Sustainability is more than just a word. It’s an attitude, an ethos, a way of living. At Douglas College, making our campuses more efficient to adapt to the needs of students and realities of climate change is an obligation we take seriously.
A firm plan
The first major step the College took to a greener future was ensuring it was a part of our strategic planning, which was formally recognized in the Douglas College 2010-15 Strategic Plan as a need for improved environmental stewardship.
During this period, the College – which has been carbon-neutral since 2010 – was a major advocate for the expansion of public transit to its campuses, culminating in the construction of the Evergreen Line, making Douglas College one of only two post-secondary institutions in B.C. fully connected via rail.
A need to remain green and sustainable is continued in the Strategic Plan for 2015-20, as we try to keep the College inspiring and relevant for a new crop of students.
Greening our campuses
On campus, the College has undergone significant renovations, with each containing a green component. For example, vestibules were installed in the New Westminster Concourse to help the campus retain heat, and low-flow fixtures and LED pot lighting were added to the washrooms at the Coquitlam Campus.
The showpieces of the College’s greening are the green decks – third and fourth floors, South side – at New Westminster Campus. The decks help improve storm water retention and their vegetation helps reduce the amount of urban dust and smog around campus.
The newest visual display of greenery at the College opened in the summer of 2016. The Institute of Urban Ecology opened their Sol (Sustainability, Outreach and Learning) garden at the Coquitlam Campus, with the goal of educating the public about sustainable urban gardening practices.
The Sol garden works in conjunction with the User Network for Insect Biology in the Urban Garden (UNIBUG) at the College, which teaches the community about urban gardening, with a focus on beneficial insects.
Moving into academics, if making a career of your passion for environmental sustainability or advocacy interests you, the College offers two-year diplomas in Environmental Science and Environmental Studies, in addition to several courses focusing on the environment spread across many other programs.
We also offer the Practical Energy and Advanced Knowledge (PEAK) program, which trains building managers in the areas of green technology and sustainable management.