The SustainabilityAction committee was first formed in 2019 by Vicki Friesen and Paul Grogan, and includes Diane Orihel and Kyla Tienhara, as well as many graduate and undergraduate students from Biology, Environmental Sciences, Geography, Policy Studies etc. who are interested in improving sustainability practices at Queen's and beyond. 

"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community" (Aldo Leopold, 1949).  This important and widely cited dictum is generally interpreted as referring to other organisms in our environment.  We believe that humans would live more sustainably if instead of tending to consider ourselves as separate from nature, we fully acknowledged that we're merely a part of Leopold's "biotic community".  In other words, sustainability is at least as much about social justice as it is about environmental issues.  


Here are some of our ongoing and past activities:

Advocating for multiple secure bicycle sheds near Biosciences and Botterell Hall

Green lab initiative 

Project Drawdown talk by Chad Frischmann (Senior Director, Research and Technology for Project Drawdown) March 23, 2020. (Initiated and hosted by grad student Hayden Wainwright) Full talk video

Improving the ecological footprint of on-campus food catering services, including promoting local food supply, healthy choices, and reducing packaging and food waste

Queen’s recyclable lab waste report. Hayward, K., Baker, S., and Grogan, P. 2020. Lab Waste Disposal at Queen’s: The potential for significantly reducing materials that are unnecessarily going to landfill and hazardous waste by diverting them to the recycling stream. (PDF)

Raising awareness among scientists of the environmental impacts of doing their research, and potential avoidance/reduction/mitigation options.

  • Grogan, P.  2021. Raising awareness of science’s environmental footprint.  Guest editorial.  Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 19(3): 143.  (PDF main article) (PDF Supplementary file)
  • Grogan, P., Buckeridge, K.M. and Priemé, A. 2021. Declare how you are limiting your environmental impact. Nature (Correspondence) 596: 35. (PDF)
  • Grogan, P., and Wood, D.A. 2023. Author declaration: Did you take any specific actions to minimize the environmental impacts of your science study? ArcticNet 2022 and Queen's Northern Research symposium posters (PDF
  • What can Biology tell us about our Future 5.6? Public talk by Paul Grogan for the Queen's University Sustainable Living Series (hosted by Marlow Benson, April 13, 2023). Full talk video.
  • Promoting the inclusion in the Department of Biology's graduate and undergraduate thesis writing guidelines that students should consider including some explicit acknowledgement of the environmental impacts of completing their thesis research, and any mitigation/avoidance/reduction measures they utilized.


Upcoming events:



Recent events:

Climate Change Disinformation teach-in: Learn why Canada needs to phase out fossil fuel production in a just and equitable way. March 21st in Biosciences complex at 5.30 pm.  For full details see poster. Full video recording

What can Biology tell us about our Future? Biology Department seminar by Paul Grogan (1.30pm on Tuesday March 12th in Biosciences 3110). Abstract

SDG Week at Queen's March 4th-8th, 2024.
The Office of the Principal and the Vice-Principal (Research) Portfolio are hosting two networking events for researchers, students, and staff to meet, share information and opportunities about research, and celebrate our collective progress towards the SDGs. The first event on March 5 is focused on SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities with the second on March 7 highlighting SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. There will be opportunities to make connections for collaborations and learn about advancing the SDGs at Queen’s.

Global Climate Strike on Friday November 3 at 11 am, location yet to be finalized. The theme is: demand that our leaders Power Up the renewable energy revolution! More info to come from us and also you can check here. Contact Gavin Hutchinson Kingston 350 ( for details.

Global Climate March Sept 15th - Fridays for future strike demonstration (Kingston event at Queen's University/Union street junction)

Mobilizing Kingston with Action-Ready Answers to Create the Climate Future we ALL want:
Special talk to Kingston audience by Dr. Jonathan Foley, Executive Director of Project Drawdown, the world's leading resource for climate solutions. Wednesday May 3rd, 2023. Weblink of recording.


Useful resources:

The Environmental Responsibility Framework: A Toolbox for Recognizing and Promoting Ecologically Conscious Research (Murray et al, 2023)

GreenGeeks webhosting provider

Green Your Lab - Network of Sustainable Science and Green Lab Enthusiasts

Freezer Challenge - How to be more efficient with lab cold storage

My Green Lab - Promoting lab research practices that achieve the highest possible social and environmental sustainability standards

I2SL - International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (specific lab waste program at website)

Lab sustainability best practices (UC Santa Barbara, U.S.)

Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) (UC London, U.K.)

Society of Conservation Biology (Kingston)



Last update: 26 March 2024