SFU 2025 Sustainability Plan


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About The Plan

The SFU 2025 Sustainability Plan provides the foundation for SFU's sustainability efforts from 2020 to 2025. Given a global climate crisis, the Plan mobilizes the entire institution to embed climate action throughout its operations, research, academics and community engagement. The plan includes three overarching goals and 16 climate action targets to guide the institution for the next five years.

Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion approach

The Plan is designed to be a living document that needs to constantly evolve and be responsive to the most current contributions from people within the SFU community, including those with lived experience expertise, those with subject matter expertise, and those working on reconciliation and equity, diversity, and inclusion at SFU. It is important to ensure that SFU's sustainability and climate action efforts are disruptive of oppressive and harmful structures such as colonialism and racism.

Click to view the Plan's 3 goals

  1. University services innovation. SFU will develop and apply innovations in climate change mitigation to all operational decisions.
  2. University as a living lab. SFU will mobilize teams of researchers, instructors, students, staff, and community members to identify, test, and pilot solutions to climate change at and beyond the university’s geographical boundaries.
  3. Climate action leadership. SFU will provide opportunities for staff, faculty, students, alumni, and external community members to be literate in the causes and impacts of climate change and competent in their individual contributions to climate action in their roles as learners, teachers, researchers, and employees.

Click to view the Plan's 16 targets areas

  1. Building and fleet. Reduce operational GHG emissions by 50% (Scope 1, 2 and limited Scope 3 [exclusively paper purchased]) from 2007 by 2025.
  2. Renewable energy. Shift 50% of the fossil-fuel based energy used by SFU to renewables by 2025.
  3. Transportation*. Reduce transportation GHG emissions by 10% by 2025 (commuting, campus-tocampus transportation, on campus transportation).
  4. Procurement and waste. Reduce operational waste by 10% despite growth, expansion, and construction by 2025.
  5. Food choices*. Increase the amount of plant-based menu items by 50% by 2025.
  6. Food waste*. Reduce total food waste by 10% by 2025.
  7. Investment portfolio. Reduce the carbon footprint of the University’s investment portfolio by 45% by 2025.
  8. Living lab intiative. Establish SFU’s “University as a Living Lab Initiative” in collaboration with all Vice President portfolios and the Cities of Burnaby, Surrey, and Vancouver by end of 2020.
  9. Climate projects. Complete a minimum of 5 climate focused Living Lab projects (at least one for each of the cities of Burnaby, Surrey, and Vancouver) which are novel, high impact, scalable, transferable and community driven by 2025.
  10. Sustainability impact measurement. Establish the SFU Sustainability Impact Measurement Initiative to develop and maintain an institution-wide annual collection of data by 2022. 
  11. Student skills development. Establish/expand climate action focused skill-building opportunities (both curricular and co-curricular) for students. 1000 students will participate in programming over the 5-year period.
  12. Employee skills development. Establish a climate-focused skill-building program for SFU staff and faculty. 10% of staff and faculty will participate over the 5-year period.
  13. Sustainable labs. Extend the successful Sustainable Spaces program to research labs and research projects. Enroll 50% of labs in certification program over 5-year period.
  14. Community of practice. Establish a climate action community of practice with over 100 staff, faculty, and students by 2021.
  15. Communications* Increase SFU stories focused on climate change and action that can be taken by 50% by 2025.
  16. Events*. Increase SFU events focused on climate change and action that can be taken by 50% by 2025.

*The starred targets currently do not have baselines. The first year will be focused on developing these baselines and in the second year the targets will be updated based on this work.


Current Activities

  • We are currently updating the goals and targets of the SFU 2025 Sustainability Plan. The updates include the integration of UN-led Race to Zero campaign milestones, climate resilience planning, and climate justice considerations.
  • SFU's Living Lab program launches four new projects to help reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • SFU launches a new SFU 2025 Working Group, Climate Literacy, Education, and Skills, to expand climate-focused literacy and skill building on campus. The group, made up of faculty, staff and students, will support skill building and resources for faculty members interested in integrating climate change into their courses. 

Sustainability Advisory Council

Faculty, students, staff and community members and invited to submit an expression of interest to join the the Sustainability Advisory Council (S-AC) to help govern SFU 2025 and the development of the Climate Resilience Plan and ensure all associated sustainability initiatives are implemented based on the plans guiding principles.

Developmental Advisory Council

Based on the recommendations that came out of initial conversations and engagement about the Advisory Council, the Fall 2020 term has been dedicated to relationship-building and collaboration towards the development of the 2021 Advisory Council. The Sustainability Office has established a Developmental Advisory Council in order to co-create the structure and some of the key frameworks and operational processes of the first full-term Advisory Council (2021) with members of the SFU community. 

Working Groups

To achieve the targets in the plan, SFU is formulating working groups to be responsible for ensuring baselines are established, strategies are developed or revised, and action is taken.

Official 2025 working groups:

Living Lab

Living Lab is an applied research program that facilitates sustainability-themed collaborations between staff, faculty and graduate students. Part of the Plan as targets 8 and 9, the Living Lab is an institution-wide initiative in collaboration with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, SFU's Vice-President Research and International Office and SFU's Sustainability Office.

Climate Action Student Collaborative

Embark Sustainability and SFU’s Sustainability Office are excited to announce the launch of their new co-run and co-designed sustainability leadership program for students! This new experiential and project-based co-curricular program will encourage and support undergraduate SFU students to step into roles as climate action leaders while learning valuable sustainability career skills.

Launching in Fall 2020 as a two-term pilot project, this program is for undergraduate SFU students who are looking for ways to apply their climate change knowledge to current climate action projects at SFU, gain project management skills, and get ready for their post-SFU careers.


Ongoing and past activities are documented in the Plan's robust reporting framework. To improve measurement and transparency, the SFU 2025 Sustainability Plan is committed to recurring term-based reporting, an annual report and a final report at the end of 2025. 

Latest report


Connect with the Sustainability Office

The Sustainabability Office is leading the implementation of the SFU 2025 Sustainability Plan. If you are interested in getting involved, have a question or curiousity, or have general inquiries, please send an email to sustainability@sfu.ca.

Media inquiries

For media inquiries, please contact Melissa Fiorucci at mfioruca@sfu.ca.