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August 22, 2022

Sustainable food ensures a sustainable future (SDG 12)

Did you know that Earth Overshoot Day fell on July 28 this year? That’s the date when humanity has used all the biological resources that Earth can regenerate in a given year. And, it’s getting earlier and earlier each year! At our current rate, we would need about 1.75 planets to provide enough resources to sustain our global consumption habits.

SDG 12 challenges us to work together to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Food is a big part of that, including accounting for food that is lost, wasted, or produced unsustainably.

That’s why the work colleges and institutes do in sustainable food and agricultural innovation is so important! For example:

  • At Lambton College, the Board of Governors Certificate in Sustainable Food is designed to help students explore the practices, principles, and philosophies involved in local food system development and sustainable farming though applied learning, online networking and community research practices.
  • At Assiniboine Community College, the Sustainable Food Systems program gives students the opportunity to work closely with instructors, train inside the 3,300 square foot sustainable greenhouse, research different greenhouse models, and explore how to improve food security in their local communities.
  • Cégep de Victoriaville’s National Institute of Organic Agriculture (Institut national d’agriculture biologique) is the largest organic agriculture training and research centre in Canada! The institute is also home to CETAB+, the Centre for Excellence in Local and Organic Agriculture, and CISA, the Centre for Social Innovation in Agriculture.
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University is home to the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, a multidisciplinary applied research centre that empowers communities to help shape food systems that nurture health and well-being and sustain thriving ecosystems.
  • KPU’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Sustainable Agriculture also introduces students to careers that contribute to sustainable food systems.
  • Yukon University’s Food Security and Sustainability course gives students an introduction to the complexity of food production with a focus on Northern food systems and sustainability. Students learn about the affects of climate change, the determinants of food security, and explore case studies from Alaska and Circumpolar North on local food production techniques.
  • At Cégep Heritage College, Food, Justice, and a Healthy Future for All is a hands-on cross-disciplinary course that gives students the opportunity to explore a variety of pathways toward a more sustainable future, including climate-smart agriculture, food justice, planetary health diets, and Indigenous food sovereignty.
  • Vancouver Community College collaborates with local farmers, fishers, and food processors through the Feed BC program to emphasize the use of locally sourced food for educational purposes.
  • Students in VCC’s culinary programs use British-Columbia-grown-and-prepared food options which help support local agriculture and enhance food security and sustainability on campus and in the community.
  • Seneca College’s Sustainable Local Food certificate program (delivered online) takes a systems approach to sustainable food and farming. Students explore regional food initiatives across Canada, as well as international best practices, and apply their theoretical learning in practical ways.
  • Olds College’s brand-new Bachelor of Digital Agriculture Degree (set to launch for fall 2023) is one of three new program launching through the college’s Werklund School of Agriculture Technology. Students will engage in real-world problems and explore digital solutions to transform agriculture for a better world!
  • At Collège d’Alma, Agricultural Business Management and Technology (Gestion et technologies d’entreprise agricole) prepares students to develop their own business ideas in sustainable agriculture. The college also recently partnered up with Nutrinor to integrate sustainable agriculture practices into its curriculum.
  • At Durham College, programs taught at the Galen Weston Centre for Food follow the field-to-fork concept, which is based on the harvesting, storage, processing, packaging, sale and consumption of food to help eliminate waste and support local. The centre features unique learning environments, including Bistro ’67, a full-service, green-certified teaching restaurant and lounge!
  • College of the North Atlantic’s Agriculture Technician Co-op program exposes students sustainable agriculture with a focus on balancing market demands for farm products with socioeconomic factors like cost of production, taxation, land usage, and potential environmental impacts.
  • At Great Plains College, the course in Sustainable Plant and Soil Management introduces students to agricultural systems, with a focus on sustainability in a changing environment. This course is offered in partnerships with University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan.

Sustainable food and agriculture is a big part of ensuring that we live and produce within the earth’s means. That includes reflecting on how we, as individuals, can consume more responsibly, prevent food waste, and support community-oriented farming to help lower humanity’s ecological footprint!

50 years: A look at our history!

Reminder: from humble beginnings, we’re celebrating our 50th anniversaryTake a trip back in time as we speak to the people who helped shape CICan and witnessed first-hand the growth of Canada’s college and institute systemListen to our first 50th anniversary podcast!

Reminder: Join the 50-30 Challenge (SDG 5 & SDG 10)

By joining the challenge, you commit to making equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) a priority in your institution’s governance and leadership. As an ecosystem partner, we will soon be launching exciting national initiatives to bringing the sector together to address structural and systemic barriers to inclusion. NOTE: You must join the 50-30 Challenge to participate. Sign up now!

Reminder: We want to hear your feedback on our first-ever national occupational standard for personal care providers (SDG 3)

The draft national occupational standard for personal care providers (PSWs, HCAs, CCAs, RCWs, etc.) is in its public review phase. This national occupational standard will provide voluntary guidelines to help employers, educators, and job seekers make informed decisions about hiring, skills training, and career choices. Share your feedback before September 8.

Save the date! Reconciliation requires collective action

Join us for our first in-person Indigenous Education Symposium in more than two years! The symposium will be a chance to reflect on shared visions and responsibilities when it comes to advancing truth and reconciliation. Stay tuned for an invitation to register! Quebec City: Oct 24-26.

Did you miss our latest webinar: Emerging Markets in International Recruitment?

Last week, we invited experts on emerging markets in international student recruitment to share thoughts on the latest trends, data, policy updates, and the path forward for Canadian colleges and institutes in emergent markets. Listen to the conversation!

Event: Explore the latest developments in international student policy

Join leaders in international education from across North America and beyond at The PIE Live in Toronto. CICan’s very own Alain Roy (Vice President, International Partnerships) will participate in a panel discussion exploring current government policy developments, including a new fast-track immigration program. October 13-14.

Now available: 137 free virtual simulations for healthcare educators. (SDG 4 & SDG 3)

The Virtu-WIL collection of virtual simulations to enhance healthcare education is now available through our partner, Simulation Canada. The simulations are designed to give students in nursing, medical laboratory sciences, and paramedicine innovative hands-on learning experiences that will help them prepare for the workplace. Use these simulations when designing your curriculum! 

Save the date: Our 2023 Connection Conference!

Don’t miss it! Mark your calendars for the biggest gathering of post-secondary leaders in the country. Our 2023 Connection Conference is taking place April 23-25 in Montréal. This year, we’ll be holding it jointly with the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics. A call for presentations will be coming soon!

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Lambton College is leading a brand-new research partnership to support Canada’s transition to a green economy? The Canadian Bio-Cleantech Applied Research Network (CBARN) will provide SMEs with support to increase their competitiveness, strengthen their workforce, and grow their business while boosting Canada’s green economy and becoming a global cleantech leader. Fanshawe College, Mohawk College, and Loyalist College are also partnering on the project. (SDG 8 & SDG 13)


Lethbridge College appointed Brad Donaldson as President.

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One of our main goals at Colleges and Institutes Canada is to champion and share the innovations and awesomeness of our members. You can help! We want to hear about your new applied research, industry and community partnerships, international education, important financial investments and more. Add to your media mailing lists! We’ll share member institution News Releases and other upcoming announcements online and with our national media contacts based in Ottawa.