Here at UNBC, sustainability is in our nature, for a wide variety of reasons. Geographically, we are located in one of the world’s most magnificent natural settings: Northern BC. We are living in the North during a time of great change, including the lingering impacts of the pine beetle, increased interest in mineral and energy resource development, and our changing climate.
There are important questions to address regarding what sustainability means in the North, and as a university for the North, UNBC is uniquely positioned to address these considerations. This is evidenced by our four foci of scholarship, notably: Environment and natural resources; First Nations and Indigenous issues; Northern community sustainability and development; and Health and quality of life. In many regards we are living out the dreams of our founders, who imagined a university that would “improve the world through its research, service, and the graduates it produced.”
Like any university, we question who we are and what makes us sustainable. Adopting the trademark “Canada’s Green University” in 2007 has helped guide us in our mission. We have accomplished much since then, and will continue showing leadership by engaging our community and broader region in an ongoing process of discovery and improvement.
The UNBC Food Recovery Project collects surplus food from UNBC’s new Dining Hall (that in the past would have gone to the landfill) preserves it, and arranges for it to be picked up by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Prince George.
Since its inception, more than 1,000 pounds of food has been saved and provided to St. Vincent de Paul, marking an important first milestone in this collaborative effort to improve campus sustainability.
Welcome to UNBC’s second Green Report, covering the 2013-14 academic year! The Green Report is a document that highlights the sustainability activities we undertook and progress we made at UNBC. Publishing a Green Report is an important part of our Green Strategy. A lot of exciting events and activities took place this year, which we are very eager to share with you.
This Green Report reflects the activities of the Green University Centre (GUC), the Green University Planning Committee (GUPC), and individuals and groups who worked directly with the GUC or GUPC. Each year we hope to expand the extent of the Green Report, and we welcome comments from any group or individuals wishing to be included in future editions!
Developed in 2009, the Green Strategy has been guiding our actions in all areas of campus sustainability, including teaching, research, operations and the culture of sustainability.
Over the next year UNBC will embark on a journey to update our Green Strategy for our next chapter in being Canada's Green University. In the meantime, the current Green Strategy still very much recognizes who we are and where we wish to go.
As Canada’s Green University™, UNBC is committed to being a leader in renewable energy thought and practice, a goal identified in the most recent University Plan. We are demonstrating excellence in energy efficiency while providing leadership to communities in the transition to renewable energy sources.
Part of our energy strategy includes managing energy usage in real time. The Real Time Energy Monitor provides up-to-date information on our energy use on campus.
UNBC recognized for our sustainability efforts
In 2007, when UNBC trademarked itself as Canada’s Green University, we set ourselves on a course towards a more environmentally responsible existence. With each passing year the need to push forward with these efforts becomes more apparent. Although we are still in the early days of our effort to make our campus truly green, our successes have been recognized on several fronts:
- First place for the top campus sustainability project in North America in 2010 by the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
- The Environmental Stewardship award for 2011 from the Clean Energy Association of BC,
- Voted #1 in Canada by students for environmental commitment in 2011, and
- One of Canada’s Greenest Employers in 2012, 2013 and 2014
- 2013 Environmental Leadership Award from the Prince George Chamber of Commerce.