Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
March 28, 2019
2019 Climate Action Plan accelerates transition to clean growth economy
In 2018, the University of Calgary’s Facilities team led the renewal of the university’s 2010 Climate Action Plan (CAP) which included consulting the campus community, as well as industry and university experts.
The 2019 Climate Action Plan is UCalgary’s operational road map to a carbon neutral campus by 2050. It outlines strategic actions for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and becoming a highly energy-efficient and low-carbon campus. The CAP is a strategic operational plan that supports the Institutional Sustainability Strategy.
At UCalgary, we have committed to reducing our institutional Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions below our 2008 baseline by:
- 35 per cent by 2025
- 50 per cent by 2030
- 97 per cent by 2050
“With 40,000 students, faculty and staff on our campuses every day, everyone can have a collective impact in supporting the CAP,” says Bart Becker, vice-president (facilities) “Our renewed approach requires behaviour change and commitment from our entire campus community.”
Behaviour change on campus can be as simple as turning off the lights, making a sustainable commuting choice, or sorting waste, recycling and compost items.
There are four key focus areas to drive cleaner energy supply and energy demand reduction, which together address over 99 per cent of institutional Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions:
- Green power
- Decarbonization of the district energy system
- Existing building energy retrofits
- New building innovation
University of Calgary
Significant progress made since 2010 Climate Action Plan
The 2010 CAP set the stage for our high performance green building initiatives, including 16 LEED certified or registered projects. Through UCalgary’s Green Building Program, we’ve saved 135,000 cubic metres of potable water — equivalent to 53 Olympic swimming pools, and 14,000 tonnes in GHG reductions annually — equivalent to having 3,000 fewer cars on the road.
Additionally, this strategic commitment also led to cogeneration on main campus, the two multi-year programs to reduce energy use in existing buildings, and the MacKimmie Complex redevelopment Zero Carbon Building pilot.
Since 2010, UCalgary’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions has resulted in an approximate 69,000 tonne annual reduction, which is a 30 per cent reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions from our 2008 baseline. That’s equivalent to the energy generated by about 17 wind turbines in a year. This is in addition to the fact that our campus has grown by more than 140,000 square metres and has had a significant increase in overall campus population.
Excellence in sustainability is a priority at the University of Calgary and we are modelling the way within our administration and operations, continually improving our performance and infusing sustainability into the campus experience.