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Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Climate change is a real and undeniable threat to our entire civilization. The effects are already visible and will be catastrophic unless we act now. Through education, innovation and adherence to our climate commitments, we can make the necessary changes to protect the planet. These changes also provide huge opportunities to modernize our infrastructure which will create new jobs and promote greater prosperity across the globe.

SFU STRATEGIC SUSTAINABILITY PLAN (SFU 2025)

SFU's Strategic Sustainability Plan provides the foundation for Simon Fraser University’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. Learn more

Our commitment to climate action

SFU is recognized around the world for academic excellence, innovation and sustainability. We are committed to accelerating sustained and meaningful action to avoid catastrophic climate change and restore a safe climate while ensuring our communities can adapt to climate impacts—especially the most vulnerable.  

As one of Canada’s top research-intensive universities, SFU’s researchers are advancing strategies and developing climate solutions to improve our collective welfare and ensure a more sustainable future. In 2021, SFU committed to the United Nations-backed Race To Zero campaign, the largest global alliance of its kind to date. The initiative is dedicated to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. 

SFU has formally declared a global climate emergency. A climate emergency goes beyond simply acknowledging that we face a climate emergency. Instead, it signifies the initiation of “emergency mode” and a shift away from business as usual, empowering the university to take unprecedented executive action to mitigate and adapt to the emergency.  

In 2021, SFU’s total (greenhouse gas (GHG)) emissions were 9,444 Tonnes, 25 per cent lower as compared to 2020. Overall, SFU’s emissions are 51 per cent below the 2007 baseline and surpass the provincial interim target of 16 per cent by 2025. Visit our 2021 Climate Change Accountability Report for more information. 

Engagement

Photo by Udayaditya Barua on Unsplash.

SFU partners with City of Burnaby on Civic Innovation Lab

SFU partnered with the City of Burnaby to advance the new Civic Innovation Lab that will see combined expertise and resources address the biggest challenges cities face today. Through the Civic Innovation Lab, SFU will share its leading-edge research and strengths in innovation and sustainability to advance practical solutions for the city’s most pressing urban issues, from diversity and housing to sustainable growth and environmental challenges caused by climate change. Read more

Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) at SFU

In terms of regional partnerships, PICS and SFU have collaborated on multiple initiatives. PICS unites experts from B.C.'s four research universities (SFU being one of them) with government, businesses and community leaders to generate evidence-based, usable, and durable solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. PICS climate solutions support B.C.’s GHG emissions reduction targets and contribute to resiliency across industry, business and multi-level government policies. Read more

Research

Student researchers participate in SFU's Sustainability and Climate Solutions Student Research Day.

SFU has an active climate change research program. Areas of research include GHG mitigation and sustainable energy systems, climate change impacts and adaptation to climate change. SFU is also part of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS).

ACT - Action on Climate Team

ACT is a policy planning initiative from SFU designed to co-develop Low Carbon Resilience (LCR) and nature-based solutions to climate change impacts. They are mobilizing equity in all decisions and solutions. Learn more at ACT's website.

Centre for Natural Hazards Research

The SFU Centre for Natural Hazard Research supports innovative research on earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, floods and other processes that threaten society and infrastructure. Its comprehensive holistic approach to research and education is based on seamless integration of physical and social science. Read more

Centre for Sustainable Community Development 

Centre for Sustainable Community Development is a research unit at SFU. The centre uses the resources and talents of the university to deepen their understanding and create solutions to advance sustainable development. The centre is affiliated with SFU’s Sustainable Development Program, which offers related academic programs and courses. Read more

Clean Energy Research Group

The Clean Energy Research Group (CERG) is a non-profit volunteer-based group associated with SFU dedicated to studying the challenges and opportunities for the global transition from fossil fuels to renewable, clean energy systems. Read more

Research Facts and figures

  • 304 research publications relating to SDG 13, 2017-2021 (source: SciVal)

  • 134 active research projects related to SDG 13 funded from 2016 - 2020

  • At least 65 researchers involved in research relating to SDG 13 (source: SFU's Research Expertise Engine)

Operations

The Corix Biomass project at SFU is a high-efficiency heating plant. Fueled by burning urban wood waste from Metro Vancouver the plant greatly reduces demand for natural gas on campus and in the surrounding community.

Climate Change Accountability Report (CCAR) 2021

As part of B.C.’s carbon neutral public sector, SFU is required to submit a Climate Change Accountability Report (CCAR) to the B.C. Climate Action Secretariat (Ministry of Environment) and the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education. The Report summarizes SFU’s annual GHG emissions (scope 1 and 2) from the government mandated reporting areas: direct and indirect fuel used for operating building systems (heating, cooling of buildings and electricity) and from consumption of office paper. Learn more

SFU Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory  

SFU published its first GHG Inventory in 2019 including scopes 1, 2, and 3. Since then the university has been taking measures to keep track of its GHG emissions. Review the trends from 2010 – 2021

Climate Action at SFU

As part of SFU's Strategic Sustainability Plan (2020-2025), the university has made strong institutional commitments to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Learn more