By: Eva Morris
“UNB Sustainability takes its main goal from the university’s vision for 2030 — to lead sustainability and environmental stewardship across Canadian universities,” says Matt Bishop, Sustainability Engagement & Education Officer for UNB Sustainability.
UNB Sustainability is a bi-campus program created in 2014 to support UNB socially, environmentally, and economically by providing quality education that increases awareness in these areas, as well as developing policy and institutional recommendations.
UNB’s vision for 2030 includes several very important goals, such as gaining international recognition for their sustainability efforts and working toward a carbon-neutral future. UNB’s website states: “Toward 2030, our vision for the next 10 years strengthens our ability to respond to the challenges of our time in ways that improve the lives of New Brunswickers and Canadians. We will do this by equipping our students with the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to thrive. We will harness the power of our research to drive innovation further, push society forward, and create a more prosperous and equitable future for all.”
STARS, a self-reporting framework used by colleges and universities to measure sustainability performance, is an important tool that is used to help achieve these goals. The STARS program allows UNB to gain international recognition for their sustainability efforts, generate new ideas, engage with their community, create a baseline for continuous improvement, and make real progress towards sustainability.
Bishop emphasizes the importance of change, stating: “Instead of us ‘coming back to normal,’ we should be talking about ‘coming back sustainably.’” He encourages students to do their part by bringing their own reusable products rather than using disposable ones, participating in activities like the Academic Bike Challenge, and most importantly, spreading the word about the UNB Sustainability program and its efforts to create a more sustainable future.
“Students have more power than they realize. If they collectively came together to demand changes, they would happen. It’s just about making sure your voice is heard.”
If you would like to find out more, or get involved in the UNB Sustainability program’s efforts to build a better future, you can reach them on Instagram, Facebook, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.