Our Actions and Goals

SDG 13: Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
13. Climate Action
Sustainable Development Goals by the numbers:
[Percentage wheel 30%]
30% of the university’s electricity was from low carbon sources for the 2021 academic year.

Our goals in action

Research and innovation

Working with Inuit communities to develop sustainability and economic development

Queen’s researchers, working with local communities in Nunavut, developed and led "Towards a Sustainable Fishery for Nunavummiut," an ambitious project that helped sustain healthy fish stocks in Nunavut. The project integrated traditional and local knowledge with leading edge genomic science to strengthen local fisheries, increase employment and economic development, and improve food security for Nunavummiut, the people of Nunavut.

Teaching and student life

Teaching sustainability for the real world

Queen’s recognizes that learning has the power to impact the world around us. As a result, the university offers a range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs that incorporate interdisciplinary sustainability studies into the  curriculum from courses to experiential learning. For example, students in Honours Project in Environmental Sustainability (ENSC 430), offered through the School of Environmental Studies in partnership with the City of Kingston, engage with expert researchers and community leaders to develop proposals to address climate change. The Collaborative Masters Program in Applied Sustainability offered by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science is an innovative program exposing students to the implementation of sustainable engineering solutions with a multidisciplinary focus on both technical education and public  policy impacts. 

[Queen's Art of Research photo: First Emergence by Ivana Schoepf]
Queen's Art of Research Submission: First Emergence by Ivana Schoepf, Postdoctoral Fellow (Biology), Queen's University Biological Station​​​​

Community impact

[Line drawing of a ribbon with the number 6,023]

Queen’s was awarded the 2021 Greatest Overall Greenhouse Gas Emissions Education Award from Sustainable Kingston for reducing the university’s emissions by 6,023 tonnes.

Promoting preservation in our campus and community

Queen’s students, staff, and faculty participate in many events connecting with the Kingston community throughout the year on the importance of environmental sustainability, from student-led initiatives including the Queen’s Sustainability Conference and the Queen’s Conference on Ocean Sustainability, to sponsorship of the Kingston Climate Change Symposium.

Working in partnership

Queen’s has formed a Campus and Community Engagement Sustainability Sub-Working Group to champion sustainabilityfocused innovation and create a unified sustainability culture. Members include local sustainability leaders, municipal representatives, and partner educational institutions, along with Queen’s students, staff, and faculty. Goals include leading the development of collaborative sustainable practices that enable the exploration of opportunities and implementation of actions to foster transformative social change with local impact.

[Queen's Art of Research photo: Research in the Rain by Emily Mendelson]
Queen's Art of Research Submission: Research in the Rain by Emily Mendelson, Alumni (Biology), Queen's University Biological Station

Global reach

Global cooperation on climate change

Queen’s is a member of several global networks with common interests in advancing sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals. From regional organizations such as the Council of the Great Lakes Region, to the national Sustainable Development Solutions Network Canada, and the global University Climate Change Coalition and the Matariki Network of Universities, Queen’s collaborations will help further the impact of our research and innovation for sustainable development.

[Photo of Dog Lake by Allen Tian]
Queen's Art of Research Submission: Shattered Planet by Allen Tian, PhD Student (Biology), outh Frontenac County, Ontario

Administration and operations

Fighting climate change through responsible investing

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.

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. The university has also adopted recommendations by the Board of Trustees’ Climate Change Action Task Force which mandate responsible investing for Queen’s portfolios.

Queen's University

Queen’s aims to become carbon neutral by 2040.

Our pledge for carbon neutrality

[Photo of Queen's Campus]

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 (CAP) which aims to reduce GHG emissions by 70% from 2008 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

2022 Announcement

7th in the world
7th in the world

7th in the World

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

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