement of this policy when using SFU space.

5.    Scope

This Policy applies to all SFU-owned or -managed space and to all University activities that utilize energy that SFU directly procures or produces. Recognizing that operational control over energy systems at the Surrey and Vancouver campuses and other facilities may differ from that at its Burnaby campus, SFU will work with local property managers to achieve these policy goals across the institution.


6.    Roles and Responsibilities

6.1.   Where the day-to-day practices of members of the SFU community affect SFU’s use of energy (e.g. procurement decisions), all SFU community members, as individuals, and acting in their official University roles, have the responsibility to consider the impact on energy use of their project and activity lifecycles and actively pursue opportunities to optimize energy use and minimize waste in this lifecycle, wherever possible.

6.2.   Where the academic and research areas of study can contribute to energy innovation and best practices to improve SFU's energy efficiency and GHG footprint, staff, faculty and students are encouraged to collaborate to explore opportunities to integrate these areas of study to help advance institutional goals for energy utilization.

6.3.   Where the choice and application of technologies will affect the use of energy, it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to apply high performance standards in energy efficiency in the design, procurement and operation of these technologies.

6.4.   In infrastructure and building projects where Facilities Services has the primary responsibility for the planning, design and operations of energy systems, it is the responsibility of all project stakeholders to work together with Facilities Services and the Energy Management Office in evaluating and applying high efficiency energy standards to optimize energy performance and operations.

6.5.   Where decisions on sources of energy are being made it is the responsibility of decision-makers to ensure all opportunities for the procurement of more environmentally benign renewable energy sources have been explored and considered based on SFU’s current guidelines.

6.6.   Facilities Services will guide the development of energy use and sourcing goals, targets, metrics, strategies, and guidelines and integrate these into the Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP). The Sustainability Office will ensure these are integrated into the University’s Sustainability Strategic Plans.

6.7.   Facilities Services, working with the Sustainability Office, shall be responsible for annually evaluating and reporting to the President, all Vice Presidents and the SFU community on how well the University is meeting the goals of this Policy and the implementation of the Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP).


7.    Authority

Consistent with the mandate established by SFU’s Sustainability Policy (GP 38), this Policy is administered under the authority of the President and all Vice Presidents.

8.    Related Policies, Legislation and Planning Documents

This Policy should be read and understood in conjunction with the following University policies and other documents:

·          SFU’s Strategic Vision

·          GP 32 (Environmental Management)

·          GP 38 (Sustainability)

·          Talloires Declaration

·          SFU’s Energy Commitment

·          Climate Change Statement of Action for Canada

·          BC’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act [SBC 2007] c.42

·          SFU’s current Sustainability Strategic Plan

·          SFU’s current Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP)

·          Other related energy standard operating procedures as prepared by the Energy Management Office from time to time