Sustainability Office

Queen's University
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​​Student Groups & Initiatives

AMS Commission of Environmental Affairs (CEA)students collecting plastic bottles from waste bins

The CEA works to engage students and provide opportunities to integrate Sustainability into the university experience.  Additionally, the CEA advocates for sustainable development within the AMS and at Queen’s.  By incorporating environmental, social, and economic sustainability into its mandate and recognizing the intrinsic links between these three pillars, the CEA seeks to help students and the administration realize that Sustainability isn’t just recycling and turning out the lights, but a much greater holistic concept of efficiency, sufficiency, community-building, security, empowerment and even profitability! The CEA employs a collaborative approach, acting as a hub for on-campus groups interested in Sustainability, as well as with Kingston non-student operations.

Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) Committee for the Environment

Placed environmentally friendly battery boxes at the P&CC, Earth Centre, Coffee Eco, ITS Stauffer and Dupuis, ArtSci Office and Tea Room
Organized the Veggie Challenge, which sends out daily emails with fun facts and vegetarian recipes to students who have signed-up for the veggie challenge
Presents to Elementary schools to educate students and staff on environmentally friendly living

Bikes and Boards

Found in the Lower JDUC, Bikes and Boards seeks to provide students with a centre for bike and board safety, maintenance and culture while promoting carbon-free alternative transport and healthy lifestyles. Want to know how to fix that dreaded flat tire or how to properly maintain your drivetrain? Come in and talk to one of our technicians who will teach you how, on your own bike!

Canadian Physicians for the Environment

Organizes an educational campaign about the environment as it relates to health, particularly focusing on food (be it local, organic, fresh, prepared, etc.)

Commerce and Engineering Environmental Conference

Organizes an annual conference open to all students to attend, which includes keynote speakers, case competition, trade and job fair and green globe awards to recognize those who have made notable contributions to the green sector

clothing swap run by the Earth CentreThe Earth Centre

Sells environmentally responsible products including detergents, soaps, shampoos, feminine hygiene products, t-shirts, facial tissues, paper towels and more
Provides a library of environment-related books to lending members at a one-time payment of $10, refundable at the end of the year upon safe return of books
Organizes environmental awareness events, including guest speakers, such as Greenpeace forest campaigner, Kim Fry.

Queen's Engineers Without Borders (QEWB)

Engineers Without Borders is a national organization dedicated to addressing global economic and social inequalities.  Locally, we work to expose the Queen’s campus to Fair Trade, aid transparency, and sustainable development. QEWB is spearheading the initiative to make Queen’s a Fair Trade designated campus and is currently working with multiple retailers to ensure they meet the required standards for this designation.

Queen’s Fuel Cell Team (QFCT)

Queen’s Fuel Cell Team’s mission is to develop innovative applications for fuel cell technology, to provide hands-on education for students and to increase public exposure to renewable energy. Since its inception in 2004 the team has successfully designed and built an alkaline fuel cell powered golf cart. Our current projects are revamping the golf cart with a new hydrogen fuel cell and building the world’s first hydrogen powered snowmobile. 

Queen’s Shell Eco-Vehicle Team (QEVT)

The Queen’s Eco-Vehicle Team (QEVT) is a new design team that designs, manufactures, and races prototype and concept vehicles in pursuit of attaining new heights in fuel efficiency. Utilizing both established (gasoline & diesel) and alternative (electric battery, fuel cell, etc) energy sources, the team is committed to competing with the world’s best and developing vehicles with mileages in excess of 1000 miles per gallon.

Queen’s Solar Design Team (QSDT)

The Queen’s Solar Design Team is an interdisciplinary group of students committed to developing innovative technical solutions to reduce our carbon footprint. The Team started in 1988, beginning by building solar vehicles to compete in international solar car races. In 2003, it finished 1st place in the North American Solar Challenge and the World Solar Challenge for twoseater vehicles. Going forward, the team found a new competition to participate in, the Solar Decathlon 2013. The Solar Decathlon is a competition, run by the United States Department of Energy, bringing together collegiate teams from around the world to compete in building net-zero energy usage homes.

Environmental Studies Department Student Council

The Environmental Studies, Department Student Council (DSC) acts as a liaison between the students of the School of Environmental Studies and faculty members. We represent ENSC students at monthly faculty and curriculum meetings as well as school functions.


Greenovations began in 2007 as a project to offset the carbon emissions generated by student travel through Destinations (now Tricolour Outlet) by completing free energy-saving retrofits on homes in the student village.The committee has since expanded, partnering with Utilities Kingston Conservation to a greater number of more substantial retrofits that save students money, increase standards of living in the University District, and increase energy efficiency.

Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG): Kingston Chapter

OPIRG Kingston is committed to making links between social justice and environmental issues recognizing that many issues are interlinked and should be examined in a manner, which highlights their connections. OPIRG Kingston aims to act as a liaison between other staff, faculty and community groups working on similar issues, by promoting networking and open discussion of our goals and projects. 

Queen's Backing Action on Climate Change

Queen's Backing Action on Climate Change (QBACC) is an activism-based campus club that mobilizes and organises environmentally-minded students at Queen's University.  Using a diversity of non-violent tactics, QBACC helps students convince their political and institutional leaders that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a pressing responsibility.

Queen's Greens

Involves Queen's University students in politics, to encourage open-minded thinking, and to promote the key values of the Green Party of Canada.

Queen's Oxfam

Oxfam at Queen’s is an expanding social justice club, and a campus branch of Oxfam Canada, a member of an international confederation working to end global poverty. Our strive for gender justice is a backdrop for all work that we do through our four campaigns: Addressing Poverty and Pandemics, Food Security, and Gender and Climate Justice.

Queen's Project on International Development

Queen’s Project on International Development (QPID) is a student-run organization operating out of the Queen’s Engineering Society since 1990. We host a variety of initiatives on campus, in Kingston, in Canada and internationally.

On campus, QPID hosts a weekly forum comprised of discussions, presentations and workshops, which focus on a variety of development and global justice issues. All students are welcome to think, talk and learn together about questions that are not necessarily addressed in students’ classes or everyday lives.

Queen's Soul Food

Queen’s Soul Food is a student run organization which delivers the unconsumed food from Queen’s University campus cafeterias to local Kingston shelters every night. The organization was founded in 2007 and has now expanded to bring the unused food from both Leonard Hall and Ban Righ Hall cafeterias to four local shelters as well as the Kingston Street Truck Mission in the winter.  Soul Food is a great way to get involved with the Queen’s community and with the Kingston community as a whole.

Queen’s University Experimental Sustainability Team (QUEST)

QUEST was founded in 2012 and is a rebranded version of the former Living Energy Lab.  This new team’s goal is to achieve sustainable living which is completely independent of outside resources.  This involves creating or harvesting energy independent of the power grid, growing food, collecting, cleaning and storing water, minimizing waste and addressing many other aspects of day-to-day life.  Along with these aspects of living, QUEST hopes to address the human behaviour factor by designing systems that change the very way we use energy and resources.

Science '44 Co-Op

Kingston Student Housing Co-operative (aka Science '44 Co-op) is located in Kingston, Ontario. It was started by students from the Queen's University Class of Science '44. The Co-op has a strong focus on sustainability and a commitment to continuously improve their environmental performance through energy and water conservation, purchasing policies, adhering to an environmental policy and offsetting electrical consumption via Bullfrog Power.

Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) Sustainability Standing Committee

The SGPS has formed a Sustainability Committee to take part in extending sustainable practices at the university.
Works closely with the AMS and other related student and administrative organizations on and off campus.
Encourages and develops initiatives and policies that reduce our ecological footprint while developing healthy and vibrant communities.
Recycle with SGPS: Drop off your used batteries, ink cartridges and old cell phones at the SGPS office for recycling.

students help create a community gardenSTRIVE (Students Taking Responsible Initiatives for a Viable Environment)

STRIVE is an entirely student-run committee that focuses on awareness and advocacy on environmental issues. The committee encourages students to adopt positive attitudinal and behavioural changes through sustainability-related educational campaigns on campus. The committee generally selects two environmental issues per year on which to base their major campaigns, incorporating educational components, workshops, and guest speaker events.

Sustainability Action Fund

This $2.00 opt-out student fee seeks to provide financial assistance to student-run projects that increase campus energy efficiency, reduce waste and/or educate the Queen’s community on sustainability-related issues.  Any individual, club, organization, or service is eligible to submit an application. For example, if you are running a conference or event and want to reduce your impact, you may be eligible for a grant. The granting committee will accept and review applications, and is holistic in its considerations. Applications can be submitted at any time and will be considered for the next scheduled deadline.

The Tea Room

The Tea Room, located in Beamish-Munro Hall on the northeast corner of Union and Division streets, is a student-run, environmentally responsible coffee house serving the Queen’s and greater Kingston community. As the first zero-consumer waste coffee house in Canada, the Tea Room operates under three pillars: environmental responsibility, fiscal sustainability, and education.

Youth Mentoring Youth

In late 2010, the Kingston Sustainability Centre started a program known as Youth Mentoring Youth, which sought to organize an environmental-education based initiative where Queen’s students could raise awareness and teach elementary and high school students about sustainability.  Throughout the spring of 2011, Queen’s students went to the KSC to teach both elementary and secondary school children how to lead more sustainable lives. Today, the YMY committee helps develop curriculum and strategies to engage younger students.