I am sharing an update on the Strategic Plan deliverable I’m leading, which falls under our commitment to offering future-proof applied education. More specifically, the continued advancement of Sustainability Vision, including GHG reduction.
The Sustainability Vision was launched in 2020 to identify and embed policies, practices, and culture at BCIT to advance sustainability, which we define as enabling socially just lives within ecological limits. Institute Sustainability provides expertise, coordination, facilitation, capacity, and reporting across BCIT to model best practices while eliciting greater societal change.
Whether it was the 2022 Sustainable Campus Index or Colleges and Institutes Canada’s ImpAct – Climate initiative, BCIT is getting more attention for sustainability performance.
A few other highlights this past year:
- As a part of BCIT’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) strategy led by Enterprise Risk and Internal Audit, a climate and sustainability risk framework is now in development. This will help us prepare for inbound impacts – such as those from more unpredictable and severe weather events – and better assess the outbound impacts of our own activities. The framework will also help us keep up with rapidly evolving climate modelling and emerging requirements in climate risk and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.
- The BCIT Energy Team, in collaboration with Facilities Improvements and IT Services, has completed a heat recovery project at the Downtown Campus. This cools BCIT’s server room as well as new technology in the Tech Collider and repurposes the heat to warm classrooms and other spaces. This resulted in a 20% reduction in Downtown Campus carbon emissions.
- The design for the SE8 Central Heating Plant is complete. Construction of this project will result in BCIT achieving our 33% carbon emissions reduction goal. Campus Planning and Facilities is also in the planning stages to reach our future carbon emissions reduction goals for 2030, 2040, and 2050 while continuing to add new buildings and infrastructure to our campuses.
- The Centre for Ecocities, with support from the Real Estate Foundation of BC (REFBC), is embarking on a new project to embed equity into our approach to helping BC communities measure and manage their carbon and ecological footprints. This work supports CleanBC (the Province of BC’s climate plan) and the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Additionally, BCIT and the BCIT Student Association have now both signed the SDG Accord.
- BCIT was well represented at the 2022 Ecocity World Summit and we look forward to sharing more of our expertise at the upcoming 2023 Ecocity World Summit in London this June.
- On the home front, the Green Team continues to elevate sustainability awareness and practice across BCIT, including at the recent Sweater Day event.
At the Fall 2022 President’s Forum, I also shared an update on implementation of BCIT’s Sustainability Vision and initiatives across its nine strategies. A recording of this event is available on the Loop.
Sustainability is humanity’s greatest challenge and requires creative thinking and widespread action. Thank you all for your part in making it happen at BCIT.
Acting Director, Institute Sustainability
Commitment: Future-proof applied education
Initiative: Augmented and sustainable environments
Deliverable: Continued advancement of Sustainability Vision, including GHG reduction
Deliverable lead: Christina Olsen, Acting Director, Institute Sustainability