- The Goals
- SDG 1: No Poverty
- SDG 2: Zero Hunger
- SDG 3: Good health and well-being
- SDG 4: Quality education
- SDG 5: Gender equality
- SDG 5: Gender equality
- SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation
- SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy
- SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
- SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
- SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities
- SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
- SDG 13: Climate action
- SDG 14: Life below water
- SDG 15: Life on land
- SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
- SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals
The Office of Aboriginal Peoples provides information on the territories that SFU occupies, and the Bill Reid Centre provides the Coast Salish place names for areas around Burnaby Mountain, which in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) is known as Lhuḵw’lkuḵw’áyten, meaning "where the bark gets pe[e]led in the spring." This name is derived from the word for the arbutus tree, lhulhuḵw’ay or "always peeling tree." The Bill Reid Centre provides an audio recording of Lhuḵw’lkuḵw’áyten, providing learners an opportunity to hear, and practice, the pronunciation of the mountain's name.
It is important to note that SFU resides on the unceded and traditional territories of many Indigenous Nations. Public access to SFU's facilities is granted with full respect for the true owners of the land upon which the university has campuses.
Simon Fraser University acknowledges the unceded Traditional Coast Salish Lands including the Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), Kwikwetlem (kʷikʷəƛ̓əm), Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw) and Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Nations.
Simon Fraser University acknowledges the unceded traditional territories including Semiahmoo, Katzie, Kwikwetlem (kʷikʷəƛ̓əm), Kwantlen, Qayqayt and Tsawwassen First Nations.
Simon Fraser University acknowledges the unceded Traditional Coast Salish Lands including the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ) and Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Nations.
All three SFU Library locations (Burnaby, Surrey and Vancouver) provide free access to the community and all visitors. Those wishing to use a public workstation can simply request a guest log-in at one of the main desks. Those that wish to externally borrow from the general collection can request a borrower card through the front desk at any of the three library locations.
SFU provides free public access to all of its significant buildings across all three main campuses. Many of SFU’s building—across all three campuses—provide general access for 14+ hours of the day with some buildings being accessible 24/7. The free SFU Snap application allows anyone to easily find where they need to go at our three campuses (Burnaby, Surrey and Vancouver).
For a guided tour of Indigenous art located all around the Burnaby campus, the ‘ímesh’ application can be downloaded. This private, guided walking tour shows and educates the user on publicly accessible Indigenous artwork on campus which includes—but is not limited to—canoes, totem poles, paints, sculptures and much more.
The SFU Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology puts a focus on British Columbia, but exhibits artifacts from all over the world. Exhibits are rotated through and everything that has been shown is digitally captured so that it can be viewed later. These digital collections, along with physically visiting the museum are of no charge.
SFU provides ample access to many green spaces on campus which includes—but is not limited to—2.7 acres of space at Richard Bolton Park, 26 multi-use trails spanning across 576 hectares within the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, open use in the Academic Quadrangle, fire pits for conversation and marshmallow roasting and more.
ACADEMIC QUADRANGLE COURTYARD
The AQ Courtyard in the center of campus features open grass areas, seating around a reflection pond, and public art including an Indigenous ceremonial canoe. It is a well-used space for outdoor classrooms, summer camps for kids, exercise classes, picnics and the annual staff and faculty BBQ. It is open to the public 24/7, year-round and is a well used green space for the adjacent UniverCity residential community. The courtyard also has wheelchair access making it an accessible greenspace.
Embark Sustainability operates four Learning Gardens at Simon Fraser University. This includes three outdoor raised-bed Learning Gardens on SFU Burnaby and Surrey campuses, as well as an indoor vertical garden inside SFU Surrey. The gardens provide spaces for SFU community and general public to explore food production in our communities and uncover their personal and cultural connections to food justice.
The Naheeno Park Community Garden is located at the north end of Naheeno Park on Burnaby Mountain. The garden is operated, maintained and managed by the UniverCity Community Association and is open to all students, staff and faculty of SFU and UniverCity residents.
DJAVAD MOWAFAGHIAN COURTYARD
The Djavad Mowafaghian Courtyard is open to both the SFU community and the public. It is wheelchair accessible and has both covered and open spaces. This quiet greenspace features features a pond, grassy areas, seating, and a beautiful walkway, making it a perfect locale for yoga, studying and small picnics.
Richard Bolton Park
A 2.7 acre City of Burnaby Park, Richard Bolton Park resides in the heart of the UniverCity community.
Complete with a children’s playground, views of the community, benches and featuring one of UniverCity’s ARTWALK pieces—NEST WITH CHROME EGGS by Artist Bruce Voyce—the park provides a wonderful play area and respite for the SFU community.
City of Burnaby Trails
A network of 26 multi-use trails covering 28 kilometres criss-crosses the 576 hectares within the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area surrounding SFU's Burnaby Campus.
This is an important mountain ecosystem of slopes forested in deciduous and coniferous trees. Blacktail deer, coyotes, bald eagles and a wide variety of smaller animals all make their homes in this lush and rugged terrain. Black bears and cougars are occasional visitors, seeking out the numerous creeks and streams along the trails.
For a complete map and description of the trails, click here.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE LOCAL ARTS
The School of Contemporary Arts at SFU hosts frequent events that include theatre, screenings, symposiums and more. During the 2022 calendar year they contributed to over 90 performances. The School of Contemporary Arts also has a number of active projects and activities which range from an Indigenous Film Festival to Sound Seminars to discussions about the carbon footprint of streaming.
SFU has an active Pipe Band which has won the World Pipe Band Championships six times, competes and performs at various other annual competitions like the B.C. Highland Games and Scottish Festival; Victoria Highland Games and Festival; and at each of our twelve convocation ceremonies annually.
There are also a number of clubs which regularly contribute to the arts at SFU, in the community and beyond. These include, but are not limited to: Jazz Band; Music Discussion; SFU Artists; Befikre Dance Team; Circus Club; Choir; and Slam Poetry.
LANGUAGE AND LEARNING
SFU has been working with First Nations communities and organizations for almost 20 years and has developed both undergraduate and graduate language programs which have covered 18 Indigenous languages both locally and regionally. During the Fall 2022 convocation, 21 graduands received a certificate in Indigenous Language Proficiency and the Masters of Arts program had one graduand.
ART AND BOOK COLLECTIONS
The Bill Reid Centre for Northwest Coast Studies at SFU supports reconciliation by creating a vibrant collaborative space founded on respect and admiration of differences, where Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, artists, students, curators and cultural practitioners come together to share their diverse ways of knowing, being and doing. The McDonald Collection reflects the respect for the cultures of the Northwest Coast. This collection brings together images that can be found in museums and archives around the world into a centralized location for better access to some history of the Northwest Coast First Nations.
The SFU Library houses a Special Collections and Rare Book department which allows individuals to see collections both physically and digitally. These collections provide access to unique primary and published materials, including rare books, archival material and manuscripts.
First Peoples' Gathering House
"I'm very excited this project is moving forward; the Indigenous People's Gathering House will be ‘our home away from home’ and the heart and soul of Indigeneity at SFU,” says Ron Johnston, director of SFU’s Office for Aboriginal Peoples. Johnston is an SFU alumnus and a member of SFU’s Aboriginal Reconciliation Council (SFU-ARC).
“Longhouses are sacred places in our communities where teaching, learning, ceremony and protocols are upheld and practiced and are at the centre of our Indigenous cultures, now we will have such a place at SFU," says Johnston.
SFU’s 2017 Walk this Path with Us report outlines 34 calls-to-actions to create and support an improved environment for SFU’s Indigenous community members.
Designed in the Coast Salish traditions and iconic typologies, the Gathering House represents a step toward lasting reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and SFU’s continued reconciliation efforts.
Marcia Guno, former director of the Indigenous Student Centre, says that the Gathering House will play a significant role in the university community. “As an important campus space that recognizes and honours Indigenous peoples, it will enrich our campus, it will enrich our community, and it will enrich awareness about Indigenous peoples and history in Canada."
Removal of colonial art and making room for Indigenous art and culture
In 2004, SFU acquired a 19-metre-long, $600,000 colonial artwork painted by Charles Comfort, receiving it from the Toronto Dominion (TD Canada Trust) bank’s Vancouver headquarters. The painting, called the British Columbia Pageant, immediately sparked protest among the SFU community and the public—the painting is not only a misrepresentation of British Columbian history, but it offensively portrays Indigenous Peoples as decorative and passive. The removal of the mural began on June 24, 2019.
This is the first piece of art being removed in response to SFU’s Aboriginal Reconciliation Committee’s (ARC) 2017 report and calls-to-action. SFU Indigenous Studies (INDG) professor, Eldon Yellowhorn is a member of this committee. The removal project was also overseen by the ARC Arts Cluster, a committee that was formed to address the report’s art-related calls-to-action. This committee also includes SFU INDG staff and faculty, Bryan Myles, June Scudeler and Deanna Reder. (Text retrieved from The Peak article 'Controversial Charles Comfort mural will no longer be displayed at SFU' written by INDG student, Alison Wick).
Research group led by SFU professor nets $3M to create sustainable transportation interventions in Canadian cities
Anational research team is taking aim at creating more sustainable transportation options in cities across the country. SFU health sciences professor Meghan Winters leads the interdisciplinary group with $3 million in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The team will focus on improving bicycling networks for all ages and strategies to reduce speed.
The Centre for Sustainable Development
The research and publications of the Centre for Sustainable Development seek to support and enable the sustainable development of communities in B.C., Canada and internationally
Faculty of Environment: Sustainable Development Program
The Sustainable Development Program offers in-classroom and online courses, as well as a Certificate and a Minor in Sustainable Development that are open to all students at SFU.
This innovative program is newly redesigned to align with the UN Agenda 2030: Sustainable Development Goals and emphasizes the need for action in the Global North and Global South and for new governance models internationally and locally that allow for multi-actor collaboration for the Goals.
Facts and Figures
- 445 research publications relating to SDG 11, 2017-2022 (source: SciVal)
- 155 active research projects related to SDG 11 funded from 2017-2022
- Since the 2018/19 academic year, SFU has offered 34 courses related to SDG 11, representing over 624 students
SFU has a long history of promoting sustainable commuting and reducing barriers for community members wanting to select sustainable commuting options which makes promotions effective over the long run. SFU has programs for nearly every type of sustainable commuting option and all campuses are accessible by foot. SFU has participated in many regional and national sustainable commuting campaigns to encourage new adoption of sustainable commuting methods including hosting specific SFU "go by bike" events.
U-Pass for students (subsidized transit pass)
The U-Pass BC program is a partnership between B.C. post-secondary institutions, their student societies, TransLink and the Province of British Columbia. Participation in SFU's U-Pass BC Program is mandatory for all members of the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) and all members of the Graduate Student Society (GSS).
Electric vehicle charging plug stations
SFU's Burnaby campus currently has two different types of Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations on campus. There is no additional charge to use the stations, however the Permit or Daily Rate required in each lot remains in effect for the EV Reserved stalls.
Level 1 Charging Outlets
SFU has Level 1 charging outlets in the 6000 level of the West Parkade, and are available to any Indoor permit holder or daily parker. These Level 1 Charging Outlets are smart outlets which require a user provided cord, and will provide approximately 8km of range for each hour charged.
Level 2 Charging Stations
SFU currently has four Chargepoint Electric Vehicle Charging Stations on campus. These level 2 charging stations require a credit card to activate, but there is no additional charge to use them.
SFU has a small but vibrant cycling community. Some people ride up and down Burnaby mountain, some take the bus up and ride down, and some come specifically to SFU to enjoy the mountain biking trails. Various resources exist including:
Bike cage—Burnaby campus
SFU's new Bike Cage is operational. The Bike Cage is located on the northwest corner of the bus tunnel, adjacent to the southbound lanes.
Mobi Bikes—Vancouver Campus
Mobi Bikes can be used to commute, run errands, visit friends or casually cruise around the city of Vancouver. It is ideal for one way trips and users never have to worry about bike theft.
Evolve E-Bikes—Burnaby Campus
Thirty Evolve E-Bikes are available to ride around SFU’s Burnaby campus and the surrounding area. The electric pedal-assist bikes can be found at nine designated parking zones strategically located across campus, including outside student residences to the west and adjacent the UniverCity neighbourhood to the east.
Each e-bike includes complimentary use of a helmet if riders don’t have their own, and access to safety information, riding tips and advice on the app and at evo.ca/evolve. The program has flexible pricing of $0.35 per minute, or $12.99 per hour, plus an additional $1.25 unlocking fee per trip. Frequent riders can subscribe for $9.99 a month, lowering the rate to $0.10 per minute.
Bike tool lending program
SFU is also working on a bike tool lending program which will provide resources for cyclists who are in need of repairs on their bikes while on campus.
Carsharing and carpooling
Car sharing services provide vehicles for a fee to individuals for short-term use. Two car sharing companies have partnered with SFU Parking and Sustainable Mobility to bring their vehicles to SFU's Burnaby campus: EVO, and Modo.
The intention and forethought by SFU in locating their campuses within Metro Vancouver municipalities places each of the campuses within walking distance of all amenities. The Burnaby campus is completely walkable once on site and can be reached by foot from the west side by trail from the City of Burnaby or the east side by trail from the City of Coquitlam. The Vancouver and Surrey campuses are rated as walker’s paradises and are easily navigable by foot or bike to and around these campuses.
B.C. Collaborative for Social Infrastructure
B.C. post-secondary institutions including SFU are collaborating in a groundbreaking initiative to strengthen communities through social infrastructure development.
Four of the province’s leading post-secondary institutions committed to establish the B.C. Collaborative for Social Infrastructure. Simon Fraser University (SFU), the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) and Vancouver Island University (VIU) are founding partners of this innovative partnership. The project, supported by the McConnell Family Foundation, will enable the institutions to use their collective energies and strengths to make real, sustainable impact in our communities.
"Canada’s public post-secondary institutions have a huge opportunity, and I believe responsibility, to increase the contributions we make to the communities we serve," says former SFU President Andrew Petter. "This project will enable SFU and our partners to share best practices and to test some of the many instruments we can leverage to build social infrastructure."
University Presidents Round table on Social Infrastructure
On May 3, 2017 SFU and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation’s RECODE initiative co-hosted a round table on, "How can universities and colleges unlock and maximize their capacity to support the social infrastructure of Canadian communities?" A discussion paper was commissioned for the event. Learn more
SFU Campus Planning has a strong sustainable building program. All new buildings must achieve LEED Gold sustainability. There are exceptions: Lot 21 (graduate student housing) is Passive House designed (not certified) and the Childcare (HCMA Architect) is Living Building Challenge. These were recently acquired by the university.
SFU's Surrey Campus' building on University Drive, houses SFU's School of Sustainable Energy Engineering
SFU has been recognized as a sustainability leader for its new building in Surrey. Opened in 2019 as the first phase of its Surrey campus expansion, the new building has earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification—one of LEED’s highest ratings—in recognition of its sustainable design and operations.
The striking, five-storey building, located adjacent to the Surrey campus main building, was designed by Revery Architecture (formerly Bing Thom Architects, and conceived by the late Bing Thom) and built by Bird Construction. It houses SFU’s School of Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEE), which is the first of its kind in Western Canada.
The building, touted as a ‘living lab’ for its sustainable spaces and operations, is the university’s first major step in expanding beyond its Central City campus, creating an integrated academic precinct within Surrey’s evolving City Centre downtown core.
"The LEED designation demonstrates SFU’s commitment to being a leading post-secondary institution in sustainability research, learning, innovation, outreach and practice," says Larry Waddell, SFU’s chief facilities officer.
"The new Surrey building is an example of how we can use campus infrastructure and operations to be living environments in which interdisciplinary learning, applied research and practical work can advance sustainability and resiliency on campus and beyond."
The building comprises teaching and research labs, study and lounge spaces, offices, an open atrium and a 400-seat lecture hall, serving the campus as well as the broader community.
Its award-winning façade is composed primarily of framed, high-performance, undulating precast concrete panels. Its distinctive design is derived from abstracted circuit board imagery, which symbolizes the technological subject matter being taught in the building.
More examples of sustainable building standards and examples can be found in SFU’s Climate Action Reports.
SFU does build on brownfield sites whenever there is an opportunity to do so. The Vancouver Campus and the Surrey Campus were built on brownfield sites. All newer buildings in the downtown campus including Harbour Centre, Woodwards and Charles Chang Innovation Centre were build on former shoreline/industry/railway tracks. On the SFU Burnaby campus, all new buildings since the first main construction have been built on brownfield sites such as parking lots and old building sites. Building is currently slated for development on the site of a decommissioned gas station.