Earth Day: 9 ways BCIT made sustainability a top priority

Each year, the world comes together on Earth Day to call for bold action, innovation, and global education in combatting climate change. BCIT shares this strong commitment to sustainability, as such, our Sustainability Vision aims to enable people to live socially just lives within ecological limits. To mark this worldwide event, here are some highlights from the BCIT community that demonstrate our dedication to environmental stewardship and celebration of our Earth.

1) BCIT Sustainable Business Leadership students: Using businesses as a force for good

From the climate emergency and global pandemic to the growing inequality and systemic racism, many people are reflecting on the environment, economy, and society and asking what they can do to help in response to these interlocking crises. The BCIT Advanced Diploma in Sustainable Business Leadership (SBL) is the only program of its kind in BC to focus purely on sustainable business leadership and alumnus Rose Kang and Alexandra Eady shared how the program helped pave a rewarding job path to advocate for and implement sustainable practices.

2) BCIT and GVBOT partner to provide Environmental, Social and Governance leadership training

BCIT and the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade launched the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Fundamentals Microcredential. This ambitious and innovative program is designed to equip British Columbians with the skills and training to position our region at the forefront of the global ESG movement.

3) How the BCIT Seed Library is helping preserve local biodiversity

BCIT seed library
The seed library offers seeds for flowers herbs vegetables

With a goal to create greener spaces, the seed library lends seeds to its patrons free of charge. Patrons can grow the plants, and return the new seeds to support the next year’s collection. According to Allison Griffin, BCIT Librarian, libraries are great equalizers in education, she says that, “With the seed library, we’re building on a model of libraries as a public place that will help you learn and build, and taking on this ecological aspect is critical.”

4) BCIT launches Master of Engineering in Smart Grid Systems and Technologies

In an era of global climate change, there is growing demand for sustainability and carbon-neutrality to be at the forefront of business strategies, innovation, and industry. Across Canada, smart grids are widely adopted to ensure safe and efficient delivery of power in an environmentally responsible manner – helping municipalities and energy providers advance their sustainability goals. As a result, new job opportunities are emerging for skilled talent required to implement smart grid technologies.

With over 15 years of industry-led, world-class applied research initiatives related to smart grids, BCIT introduced the Master of Engineering in Smart Grid Systems and Technologies (MEng SGST) program. This part-time, hands-on program aims to support industry professionals in upskilling to ensure they have the interdisciplinary knowledge and relevant skills to be job-ready for the changing demands of the energy industry.

5) Master your EV etiquette: the Do’s and Don’ts of EV charging

To help educate people on EV etiquette including when to charge, the BCIT Smart Microgrid Applied Research Team (SMART) teamed up with three BCIT Digital Design and Development students to design and produce three short animated videos to help illustrate the proper way of good etiquette when charging an electric vehicle. SMART works on research, development, and communication initiatives aimed at innovative solutions for reducing barriers to EV adoption.

Learn more about charging your electric vehicle at BCIT campuses.

6) BCIT South Wetland Restoration project brings education to life

Our campus is a ‘living lab’ for students to hone their skills. For instance, in a recent collaboration, students from the School of Construction and the Environment — including Ecological Restoration (ER), Forest and Natural Areas Management (FNAM), and Fish, Wildlife and Recreation (FWR) programs — worked together to transform an empty space  on the south end of the BCIT Burnaby Campus, near Guichon Creek, into a vibrant wetland. The hands-on experience of building and restoring a real-life wetland is an important part of the Ecological Restoration Degree Program at BCIT. In addition to the learning experience, it will benefit the community as a whole. As Ken Ashley, Director of the BCIT Rivers Institute says, “It’s going to be a place where people in the community can go and immerse themselves in nature.”

7) BCIT Centre for Ecocities receives international award of recognition for its positive impact

As one of three 2020 Incredible Impacts Award recipients, the Centre is recognized for its innovation and impact made in areas of sustainability, accessibility, and ecology. The Centre for Ecocities is a legacy of the Ecocity World Summit 2019. The Centre is committed to supporting the vision of Ecocity Builders, the owners of the Summit Series—to provide tools and training to cities locally, and around the world, to help them become ecologically healthy.

8) BCIT Energy Team launches real-time energy use dashboard to advance sustainability

Saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requires knowing where you started. Now, with the BCIT Energy Dashboard, the community can see the journey as it is happening. As part of BCIT’s commitment to advance sustainability across BC and around the globe, the BCIT Energy Team built an interactive tool to monitor real-time energy use of buildings across BCIT campuses.

9) The future is green: Alumnus and CEO of Properate says green buildings can help us live healthier and solve the climate crisis

Before becoming an award-winning founder and CEO in the green building space, Arman Mottaghi was a student in Iran, finishing his bachelor’s degree in urban planning. In 2014, he immigrated from Iran to complete his Master of Applied Science in Building Engineering at BCIT. This move to Canada meant he had to learn not only a new language and culture, but also a completely new concept of building design.

As winner of the 2021 Canada Green Building Council award for Emerging Green Leader in Green Buildings, Arman is now recognized nationally for his significant contribution and commitment to making energy-efficient homes that both address the climate crisis and help people live healthier lives.

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