Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Jim Gudjonson, Director of Environment and Sustainability

Having spent more than half his life in the outdoors, Jim developed a passion for sustainability from a young age. Born and raised in Golden, BC, Jim became a certified mountain guide accredited with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG).

Jim’s career in environmental sustainability was furthered when he acquired an electrical degree at TRU, back when the university was known as Cariboo College. His electrical degree was followed by a Graduate Certificate from Royal Roads, combining tourism and sustainability.

While working in TRU’s Adventure Studies Department, Jim was an examiner for the Canadian Mountain Ski Guide Program and coordinated the ACMG certifications in the departmental programs. When TRU was looking for an energy manager to oversee the solar and renewable energy retrofitting to campus buildings, Jim was a natural fit given his environmental and electrical background.

As TRU’s Director of Sustainability and Environment, Jim’s position is funded largely through BC Hydro’s Community Energy Manager Program. As Jim implements advanced energy conservation, and efficiency changes on campus, he’s also conscious of developing better community relationships with the City of Kamloops and local organizations with a sustainability focus like Kamloops 360.

Similar to how Jim plans his guiding trips using local suppliers, TRU purchases local trade services and supplies when retrofitting buildings, and for new construction projects, whenever possible. When time permits, Jim continues to guide mountain climbing groups to places like Greenland and Bolivia, as well as spend time in the outdoors with his young family. Jim prefers low impact and self-propelled sports given his appreciation for the natural environment.

Jim would like students, staff, and faculty to know his office has an open-door policy and will listen to new ideas on improving campus sustainability. Jim and his staff will help put good ideas into practice. He’s excited about the TRU Sustainability Grant Fund which will enable the Office of Environment and Sustainability to connect with students and build a database of projects.

Personally, Jim feels his department has the responsibility to lead by example. When an institutional trust is established, individuals and groups are inclined to come forward. This is how grassroots initiatives take place.

While striving to make everyone’s experience richer while at TRU, the Office of Environment and Sustainability will help remove any barriers preventing sustainable programs and environmental efforts from becoming real. When students, staff, and faculty are engaged and empowered – policy changes. Jim wants students to choose TRU with pride and as their university of choice.