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 Queen's Centre for Energy and Power Electronics Research (ePower) brings together academic and industrial partners to develop new energy-efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly power electronic technologies. The Centre's director, Praveen Jain, is a trailblazer in the field of power electronics. Holding more than 100 patents and founder of two successful companies, Dr. Jain was recently awarded the prestigious honour of the Killam Prize for Engineering, which recognizes Canada's most inspiring scholars and thought leaders.

Inside Queen's Reactor Materials Testing Laboratory (RMTL), researchers are seeking to learn more about material interactions within nuclear reactors and examining the lifespans of these critical pieces of energy infrastructure. A state-of-the-art facility, the RMTL uses a proton accelerator to introduce damage into materials at a microscopic scale, providing insights into and drawing parallels with the way that materials are damaged within a nuclear reactor. Queen's researchers are also advancing policy discussions around the role of Small Modular Reactors in Canada's energy transition towards a net-zero economy.

[A novel turquoise light from a polymer light-emitting electrochemical cell under high electric power.]

Queen's Art of Research Submission: Turquoise Light from a Polymer Device under High-Electric Power by Dongze Wang, PhD Student (Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy), Queen's University

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.

Leading the way

Queen's Master of Earth and Energy Resources Leadership is designed for professionals in the natural resource industry. Students learn about natural resource management and sustainable energy engineering from a leadership perspective, providing them with the skills and aptitudes needed to tackle the most challenging technical, economic, political, ethical, social, and environmental questions.

[A student conducting a scan with a laser in an underground salt cavern in Windsor, Ontario.]

Queen's Art of Research Submission: Salt Cavern Luminescence by Dr. Jean Hutchinson, Faculty (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering), Windsor, Ontario

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

[Landscape photo of Western Australia at night]

Queen's Art of Research Submission: Lithium Below, Stars Above by Dr. Christopher Spencer, Faculty (Geological and Geological Engineering), Western Australia

Providing research that informs sustainable public policies

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.

Queen's Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF) at Smith School of Business is a multidisciplinary network of researchers, private sector leaders, and government policymakers working together to shape Canada's innovations in sustainable finance.

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.

The Canadian Green Building Council is the association responsible for the delivery of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification program. Several buildings on Queen's campus are LEED® Gold certified, including the School of Kinesiology, Goodes Hall, and the Endaayan – Tkanónsote residence, in support of Queen's Climate Action Plan.

[An aerial photo of Queen’s University campus using a fisheye lens focused on Theological Hall.]

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 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 which aims to reduce greenhouse gas 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. In 2023, we launched our inaugural Responsible Investing Annual Report that provides an in-depth look at the university's progress against our responsible investing commitments.

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.