SFU sustainability leaders recognized with 2019 President’s awards

March 04, 2019

The President’s Awards for Leadership in Sustainability recognize SFU community members who have demonstrated outstanding sustainability leadership within and beyond the university.

Winners are nominated for enhancing the community’s awareness and understanding of sustainability, and for acting to promote and improve sustainability performance on and off campus. There are four nomination categories:  student, faculty, staff and group.

The 2019 winners are: arts student Preethi Bokka, geography professor Kirsten Zickfeld, energy manager Bernard Chan and Ancillary Services’s SFU Fair Trade working group.

Preethi Bokka (student winner)

Arts student Preethi Bokka has supported the SFU community to adopt a holistic understanding of sustainability that extends beyond just ecological considerations to include dimensions of social sustainability.

She has worked on embedding diversity and inclusion into SFU’s practices and culture. Her achievements include chairing Embark Sustainability's Diversity and Inclusion Working Group to develop a best-practices guide for informing organizational culture, and leading the development of Embark’s first Social Sustainability Assessment Report.

As the editor-in-chief of Confluence Journal for SFU’s School of International Studies, Bokka explored the social 'theme of division' and published essays with a team of students. She is currently working as the project lead for the 2019 Women Deliver Conference through her role with the SFU VP External Relations office.

Kirsten Zickfeld (faculty winner)

Professor Kirsten Zickfeld is an internationally recognized climate scientist who is investigating a diverse array of climate topics, including the reversibility of human-induced climate change, whether carbon budgets are consistent with climate targets, and the processes that generate climate-carbon feedbacks affecting global warming.

She has made a significant contribution to the conversation about climate change mitigation and adaptation. Zickfeld was selected by the United Nations to serve as lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on the 1.5-degrees climate target.

She was one of 91 participating experts worldwide and one of just two from Canada. Locally, Zickfeld has engaged municipal governments and civil society on the topic of climate change, and organized the 2018 Faculty of Environment’s Climate Future Series for the SFU community.

Bernard Chan (staff winner)

Bernard Chan, energy manager with Facilities Services, tests and develops low carbon solutions that have significantly reduced SFU’s greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs.

Between 2013 and 2018 his innovations helped SFU avert approximately $870,000 in energy costs and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by about 850 tonnes.

In 2015 BC Hydro named him a Green Champion. He also holds a FortisBC Energy Specialist Program Award.

As a member of SFU’s Energy Committee he has worked to advance strategic partnerships within and beyond SFU. As well, he has a passion for mentoring and engaging students in his work.

He recently helped a group of students to design and install their own solar energy pilot in the Burnaby Campus Learning Garden, and helped another student group to pilot a water-saving technology on campus.

Ancillary Services, SFU Fair Trade (group winner)

SFU Fair Trade works to advance fair trade at SFU.

A designated Fair Trade Campus since 2012, SFU has become a leader in the fair trade movement, and was the first university to have a Starbucks coffee shop on campus that serves fair trade espresso.

The SFU Fair Trade group plays a significant role in advancing social, environmental and economic sustainability across Canada and beyond through its educational, outreach and procurement activities.

SFU Fair Trade has developed a course unit on fair trade and supports students working on fair trade research projects. The group has also developed a student ambassador program that offers training in the complexities of fair trade around the world while giving students meaningful projects to champion on campus and in their communities.  

To learn more about getting involved with sustainability at SFU, visit: www.sfu.ca/sustainability.html.