Expect to hear a lot more about what you can do to improve environmental sustainability at UFV in the coming months.
You’ll also hear more about what the university is doing in this area, via the Office of Sustainability, previously known as Sustainable UFV.
UFV’s Office of Sustainability is establishing its presence at UFV with a motivated new team. Diana Aguilar has joined the university as the senior manager of energy and environmental sustainability, Jennifer Martel is the sustainability coordinator, Hayley Katan and Olivia Jackson are the student sustainability coordinators and Noah McGuire is the environmental sustainability analyist co-op student. The team will be bringing forward initiatives and knowledge for all at UFV to pave a more sustainable future.
The office’s mandate is to forge a sustainability pathway, driving meaningful partnerships that support a sustainable transformation towards the well-being of UFV’s communities and ecosystem.
Aguilar, who joined UFV in April, helped create the institution’s sustainability pathway, which aims to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“We will act as the thread that weaves sustainability throughout the entire university, providing guidance and support and bridging connections,” notes Aguilar. “The pathway builds on UFV’s previous commitment to sustainable energy management and expands it into areas such as minimizing the carbon footprint of major and minor capital projects, sustainable transportation options, air quality, and waste management.”
On September 27, UFV employees and students will be invited to complete a sustainability survey. This will be part of the Eco-Challenge, a month-long series of events and opportunities.
“The Eco-Challenge will be a month of focus on promoting sustainable behaviours,” notes Aguilar.
Members of the UFV community will be invited to be conscious of energy-saving measures in the office and options for being more environmentally friendly at home.
UFV will also be working towards recognition in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a world-wide environmental measurement system for higher education.
Some of the initiatives that are recently completed or ongoing include:
While it might not be obvious from ground level, an innovative Photovoltaic (PV) panel project is now perched atop the roof of Building G. These high-tech solar panels are capable of providing up to 30% of all the electrical power used in Building G, which houses the Peter Jones Learning Centre, including the library.
Energy from waste products
People who menstruate can now dispose of sanitary products in special receptacles that open via the wave of a hand (in a small sample of washrooms as this is a pilot project.) A contracted company will pick up the waste and produce energy from it in an off-site facility.
UFV Print Services is committed to using paper with a recycled content of 100 percent post-consumer waste (PCW). They also are transitioning to sugar sheet paper for uses in the near future. Sugar sheet paper is made from 100 percent agricultural fibre waste called bagasse, which is the residue waste of sugarcane after its been harvested.
The Office of Sustainability will also be working with two master’s degree students from UBC’s Clean Energy Engineering program to explore and operationalize sustainability-enhancing projects.
To keep up with all things environmental, Aguilar invites the UFV community to follow the Office of Sustainability on social media:
You can also subscribe to the Office of Sustainability’s newsletter at: