SFU’s new sustainability plan calls for university-wide action on climate change

March 04, 2020

A commitment to sustainability is an underlying principle of Simon Fraser University’s Strategic Vision – a commitment that has taken on added urgency due to the escalating threat posed by climate change.

With this in mind, SFU has launched a new five-year sustainability plan that seeks to mobilize the entire institution to address the climate crisis.

The plan builds on the success of previous sustainability efforts, takes account of work that is underway, and sets ambitious new targets. 

SFU’s past sustainability achievements include an Energy Management Plan developed in 1983, a recycling program implemented in 1991, and a 20-Year Sustainability Vision and Goals statement launched in 2016 to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Current efforts include the construction of a Corix biomass plant that, when completed later this year, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions for heating the Burnaby campus by 80 percent, and a recent decision by SFU’s Board of Governors to increase the reduction target for the carbon footprint of the university’s investment portfolio to 45% by 2025.

With its 16 key targets, the plan aims to certify 50 percent of our research and teaching labs as Sustainable Spaces, transition 40 percent of the university’s vehicle fleet to electric vehicles (EVs), create 366 new EV charging stalls, and reduce single use plastics and products while shifting to reusable alternatives.

This is a living document, and SFU’s Sustainability Office will implement the plan based on feedback emerging from continuing consultations with the wider university community.

I urge everyone to read the plan, and to work together to advance the progressive vision it embodies and vital goals it sets.