UVic reaches STARS Platinum sustainability rating

Cheko’nien House - one of UVic's new student residence buildings.
The new Student Housing and Dining project buildings are designed to meet the International Passive House Standard, making them the first Passive House buildings on campus.

UVic has become one of only 14 post-secondary institutions in the world to reach a STARS Platinum sustainability rating. The ranking celebrates UVic’s holistic approach to sustainability and how it’s integrated in everything we do.

“We're thrilled to reach platinum status with STARS at UVic,” says Mike Wilson, Director of Campus Planning. “Each point earned reflects our dedication to sustainability and climate action across our campus. This milestone highlights our commitment to a greener future and represents a major achievement for our campus community.”

STARS – Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System

STARS is a global framework for reporting, comparing and incentivizing sustainability in all sectors of higher education. It provides a comprehensive, whole-institution view of sustainability, capturing social and environmental indicators in a wide array of impact areas in four main categories: academics, operations, engagement and planning and administration.

Hitting a major climate milestone 3 years early

UVic has received a prestigious gold rating three times since first submitting to STARS in 2014. The university’s new STARS platinum rating is one of our three key Campus Sustainability Action Plan targets, reached 3 years early.

In 2022, UVic approved its Climate and Sustainability Action Plan (CSAP) – its first sustainability plan to bring all campus portfolios; academics and curriculum, research and innovation, external, Indigenous, international relations, community and government relations, communications, finance and operations together. 

The Plan sets out three key targets for the university: reduce campus operations greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 50% below our 2010 baseline by 2030 and Net Zero by 2040; achieve Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) Platinum rating certification by 2026; and, each year, advance our UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

A team effort

The platinum rating comes on the heels of UVic being named one of BC’s greenest employers for the tenth time. Sustainability is a team effort and UVic credits our new STARS rating to the work of students, staff and faculty across campus to report and analyze sustainability data.

“Thanks to our dedicated employees and students across our campus, we have a much more accurate picture of the incredible sustainability initiatives happening at UVic,” says Wilson. “We look forward to our continued collaboration with campus partners toward our shared sustainability and climate objectives.”

The University of Victoria's proactive approach to sustainability, exemplified by its investment in transitioning from natural-gas boilers to electric ones in the District Energy Plant, demonstrates leadership in clean energy adoption and environmental stewardship. Looking ahead, UVic aims to continue reducing carbon emissions by exploring additional innovative solutions such as renewable energy integration, enhanced energy efficiency measures, and sustainable campus planning. These efforts align with UVic's commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2040 and contribute to a more sustainable future in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Key STARS highlights & stats

UVic received a 94% in Academics & Research 

  • 28.7% of UVic’s courses include sustainability in some way. 
  • 91.5% of academic departments offer at least one course that incorporates sustainability. 
  • 394 employees are participating in sustainability research. 

UVic received 89% in Engagement 

  • 14,967 total number of hours worked annually by trained student sustainability educators. 
  • Over 958,038 hours of student community service hours are contributed annually. 

UVic received 70% in Operations 

  • 85.5% of students and 70.5% of employees regularly use sustainable transportation to get to and from campus. 
  • Potable water use on campus has decreased by 32% since 2019. 

UVic received 83% in Planning & Administration 

  • 46.7%* of the Board of Governors and Senate members are women. *56.3%, as of March 2024. 
  • Release of the Equity Action Plan. 

UVic is powered by climate traction. We've gained ground on clean energy transitions, climate program offerings and sustainable operations—and that's just the beginning of positive actions ahead. Learn more about UVic’s climate programs and training, research and campus sustainability.

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About the University of Victoria

UVic is one of Canada’s leading research-intensive universities, offering life-changing, hands-on learning experiences to more than 22,000 students on the spectacular BC coast. As a hub of transformational research, UVic faculty, staff and students make a critical difference on issues that matter to people, places and the planet. UVic consistently publishes a higher proportion of research based on international collaborations than any other university in North America, and our community and organizational partnerships play a key role in generating vital impact, from scientific and business breakthroughs to achievements in culture and creativity. Find out more at uvic.ca. Territory acknowledgement

UVic media relations & services: www.uvic.ca/communicationsmarketing/media

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Media contacts

Erin King (University Communications & Marketing) at 250-721-7636 or uvicnews@uvic.ca

In this story

Keywords: administrative, faculty, staff, student life, community, sustainability

People: Mike Wilson

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