SEE Sustainability and Equity: Guiding Principles and Commitments
The School of Sustainable Energy Engineering embraces sustainability in its broadest sense as our overarching guiding principle. We endeavour to model best practices and leadership in the pursuit of ecological, social and economic sustainability, as well as gender equity and reduced inequalities in our operations, research, teaching and community engagement. Our definition of sustainable development is aligned with Our Common Future also known as the Brundtland Report: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
This statement of principles and commitments is a living document to guide our educational and operational activities semester by semester, responding to the evolving local, national and international landscapes, while enhancing the resilience of the planet.
The School commits to work collaboratively with others within and outside of SFU to operationalize these principles, including the SFU Sustainability Office, and the SFU Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Externally, the School will work with communities and governments to engage in sustainability endeavours. In addition, the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) scaffold our core work in sustainable energy (SDG #7 Affordable and Clean Energy) while we recognize the interdependence, synergies and trade-offs with the other 16 SDGs.
The school is committed to work towards the following priorities:
- Minimize our environmental footprint, including net CO2 emissions and consumption of materials and goods both individually and as an organization in our operational systems and processes, our teaching and our research.
- Use and champion best practices in equity, diversity and inclusion for recruitment and retention of employees and students, using guidance from the SFU Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
- Foster classroom environments that are safe, welcoming and inclusive to support student well-being, with special awareness of underrepresented groups such as women in engineering and indigenous students in higher education.
- Use pedagogies consistent with education for sustainable development such as community-engaged research, interdisciplinarity, experiential learning, and campus as a living lab, encouraging students to take ownership and take on leadership of energy debates, decisions, analyses and designs.
- Engage with internal and external partners to foster evidence-based discussion and knowledge transfer with respect to energy sustainability concepts and issues, and provide leadership in sustainability literacy and social/environmental justice.
- Focus our research activities to those areas which have the most potential benefit for the environment and society. Undertake research that aims to improve the sustainability of local, regional and global energy systems while building a collaborative, diverse and inclusive research community.
- Transparently measure, document and report periodically our progress towards these commitments, and continuously reflect upon and improve our work.
We invite anyone, internal or external to SEE, to hold SEE accountable, individually and collectively, to adhere by these principles and commitments.