SFU's Strategic Sustainability and Climate Action Plan

SFU's Strategic Sustainability and Climate Action Plan establishes SFU's sustainability goals, defines SFU's climate action targets and—crucially—outlines how SFU will take action to achieve them.

SFU's 2022-2025 Strategic Sustainability and Climate Action Plan

Focusing on six goals and 18 actions, SFU's 2022-2025 Strategic Sustainability and Climate Action Plan guides SFU to take bold steps to prioritize climate justice, resilience and action at our university and in our communities.

This renewed plan—approved in September 2022—is an update to the original SFU 2020-2025 Sustainability Plan that was published in January 2020. It reflects the substantial shift in context "post" pandemic, modernizes some aspects of the plan and aligns the plan with the Embedding Sustainability and Climate Action (ESCA) framework. 

Continued work on sustainability came up as a recurring theme during the consultation for SFU: What's Next? and will be included as a core value within the university's strategic plan.

Over the next year, key activities, implementation plans and progress updates related to each goal will be released. 

Download renewed plan (.pdf)

Plan-wide strategies and roles

  1. Overarching Strategy: Focus on a small number of critical and strategic goals and partners. Less is more. Embedding rather than adding.   
  2. Vice-President Accountability & Collaboration: Each goal in the plan has an accountable SFU vice-president (VP) whose role it is to write implementation plans, fund and implement them, evaluate progress and report out to the central SFU Sustainability team on this progress for university-wide annual reporting purposes. The VPs have written the goals and will choose how to move forward on them. They will also collaborate where their goals overlap and have strategic co-benefits. 
  3. SFU Sustainability Advising and Executive Liaising: The central SFU Sustainability team will work with the VPs to provide advice and recommendations on best practices, provide action planning templates and tools, support data collection and evaluation, and coordinate reporting and communications on successes. This will include attending as requested: VP direct report team meetings, the Executive team (President and VPs) meetings, and the Senior leadership team (Deans, Associate VPs, VPs) meetings to present current information, discuss embedding opportunities or synergies, and explore issues and solutions. 
  4. The central SFU Sustainability team will collaborate with a new group of VP Direct Report Leads to support implementation planning, regularly assess progress, and collaborate on reporting and communicating success: These leads will be direct reports of the VPs and will be identified by each VP as the most appropriate ongoing contact for the central SFU Sustainability team. A lead from the team will be assigned to each VP portfolio to act as their portfolio advisor and partner. The lead from the VP portfolio and the lead from SFU Sustainability will work together.  
  5. Community of Practice: The central SFU Sustainability team will reorganize current advisory groups into a Community of Practice connecting students, faculty and staff which will include the VP Direct Report Leads. Education, training and collaboration will be a key focus.  
  6. Partnerships: The central SFU Sustainability team, the VPs and SFU community members broadly will develop and nurture partnerships that further SFU’s climate and sustainability goals (e.g., Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, BC University Network for Race to Zero, Civic Innovation Lab). 

Implementation, measurement, reporting

SFU's 2022-2025 Strategic Sustainability Plan is designed with a strong accountability backbone through measurement and reporting. Targets are designed to build from baselines. Progress from baselines will be measured annually. The purpose of this approach is to establish and maintain a robust planning, measurement and reporting process for sustainability work at SFU that will clearly show progress and opportunities for improvement year-over-year.  All baselines, key performance indicators (KPI), measurement tools and standards, and progress reports will be made accessible on this page. Progress measurement and reporting will be key tools in assessing the success of our target setting and implementation planning each year.

Be a collaborator

SFU's Strategic Sustainability and Climate Action Plan is community-driven and everyone has an opportunity to engage with the plan. Whether you wish to learn more about our progress or provide feedback to help it grow, the central SFU Sustainability team welcomes you to get in touch.

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A living plan

SFU's Strategic Sustainability and Climate Action Plan is a living plan. This means that it is designed to evolve as new research, experiences and contributions from our SFU community emerge. It is regularly reviewed and revised to address emerging priorities, updated institutional commitments, new research and evidence, changing societal standards and community need.


After an extensive, multi-year consultation process, the original co-designed SFU 2020-2025 Sustainability Plan is approved by the SFU Board of Governors and Executive Team.

See original plan (.pdf)


SFU350 delivers a petition to the SFU Board of Governors and Executive Team with seven demands in 2021. These include declaring a climate emergency, divesting from fossil fuels, and increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets (decarbonization).


SFU's original five-year sustainability plan is updated as SFU's 2022-2025 Strategic Sustainability and Climate Action Plan, to ensure it continues to be a relevant and effective guiding document for SFU in addressing the climate emergency. These changes included:

  • UN-led Race To Zero Pledge 
    • In 2021 SFU signed on to the United Nations-backed Race To Zero global campaign which commits SFU to new and more ambitious GHG reduction targets (85% GHG reduction by 2030, Net Zero by 2035 (direct emissions) and Net Zero by 2050 (direct and indirect1). All related targets in the plan have been updated to set new milestones towards these longer-term targets.
  • Better integration of community feedback, including:
    • Truth and Reconciliation Commission and SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council Calls to Action
    • SFU 350 Petition and Demands
    • JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) 
    • Climate Resilience
    • External and Global Impact

Also in 2022, SFU executive approve the Embedding Sustainability and Climate Action (ESCA) framework and the first version of the renewed sustainability and climate action plan.


The 2022-2023 Annual Report is published. This report shares highlights of progress from each portfolio at SFU.


Final year for SFU's Strategic Sustainability and Climate Action Plan.


SFU's next sustainability and climate action plan will start, running until 2030.

Plan goals

The goals under SFU's 2022-2025 Strategic Sustainability and Climate Action Plan were chosen based on their relevance to climate action, SFU’s unique strengths and weaknesses and on the current human, capital and political resources at our disposal to achieve the goals.

Goal 1: Learning and Teaching

Increasing climate and sustainability literacy 

Goal 2: Research

Integrating sustainability into our research

Goal 3: People, Equity, Inclusion

Embedding climate justice and wellness

Goal 4: External and Community Engagement

Expanding partnerships and impact

Goal 5: Operations

Prioritizing sustainability in operations 

Goal 6: Advancement and Alumni Engagement

Embedding sustainability in philanthropy