Happy Campus Sustainability Month!

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: October 20, 2021 11:00 a.m.

October is Campus Sustainability Month, a time to celebrate the U of R’s sustainability successes.
October is Campus Sustainability Month, a time to celebrate the U of R’s sustainability successes. Photo: stock

Throughout October, the University of Regina has been proud to participate in Campus Sustainability Month. This annual international event, hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), celebrates higher education sustainability achievements, while also raising awareness about the value of sustainability. 

To celebrate a new year of sustainability advancements, here are some highlights of the important sustainability work being done at the U of R: 

1. Energy Dashboard

We have developed an energy dashboard that shows energy use in each individual building on the University of Regina’s main campus. This website provides a valuable opportunity for our community and students to learn how our campus uses energy and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, while also tracking the success of new initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint. 

The University of Regina Energy Dashboard shows energy use across campus, as well as energy
efficient upgrades over the last five years.

Soon, building C02e energy rankings will also be added to the Energy Dashboard. 

Energy intensity is the energy used per square footage of a building. Tracking energy intensity is the best way to compare building energy consumption. Aggregated C02e rankings allow users of the site to see how much CO2e each campus building is responsible for. To take into account the emission of other greenhouse gases when calculating the level of greenhouse gas emissions, scientists have devised a measure – CO2e (which literally means carbon dioxide equivalent). CO2e allows other greenhouse gas emissions to be expressed in terms of CO2e based on their relative global warming potential (GWP). 

The University's Energy Hub rankings are comprised of the sum of CO2e due to heating, cooling, and electrical energy consumption – which means rankings will vary throughout the seasons as the ratios of heating, cooling, and electricity change. 

Click here to access the University of Regina Energy Dashboard.

2. Canada Research Chair in Climate Change, Energy, and Sustainability Policy 

Dr. Margot Hurlbert is the University of Regina’s Tier One Canada Research Chair in Climate Change, Energy, and Sustainability Policy. Hurlbert, coordinating lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Land and Climate and  professor in the Centre for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy at the University’s Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. Her research focuses on addressing the gap between current policy and behaviour, and understanding what is needed to address climate change. Read more.

3. Industrial Energy Optimization Program partnership between the U of R and SaskPower 

We continue to see substantial benefits from the U of R and SaskPower Industrial Energy Optimization Program partnership. Our retrofits have included lighting upgrades and increased efficiency in the heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, with an overall 19 per cent reduction in energy usage per square foot (see chart below). 


4. University of Regina launches Canadian Energy Transition Hub

Achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will be no small feat. It will take significant expansion of low-carbon energy technologies that will require collaborations between researchers, government, industry, the public, and our communities. 

To help meet Canada’s climate change goals, the University of Regina launched a new Canadian Energy Transition Hub, a key part of the country’s clean-energy solution. Read more

5. Commitment to reduce, reuse, and recycle!

As part of its commitment to waste reduction on campus, the University is incorporating waste reduction strategies into its renovation projects. Recent projects include the College West residence renewal, which reinvested more than $75,000 in recycled metals back into the project. The College Avenue Campus revitalization project used 15,000 salvaged red bricks from the Conservatory Building inside the Tower building, while heritage doors, windows, and wood trim were also reused. In partnership with Heritage Regina, the campus also diverted hundreds of heritage building materials from the landfill to our community members. 

The University has also replaced approximately 1,600 landfill bins with three-stream recycling bins. 

The campus is also building capacity in the area of composting–-with more than one tonne of coffee grounds being composted as part of a pilot project.   

Initiatives like these are just a few of the ways the University of Regina is making a commitment to sustainability. 


Citizen scientists test the waters

Working together for the greater good