Vancouver Island University is committed to providing vision and leadership as it grows and demonstrates the development and operation of a sustainable community. In January 2010, Vancouver Island University established an Office of Environment and Sustainability.
CURRENT REPORT - May 2009
Prepared for the BC Government Climate Action Secretariat
Campus Sustainability Committee
Solutions: A Sustainability Network
Vancouver Island University is committed to providing leadership and excellence in sustainable development & operations through vision, strategy and demonstration of a multi-faceted, institution-wide, cohesive plan, titled the “Campus Master Plan”. Along with many other roles, the plan itself functions as a mechanism to address synergistic and incremental growth as well as environmental, operational and fiscal sustainability, and therefore includes a “Sustainability Policy”. This policy identifies five key, inter-related components:
- Institutional Sustainability
- Social Sustainability
- Fiscal Sustainability
- Operational Sustainability
- Environmental Sustainability
To date, VIU has taken the following action on sustainability initiatives:
- In 2000, the “Transportation and Safety Management Initiative” [TASMI] was founded as an environmental program with the purpose of achieving a “greener and safer campus”. In 2007, TASMI’s successor was established to broaden the scope of its function, and was named the Campus Sustainability Committee, which meets quarterly to promote & increase awareness on sustainable: development, transportation, operations, recycling, energy-use and make recommendations based on these issues.
- In response to Bill 44 "Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act", VIU is reducing its GHG emissions or “Carbon Footprint” and will be “carbon neutral” by the year 2010.
- Since 2005, VIU has been committed to achieving LEED Gold or equivalent on all new construction.
- VIU has signed the Public Sector Energy Conservation Agreement [PSECA], which provided a grant to reduce institutional energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
- VIU is a Power Smart Partner with BC Hydro PowerSmart. As part of this commitment, an institutional energy audit was performed to identify the areas where power savings could be achieved, and to develop an action plan to implement those changes. Furthermore, as part of this program, funding was received to hire a full-time Energy Manager, which occurred in November 2008.
- VIU is currently undergoing a “Geo-Exchange Feasibility Study” to determine whether the flooded coal mine shafts beneath the Campus are a viable source of geothermal energy.
- In both September 2005 and January 2008, VIU carried out Transportation Demand Management [TDM ] Reports which made recommendations on all aspects of transportation to and from the Nanaimo Campus. In joint-venture with both the City and the Regional District of Nanaimo, VIU is currently undertaking the design of a new Transit-Exchange, which will make provision for quicker, easier, more-direct access to the campus core for commuters. This will also include an increase of transit service – namely: larger buses and more-frequent trips in the future.
- VIU has signed the University Leaders for a Sustainable Future [ULSF] Talloires Declaration, which is an official statement including a ten-point action plan composed by university administrators to incorporate sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations and outreach at colleges & universities.
- VIU has also signed the University & College Presidents’ Climate Change Statement of Action for Canada, which is a commitment to advance knowledge for society and to demonstrate leadership in local, national and global areas of environmental importance.
- VIU is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education [AASHE], which is an association of colleges & universities in the U.S. & Canada with a mission to promote sustainability in all sectors of higher education - from governance and operations to curriculum and outreach - through education, communication, research and professional development.
- VIU established an office of "Environment and Sustainability" in January 2010. This office is devoted to researching, developing and implementing sustainable practices in both the development and operations of the institution.
- VIU administers a comprehensive recycling program which includes compost terminals for organic materials used by food services, chef / baking programs and students.
- VIU has implemented the institution’s first Energy Management Program, which includes an Energy Management Policy.
Last updated 14-Dec-11