Commiting to Sustainability

In it together
UVic's committment to sustainability is cross institutional.

UVic’s commitment to sustainability has been consistent since at least the year 2000, when the first sustainability coordinator position was created. Since then significant advancements have been made.

  • In January 2014 these achievements attained UVic a gold rating through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS), which at the time meant that UVic was performing better than most other universities in terms of sustainability.
  •  In early 2014 UVic endeavoured to renew its commitment to sustainability through the Sustainability Action Plan renewal. 
  • A plan was drafted in the spring of 2014. The following commitments are found in that plan.

Sustainability Policy

The UVic Sustainability Policy (2009, No. 1794) outlines the university’s commitment to sustainability:

“The University of Victoria has a responsibility and desire to educate members of the University Community to engage effectively as global citizens, steward our natural resources in a responsible manner, and work towards a sustainable future in cooperation with organizations at the local, provincial, national and global level.”

Strategic Plan

The UVic Strategic Plan (2012) includes in its Mission:

“Promoting the development of a just and sustainable society through our programs of education, research and the stewardship of our own financial and physical resources.”

Objective 35 is stated as:

“To demonstrate leadership in sustainability through the continued development and implementation of innovative operational practices and their integration with institutional planning activities.”

Administrative

Goal 1: Integrate sustainability criteria into annual service and strategic plans for operational and service departments and review on a regular basis throughout the year.

Goal 2: Provide regular reports to the campus community on sustainability initiatives and Action Plan progress.

Goal 3: Enhance responsible investment policies to reflect industry best practices.

 

Buildings

Goal 1: Ensure all new buildings and major renovation projects achieve the standard of LEED Gold or equivalent certification.

Goal 2: Utilize sustainable green building practices for all renovation and building construction projects that are below the threshold for mandatory LEED Gold or equivalent certification.

Goal 3: Utilize sustainable operational and building maintenance practices in all campus buildings and facilities.

Goal 4: Develop systems that provide for the reduction, measurement and reporting of construction and demolition waste.

Computing

Goal 1: Maximize the energy efficiency of information systems infrastructure across campus.

Goal 2: Develop systems and procedures that help reduce paper use in computer labs, offices and in administrative procedures across the university.

Goal 3: Ensure that green manufacturing standards and energy saving criteria are applied to all computing services purchasing decisions (EPEAT Gold and Energy Star rated).

Engagment

Goal 1: Develop and implement programs and activities that assist the campus community in contributing to the achievement of sustainability goals.

Goal 2: Work with campus partners to increase the awareness of local and global sustainability issues within the campus population and the surrounding community.

Goal 3: Create new programming for the Sustainability Action Team program with offices, labs and residences.

Goal 4: Engage the local community in the university’s sustainability initiatives and develop programs to work collaboratively on issues of mutual interest and benefit.

Food

Goal 1: Benchmark and increase the number of local food producers and suppliers to maintain an active preference for island produced products.

Goal 2: Enhance waste reduction and diversion practices in campus food outlets.

Energy

Goal 1: Achieve a total institutional greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 30% by 2019, relative to 2010 as the baseline year.

Goal 2: Reduce campus electricity consumption intensity by 8% by 2019, relative to 2010 as the baseline year.

Goal 3: Reduce campus natural gas consumption intensity by 12% by 2019, relative to 2010 as the baseline year.

Goal 4: Implement renewable energy demonstration projects on campus that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and overall energy use.

Grounds

Goal 1: Reduce the quantity and improve the water quality of stormwater on campus that enters the local drainage and stream networks.

Goal 2: Protect and manage the ecological diversity of the natural areas on campus and enhance the use of native species in campus landscape management.

Goal 3: Develop a formalized Integrated Pest Management Plan as part of the overall grounds management system.

Purchasing

Goal 1: Review purchasing procedures and develop refinements that assist in furthering the incorporation and formal application of triple bottom line sustainability criteria in procurement decisions

Goal 2: Further develop reporting systems that include information on the source and environmental footprint of goods and services purchased by the university.

Transportation

Goal 1: Increase the use of transit, cycling, walking and carpooling to 70% of the transportation modal split by 2019.

Goal 2: Improve the sustainability of the campus fleet by reducing fuel consumption by 10% through staff training and gradual replacement of vehicles with the most fuel-efficient versions on the market.

Waste

Goal 1: Increase the waste diversion rate to 75% by 2019.

Goal 2: Reduce the total amount of waste produced as measured in kilograms per campus user (students, staff and faculty) by 2019, relative to 2010 as the baseline year.

Goal 3: Provide for responsible hazardous waste management on campus and reduce where possible the use of hazardous materials.

Water

Goal 1: Reduce campus water consumption by 25% by 2019, relative to 2010 as the baseline year.

Goal 2: Retrofit 25 water fountains in campus buildings for easy refilling of personal water bottles.