Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020, BCIT launched our first Sustainability Vision.
The Sustainability Vision reflects the interests of the nearly 800 students, faculty, staff, and partners who provided their input on sustainability at BCIT, and outlines a path for continued integration of sustainability through BCIT policies, practices, and culture.
Our sustainability strategies leverage existing strengths and activity at BCIT, in each case articulating a clear direction and outlining a roadmap for progress. All strategies derive from our definition of sustainability that integrates both ecological and social objectives.
In the 2019–23 BCIT Strategic Plan, we have articulated three Commitments that represent our primary areas of activity and accountability. We are intent on being a people-focused organization that delivers future-proof applied education, amplifying our impact through globally relevant connections.
The strategies in this area attracted the strongest support during consultation, in part because they resonate with the daily experience of many of our community members, and in part because these are areas in which BCIT has made most progress to date. The Strategic Plan signals a new level of commitment to our students, faculty, and staff, and this is demonstrated in our approach to sustainability. The primary role of Institute Sustainability in these strategies is one of expertise and facilitation, working with units across the Institute to elicit change.
Future-proof applied education
A focus on applied education is what differentiates BCIT from most of our peers. We combine theory and practice in a way that enables our learners to leave BCIT confident and able to have immediate impact in their work. This approach is critical to advancing the state of knowledge in sustainability. We must continue to evolve our content and methodologies to stay ahead of the needs of industry, and we must nurture an environment in which learners and faculty thrive. The main contributions of the Institute Sustainability team in these strategies are those of expertise and coordination.
Globally relevant connections
This area is in many ways also the most motivational for our stakeholders; there is a clear desire for BCIT to be a more active participant in the public conversation around sustainability. Working in these ways is critical if BCIT is to succeed in its vision of creating lasting impact beyond our campuses. In these strategies, Institute Sustainability will play a more active role, contributing both expertise and capacity for execution. This includes collaboration with international agencies and organizations that seek opportunities to collaborate through efforts that leverage our educational and applied research capabilities.