News Release - Building Talent Pathways for Canada’s Net-Zero Future

News Release - Building Talent Pathways for Canada’s Net-Zero Future

August 1, 2023


 New partnership project will prepare Queen’s students to become tomorrow’s climate leaders

(Kingston, ON) August 1, 2023 - Queen's has launched an innovative project designed to help undergraduate students gain the necessary skills, knowledge, and networks to become future leaders in Canada's shift towards a net-zero economy.

In partnership with the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), and with support from the Government of Canada, the university has created the Queen’s Venture Creation, Experiential Learning, and Net-Zero Training (QVENT) project. Led by the Experiential Learning Team within the Smith School of Business, this cross-institutional initiative will support the development of a ‘green talent’ pipeline, providing hands-on educational opportunities to students who aspire to contribute to the country’s sustainable transition.

“Queen’s remains committed to achieving a positive impact both on a local level and on the global stage,” says Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Teri Shearer. “This important project will equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to become champions of the climate transition and enhance ongoing efforts at Queen’s to address the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Through the term of the project, Queen's anticipates providing close to 2,000 students with experiential learning opportunities focused on net-zero and sustainability issues.

"The QVENT project is an extremely exciting initiative for Queen's students,” says Siena Margorian, Co-President of student group Queen’s Backing Action on the Climate Crisis. “In order to tackle the climate crisis, we need our future leaders to be knowledgeable about environmental sustainability and the solutions we need to implement to reach an equitable and green future. These kinds of programs prepare students to enter the workforce with the skills and experience to incorporate sustainability in their future careers."

Four Program Streams for Sustainable Leadership Development

The QVENT project includes four distinct program streams that involve several faculties and units—including Engineering, Smith School of Business, Arts and Science, Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre, and more—offering work-integrated learning experiences.

Additionally, the City of Kingston and Kingston Economic Development Corporation will support various streams of the project and help connect students with their networks.

"We are excited to support Queen's University in their initiative to develop a green talent pipeline,” says Donna Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer, Kingston Economic Development Corporation. “This innovative project aligns perfectly with our city’s commitment to sustainability and positions Kingston as a leader in the transition to a net-zero economy by connecting students with opportunities and providing them with the skills and experiences needed to tackle environmental challenges.”

The four streams of the program include Course-embedded green industry projects and learning challenges in class curriculums, a new Certificate in Leading Sustainable Change Towards a Net-Zero Economy, a focus on net-zero venture creation with the chance for students to pitch for seed funding and the provision of at least 100 internships in the net-zero space for Queen’s students to gain on-the-job experience.

"We're appreciative of this partnership that will help propel Kingston forward as a city leading the way on climate action," says Mayor Bryan Paterson. "We're making big strides with sustainable projects, policies and programs, and tapping into local talent through QVENT will provide immense benefits to our city and beyond as we transition to a more sustainable future."


About Queen’s University 

Queen’s University has a long history of scholarship, discovery, and innovation that shapes our collective knowledge and helps address some of the world’s most pressing concerns. Home to more than 25,000 students, Queen’s offers a comprehensive research-intensive environment. Diverse perspectives and a wealth of experience enrich our students and faculty while a core part of our mission is to engage in international learning and research. 

In 2023, for the third year in a row, Queen’s University has ranked in top 10 globally Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, securing the position of third worldwide and first in North America. The rankings measured over 1,700 post-secondary institutions on their work to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

For further information contact:

Mitchell Fox

Media Relations Officer, University Relations

Queen's University