Curbing campus carbon: How our new energy management team is tackling greenhouse gas emissions at BCIT

BCIT Carpentry students
work in a shop retrofitted
with advanced LED lighting,
daylight-controlled to
automatically adjust light

BCIT’s newly formed energy management team has bold plans to reduce the Institute’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by one third over the next four years.

With a strong history of projects to build on—from producing the 2017 Carbon Neutral Action Report to introducing Demand-Side Management— a new team of four now sits within Facilities Services. Armed with these additional resources, the team will focus its efforts on reducing BCIT’s greenhouse gas emissions by 33% over the next four years, compared to 2007 levels.

“We are in a good position to meet our goals, and continue BCIT’s leadership in tackling real-world problems, such as climate change and carbon pollution,” says Colin Chan, the team’s new Energy Manager.

In collaboration with departments across the Institute, the energy management team will also help BCIT achieve its long-term goals to become greenhouse gas neutral and a net energy producer.

The Gateway building at the Burnaby Campus contains bike commuting facilities and
a geoexchange system

“The recent FortisBC natural gas curtailment plainly showed how dependent we are on fossil fuels for heating,” says Colin. “We plan to expand on-site renewable energy generation through geoexchange, biomass, solar, and other technologies that will reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve energy security for our campuses.

“The majority of BCIT’s GHG emissions come from the energy used for heating campus buildings, providing hot water, and cooking,” Colin continues. “That’s why we’re focusing on making these services more efficient and switching to decarbonized energy sources where possible.”

Some of these changes are less obvious to the average student or staff member, such as lighting upgrades and HVAC system optimization. However, upcoming projects—such a public dashboard to track electricity and gas use as well as innovations proposed in the new Health Sciences Centre—are a daily reminder of the benefits in lowering our carbon footprint, growing our awareness, and working together.

This story is the first in a new monthly Countdown to Ecocity series, which highlights BCIT’s leadership in the face of today’s complex environment challenges. Learn more about BCIT’s role as host of the Ecocity World Summit in 2019. Watch for next month’s story here, and learn more about sustainability at BCIT.


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