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's 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 Approach (ESCAA).

Learn more

Our commitments to climate action

Declaring a climate emergency

After years of community advocacy, SFU has declared a climate emergency, which is a critical step forward. However, a climate emergency declaration needs to have a strong climate action plan and organizational commitment to completing the plan to be meaningful. Our plan will address SFU’s approach to responding to the climate emergency and the declaration compels SFU to ensure that it is sufficiently aligned with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommendations for a 1.5-degree Celsius world.


In November 2021, SFU announced a full divestment from fossil fuels by 2025. Many of the strides SFU has made are driven by the commitment of it its Board of Governors, its Investment Advisory Committee, Responsible Investment Committee, groups like SFU 350, and our students, who continue to raise awareness about the importance of the impact that we can make.


From left, SFU students Paige Hunter, Skye Noh and Alea Mohamed at COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt as part of SFU’s first formal delegation.

Embedding Sustainability and Climate Action Approach

The Embedding Sustainability and Climate Action Approach is a framework that the central SFU Sustainability team is using to facilitate the creation, implementation, evaluation and communication of SFU’s strategic sustainability and climate action plans in collaboration with each VP portfolio at SFU.

SFU at COP 27

SFU’s COP 27 delegation was the first formal delegation sent by SFU to the conference. The purpose of this delegation was to share our work, connect with other global organizations, document the conference and how climate negotiations take place, share with the SFU community what we see and learn, connect SFU student climate leaders with the youth delegation, speak at sessions and showcase SFU’s climate action leadership.

Climate Action Student Collaborative

The Climate Action Student Collaborative (CASC) is a comprehensive program that is designed to support the beginning of student exploration of a diverse range of climate action topics. It is meant to be flexible, in order to enable students to complete the program components at a pace that works for their unique needs.

Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) and SFU have collaborated on multiple regional-partnership initiatives. PICS unites experts from British Columbia’s four research universities (including SFU) with government, businesses and community leaders to generate evidence-based, usable, and durable solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. PICS supports BC’s GHG emissions reduction targets and contribute to resiliency across industry, business and multi-level government policies.

Student Organizations

  • Embark Sustainability’s Climate Action Team: This student-led non-profit at SFU is working to convene students and stakeholders to co-create climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies while encouraging personal commitments to responsible action.
  • SFU 350: A student organization committed to engaging the SFU community in meaningful action against climate change in pursuit of a more sustainable world.
  • ChangeSFU: A student-run environmental activism group based out of SFU Burnaby campus that aims to engage students of SFU in environmental movements through the organization of fun social networking events.


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

Sustainability Research Intersection: Exploring Climate Solutions

This event celebrated the remarkable research at SFU across four sustainability themes: energy futures, sustainability mobility, sustainable cities and nature-based solutions. The event also includes presentations and panel discussions from researchers, government and industry leaders.

Learn more

SFU Sustainability and Climate Solutions Student Research Day

This event brought together SFU graduate students, faculty members, and researchers who are conducting research in sustainability and climate solutions, for an opportunity to share their work and develop interdisciplinary networks at SFU and beyond.

Learn more

Community-Centred Climate Innovation at SFU

Community-centred climate innovation is a critical research program and priority at SFU that takes a community-first approach to co-develop and co-implement innovative solutions to address climate change. Community-centred climate innovation integrates three intersectoral research streams: adaptation, mitigation and sustainability, using three foundational approaches that inform our research: community partnerships, innovation, and valuing of Indigenous knowledges and perspectives.

Learn more

ACT – Action on Climate Team

ACT is the first and only university-based think tank initiative in North America dedicated to low carbon resilience and nature-based solutions to climate change impacts. ACT is moving action on climate change from scholarship to practice and back to ensure that governments, organizations and individuals have the information they need to urgently address climate change and its global impacts—while transitioning toward sustainability goals.

Learn more

Facts and Figures

  • 381 research publications relating to SDG 13, 2017-2022
  • 203 active research projects related to SDG 13 funded from 2017-2022


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 2022

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

Climate Action at SFU

As part of SFU's Strategic Sustainability and Climate Action Plan, the university has made strong institutional commitments to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Learn more