Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 calls for access to clean, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Its key founding principles further highlight the need for increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix and doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
When it comes to post-secondary institutions, reducing building energy consumption and supporting the development and use of energy from clean and renewable sources helps contribute to this SDG.
For most institutions, energy consumption is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. Nearly all of BCIT’s greenhouse gas emissions come from energy used for heating campus buildings, providing hot water, and cooking. As an Institute, BCIT used approximately 84 million kWh of energy in 2017 and spent $5 million in energy and emission costs. In relative terms, that is comparable to the energy used by 3,000 British Columbia households.
In efforts to cut emissions and address energy consumption, the BCIT Energy Team has been working with various departments to improve energy efficiency through moving to decarbonized energy sources where possible, real-time monitoring of energy use, and tackling retrofit projects and upgrades of aging equipment. BCIT is fortunate to benefit from low-carbon electricity delivered by BC Hydro, British Columbia’s primary electricity provider, to support its renewable energy usage mix.
Our commitment to sustainability encompasses advancing the state of practice through education and research, campus operations and planning, and employee and student stewardship programs. Policy 1010 – Economic, Social, and Environmental Sustainability serves as an umbrella policy at BCIT to guide development and implementation of new policies and programs that will advance sustainability. Among these plans is our aspiration of becoming a net energy producer, generating more energy on campus than we use.
The School of Energy provides education and research that focuses on increasing energy efficiencies in industrial processes and the development of cost-effective alternative energy sources. Outside of providing academic studies, the energy studies centre includes the cleanest operating boiler in western Canada, with controls to minimize emissions and maximize energy efficiency aligning us with the British Columbia Government’s clean energy mandate.