Our Actions and Goals

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
7. Affordable and Clean Energy

Our goals in action

Research and innovation

Leadership in clean energy innovation

The Centre for Energy and Power Electronics Research (ePower), led by the Canada Research Chair in Power Electronics, Dr. Praveen Jain, brings together academic and industrial partners to develop new energy-efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly power electronic technologies.

With the current push to reduce our collective carbon footprint, nuclear power is transforming into the energy of choice for the world. Queen’s Reactor Materials Testing Laboratory is a state-of-the-art research facility that uses a proton accelerator to introduce damage into materials at a microscopic scale. By studying the effects of this damage on how materials behave we can gain insight into, and draw parallels with, the way that materials are damaged within a nuclear reactor.

[Queen's Art of Research photo: Copper Oxide Growth Patterns by Jeffrey Wang]
Queen's Art of Research Submission: Copper Oxide Growth Patterns by Jeffrey Wang, Graduate Student (Mechanical and Materials Engineering), Queen's University

Extending the lifespan of vital metals

With $24 million in newly announced support from Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund, Queen’s chemistry researcher and Canada Research Chair Dr. Cathleen Crudden is poised to revolutionize industries worldwide with unique molecular coatings designed to significantly extend the lifespan of vital metals. These advances could not only improve our daily lives, but also save society billions in infrastructure and manufacturing costs.

Revolutionizing batteries at Queen’s

Queen’s professor Gregory Jerkiewicz and his team at Ni Electro Can (Engineered Nickel Catalysts for Electrochemical Clean Energy) received $4 million in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The group of Canadian and international researchers is advancing research to replace inefficient batteries with clean fuel cell technology.

Teaching and student life

[Line drawing of a sun, solar panel, and lightbulb]

Queen’s draws upon the remarkable strengths and talents within our university to meet the modern challenge of achieving environmental sustainability.

Incubating future sustainability innovations

The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre provides incubation programs for start-ups working on technology that supports a low-carbon economy. The Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI) provides training, funding, and office space to early-stage start-ups.

[Art of Research photo: Combining Electric Fields and Metal Nanoparticles to Produce the Next-Generation of Sensors by Joshua Raveendran]
Queen's Art of Research Submission: Combining Electric Fields and Metal Nanoparticles to Produce the Next-Generation of Sensors by Joshua Raveendran, PhD Student (Chemical Engineering), QuSENS Lab, Queen's University

Community impact

[Line drawing of iconic Kingston architecture]

Queen’s is working with the Kingston community to make our city and our planet more sustainable.

Queen's climate commitment challenge

As part of Queen’s Climate Commitment Challenge, the Sustainable Living Series offers free public events and resources to provide education and awareness on sustainability topics, including measuring your carbon footprint and improving your home's energy efficiency.

Queen’s Solar Design Team (QSDT) is a multidisciplinary team of Queen’s students building an autonomous home on campus to function completely off the grid for research, education, and community events. QSDT hosts public events for all ages and offers educational resources to learn more about integrating sustainable living and the power of solar energy.

Global reach

Providing research that informs sustainable public policies

[Queen's Art of Research submission: Sulfur-Loaded AF5 by Omid Marzoughi]
Queen's Art of Research Submission: Sulfur-Loaded AF5 by Omid Marzoughi, PhD Student (Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining), Queen's University

Queen’s sustainability research is often used by the private and public sectors to inform sustainability initiatives. The Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy (QIEEP), at the School of Policy Studies, provides research that informs and supports governments in developing energy-efficient technology policies.

The Institute for Sustainable Finance is a multidisciplinary network of researchers, private sector leaders, and government policy makers working together to shape Canada’s innovations in sustainable finance. The Institute has launched a refreshed Capital Mobilization Plan for a Canadian Low Carbon Economy. The landmark research highlights that cooperation between the public sector, private sector, and financial system is critical to securing investments needed to meet Canada’s 2030 climate targets.

Promoting excellence in research-led education

We are a member of the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU), an international group of leading universities recognized as being premier institutions for advanced learning. Queen’s is the lead partner in the organization’s Sustainability, Environment and Resources pillar, which focuses on fostering healthy ecosystems.

Administration and operations

A green campus

As part of its commitment to sustainability, Queen’s has a Policy on Environmental Management that aims to exceed its environmental legislation obligations. The Queen’s Building Design Standards mandates that all building renovations or new builds are following energy efficiency standards. Meanwhile the Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) Plan (2019-2024) outlines specific measures for upgrading buildings to higher energy efficiency and plans for renewable energy generation.

Our West Campus District Conversion Project has replaced existing underground steam lines with a new heating system that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,500 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

[Photo of Queen's campus]

Our pledge for carbon neutrality

Queen’s has signed the University and College Presidents’ Climate Change Statement of Action for Canada, pledging to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and enhance research and curriculum in the areas of climate change and sustainability. As part of this commitment, we developed our Queen’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) which aims to reduce GHG emissions by 70% from 2008 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

In signing on to the Climate Charter for Canadian Universities, Queen’s also made a Responsible Investing Commitment that aligns with international standards including the UN-supported Principles of Responsible Investment.

Queen’s pension plan, the University Pension Plan Ontario (UPP), announced a formal commitment and action plan to achieve net-zero portfolio emissions by 2040 or sooner, with an emphasis on decarbonizing  the real economy through the UPP Climate Action Plan.

2022 Announcement

7th in the world
7th in the world

7th in the World

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

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