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Climate & Sustainability Action Plan 2030

UVic is committed to being a global leader in environmental, social and institutional sustainability.

A woman stands in a forest holding a fern and smiling

A new approach

The University of Victoria is committed to global leadership in environmental, social and institutional sustainability. We meet this challenge through our Strategic Framework, research, academic programs, campus operations, and the impact and influence of our students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 2030 (CSAP) is a new and unique approach to sustainability and climate action at UVic. This Strategy brings all campus portfolios, academics and curriculum, research and innovation, external, Indigenous, international relations, community and government relations, communications, finance and operations together, to guide UVic as we address and adapt to global challenges faced by all universities.

Relational responsibilites

The UVic community commits to honouring relational responsibilities to climate action for past, present and future generations. We will develop goals and processes that are grounded in local Indigenous Knowledge Systems, worldviews and protocols. We aim for climate action, justice and sustainable practices for the health and well-being of the lands, waters, air and more-than-human relations.

Targets

UVic has set three ambitious targets in greenhouse gas emissions, sustainability and the advancement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). These will be achieved through 11 measurable and robust short-, medium- and long-term goals.

Greenhouse gas emissions

Target 1

  • by 2030, reduce campus operations greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 50% below our 2010 baseline
  • by 2040, achieve Net Zero emissions for campus operations
  • by 2050, achieve a climate positive campus
STARS certification

Target 2

  • achieve Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) Platinum rating certification (85 points) by 2026

UVic has continually improved our standings in Gold ratings over submissions in 2014 (67.97 points), 2017 (76.79 points) and 2020 (80.17 points). 

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Target 3

  • each year, demonstrate advancement towards the UN SDGs

Strategy & actions

CSAP is comprised of a Strategy and an associated Actions Plan, which provide integrated responses to the challenges and opportunities afforded by climate change, and guide the university’s contribution to sustainability and planetary health.

These four themes express how we view our place in the world and in the work we are choosing to do.

Two totems outside the First Peoples House at UVic

x̣éʔx̣ə tə́ŋəxʷ ꟾ XAXE TEṈEW Sacred Earth

When considering the scope of our future work together, we ask how our actions will benefit the lands, waters and communities of this area.

Brad Buckham (with a wave measurement buoy) in front of the Hesquiaht First Nation community of Hot Springs Cove.

Innovator and partner

UVic supports diverse research as it relates to climate and sustainability. We have opportunities to build research and innovation capacity across campus, in every department, to ensure UVic is an incubator of solutions across all disciplines.

Caetano Dorea and UVic PhD candidate Camille Zimmer test drinking water using the membrane filtration technique, a standard lab technique that was adapted for field use and is being deployed globally.

Educator and learner

Climate and sustainability are integrated into UVic’s academic curriculum in nearly every major field. We are developing new academic programs and courses, including experiential learning, and focussing on educating and inspiring the next climate and sustainability leaders.

UVic team members discuss building energy system upgrades. L-R: Ralph Evins, Haris Shamsi, Rajeev Kotha and Mahsa Torabi.

Climate solutions and sustainability leader

University operations support climate mitigation, adaptation and sustainability practices across campus operations and planning. We continue to prioritize sustainability and low-carbon resilience across campus.

Integrated initiatives

To reach UVic’s vision for CSAP, three new initiatives will require effort and collaboration across campus.

The seedling project

Conceived of and led by Carey Newman, Impact Chair in Indigenous Art Practices at UVic, the artistic concept for this initiative is straightforward: plant a western red cedar tree, design a virtual 3D totem, and commit to carving and raising the totem when the tree is mature, 600-1,000 years in the future.

Campus as a living lab

Campus as a living lab coordinates academic research and teaching projects to use the campus and surrounding areas as places for students, staff and faculty to engage with and advance real-world climate and sustainability solutions.

Climate and sustainability hub

The climate and sustainability hub coordinates, enhances and promotes climate and sustainability solutions across education, research, operations and UVic’s internal and external communities.

Guiding principles

CSAP is a path-based approach to our climate and sustainability targets, goals, strategies and actions. There are six principles that will guide the development and implementation of the Plan:

  • centre local Indigenous Knowledge Systems and worldviews
  • innovation and excellence
  • integration
  • inclusive and empowered leadership
  • climate justice and equity
  • community engagement

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