Ottawa, December 6, 2023 – Colleges and institutes across the country are demonstrating ways to think and act holistically on climate change by turning their campuses into living labs for sustainability. A new report by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), released today, highlights ten Campus Living Lab projects designed by colleges and institutes, lessons learned through their implementation, and best practices to inspire more institutions to think creatively about climate action.
Living Labs are innovative spaces that integrate all aspects of campus life, including applied research, teaching, planning, operations, and community development in ways that maximize sustainability. The projects highlighted in the report were implemented by colleges and institutes through Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) ImpAct-Climate project.
The “Campus Living Labs: Innovative Collaborations for Net Zero” report showcases real results in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, raising climate awareness on campus, sharing knowledge, and shifting institutional approaches from the first ten successful projects that ran from June 2022 to March 2023. Notably, the report reveals how the ten Campus Living Labs combined reduced greenhouse gas emissions on their campuses by at least 11,000 CO2e kg and will continue to reduce emissions as the initiatives live on.
This first volume of the report highlights projects implemented by Cambrian College, Canadore College, College of the Rockies, Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne, Conestoga College, Dawson College, Georgian College, Mohawk College, NorQuest College and Vanier College. New funding will support further Campus Living Labs for 2024.
The report will be updated annually as more projects are implemented until 2025, providing more insights, tools, resources, and inspiration.
“These Campus Living Labs provide a practical pathway for colleges and institutes across Canada, their students, staff, faculty, and partners to take decisive action on climate change, now and for generations to come,” said Pari Johnston, president and CEO of CICan. “As world leaders gather during COP28, these successes couldn’t be more relevant. We hope this invaluable resource will inspire others in postsecondary and beyond to make sustainability a priority in their work and home lives each and every day.”
By demonstrating the innovation and commitment of the post-secondary network to making lasting change beyond traditional thinking, the new report serves as a showcase as well as an inspiration for colleges and institutes. In particular, this report highlights the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as a valuable framework for collaboration, particularly SDG 13 Climate Action.
ImpAct-Climate raises awareness about greenhouse gases and encourages behaviour change to reduce emissions in the college and institute sector. The 5-year pan-Canadian project is delivered by Colleges and Institutes Canada and funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada. This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada.
About Colleges and Institutes Canada:
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the national and international voice of Canada’s largest post-secondary education network. It advocates, builds capacity, and drives knowledge to strengthen Canada’s publicly supported colleges, institutes, CEGEPs, and polytechnics. With more than 95% of Canadians living within 50 km of a member institution, and thanks to its extensive reach around the globe, CICan works to future-proof communities in Canada and abroad.
We respectfully acknowledge that CICan’s offices in Ottawa are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation.
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