University of the Fraser Valley

Doran Hoge joins UFV as Director of Energy and Sustainability

Doran Hoge joins UFV as Director of Energy and Sustainability

UFV’s new Director of Energy and Sustainability has moved across the country to take the job because he thinks UFV is in a unique position to respond to climate change and environmental sustainability.

As a university located in a living laboratory of environmental challenges, Doran Hoge believes that UFV can be a leader, both in demonstrating how to take operational steps to mitigate adverse environmental impacts, and in preparing the next generation to be stewards of the earth.

“For me this is not a job, but a vocation,” explains Hoge. “I embrace the idea of service; working to safeguard the world that keeps us all alive.”

Hoge watched from Ontario as the Fraser Valley and other parts of B.C. battled the effects of forest fires, heat domes, air pollution, and floods over the past few years. He started at UFV in early November, just as the people in the region reflected on the Sumas Prairie flood that paralyzed it one year earlier.

“British Columbia is on the frontline of climate impacts and the UFV region itself has been through some significant environmental challenges. That puts us in a good position to step up, learn from the experiences, and show leadership. If we as a university can’t  show leadership to solve our environmental challenges, then who will?”

He notes that the Office of Sustainability, and UFV as a whole, has the advantage of being able to implement sustainability practices from its operations, research them from the academic side, learn from our experiences, and educate students and the general population.

Hoge holds a master’s degree in globalization studies (with a focus on, among other topics, climate change) from McMaster University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a focus on sustainable development from the University of Lethbridge.

His most recent position prior to joining UFV focused on energy and climate change for the Municipality of Clarington, Ontario. He has also worked as Climate Change Programs Coordinator for Durham Region, developing and implementing climate change and energy conservation and demand management initiatives

The UFV Office of Sustainability, which is part of Facilities Management, focuses on bringing a pan-institutional approach of sustainability and climate resilience to our campuses. The operational side of the office works to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions.

Initiatives to date include the energy-saving solar panels installed on Building G and the transition to 100% post-consumer paper and/or paper made from sugar waste.

Of equal importance is the educational component, which aims at increasing awareness of environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

Established as its own department in the spring of 2021, the Sustainability team is working to navigate sustainability at UFV, finding out what is being done, who to collaborate with, and how to ensure everyone has the ability to learn more about sustainability and drive change.

Hoge is joined in the Office of Sustainability by Sustainability Coordinator Jennifer Martel and Energy Manager Parisa Mohammadi. One of his first tasks, in cooperation with his colleagues, is to plan next steps to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission and promote sustainability based on the findings of a recently completed STARS sustainability survey. This survey was conducted in conjunction with UFV’s participation in the AASHE STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System) framework.

“It’s early days for me at UFV, but I am hearing a lot of expressed interest in the Office of Sustainability and what we can do to enhance sustainability at the university,” Hoge notes.