Humber’s new Climate Action Plan sets a course for the college to be net-zero emissions by 2050.
The plan, which was formally announced on March 23, 2022, includes goals, targets and actions that align with Canada’s climate action goals.
“Humber has a deep history of sustainability,” said Aman Hehar, associate director of energy and climate change. “It’s embedded in our core values and initiatives. The Climate Action Plan is our official commitment to net-zero, but most of the work to get there has already started and we’re picking up the pace.”
The Climate Action Plan extends the commitments made in the Integrated Energy Master Plan (IEMP), which aims to cut energy, water and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2034.
Unlike some other institutions, Humber’s Climate Action Plan focuses on reducing emissions directly on campus rather than relying on the purchase of carbon offsets. Several world-class projects are already underway to reduce large portions of the college’s carbon footprint.
“Construction has started on the Humber Cultural Hub, which is a massive project,” said Hehar. “To demolish an existing building and replace it with a net-zero building of that size and scale will have a significant impact on emissions. We’re hoping to inspire the industry to tackle similar projects, and we’ll share our expertise with them along the way.”
To address the climate crisis, communities need to work together to find innovative solutions. Humber has always been a leader in sustainable campuses as demonstrated by projects like the Humber Cultural Hub and the North Campus District Energy Project, which aims to replace natural gas with clean electrical heat. By incorporating practical solutions to modern challenges, Humber hopes to inspire ideas that most of the industry can replicate in their own work.
“Teaching and learning is an essential part of the Climate Action Plan,” said Lindsay Walker, associate director of sustainability. “Students will work on cutting-edge energy projects, alongside industry professionals as part of the implementation of the plan. The skills they learn at the college will have a ripple effect in their communities for generations.”
Humber is well-known for advanced work-integrated learning programs. The Climate Action Plan prioritizes opportunities that connect students to bold energy measures, industry leaders and municipal initiatives, including the City of Toronto’s Green Will Initiative, a collaboration to accelerate the reduction of GHGs between the city’s major building portfolio owners.
“We’re recognized as advocates for sustainability in many areas,” said Walker. “We’re going to continue to lead by example by showing our communities what is possible, and push everybody forward.”
“Change can happen, and it needs to happen to create a sustainable world for all.”
For more information on sustainability initiatives at Humber visit humber.ca/sustainability