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Sustainability Advocacy

Advocating for improvements to legislation, ordinances and public policies that broadly advance sustainability is important.

The TRU Sustainability Office would like to support any TRU students, staff or faculty members who would like to do this.

Please contact us so we can talk and discuss ways for us to help you.

Here are examples of types of sustainability advocacy that TRU community members are involved in presently, and have been involved in the past.

Local advocacy

TRU has been active in this area on three fronts:

  1. Both Warren Asuchak, TRU AVP of Campus Infrastructure, Sustainability and Ancillary Services, and Aaron Wiebe, TRU’s Transportation Demand Management Coordinator, sat on the City of Kamloops Community Climate Action Plan Advisory Group. The goal of the advisory group was to help build the new City of Kamloops Community Climate Action Plan, which was adopted by City Council in June of 2021.
  2. TRU Sustainability Office's Manager of Sustainability Programs, James Gordon, has worked with City of Kamloops staff on a regular basis to share ideas regarding zero-waste strategies in order to help each other improve their zero-waste programs. The City has adopted TRU zero waste strategies and procedures in the past, and implemented them across the city in order to have consistent infrastructure and procedures for all community members.
  3. Up to July 2020, former TRU Sustainability Office staff member, Jim Gudjonson, sat on the City of Kamloops Public Transportation Advisory Committee in order to advocate for better policies around increased public transportation and improved bike commuting infrastructure for TRU students, staff, faculty, and the general public.

Regional advocacy

Since May 2020, Matt Milovick, TRU's Vice-President Administration and Finance, has been leading BC’s post-secondary COVID-19 pandemic response with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and the Provincial Health Office. As the chair of the Return to Campus Steering Committee, he led the creation of the sector’s Go Forward Guidelines for Post-Secondary Education, released in summer 2020 to provide guidance for fall 2020 operations. That work evolved into the Return to Campus Guideline, which were released in the summer 2021 to provide guidance for a safe return to campus operations for fall 2021. Both documents have seen several revisions as circumstances have changed.

In his role as chair, he has been influential in setting the overall pandemic response strategy for the province and has worked closely with the provincial health office to promote the importance of vaccinations; to develop an asymptomatic testing strategy for post-secondary institutions; to develop communication strategies for various constituency groups within the sector (e.g. student, labour and indigenous stakeholder groups); to organize and moderate province-wide sector specific town halls with Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry; and for building consensus from university and colleges steering committee participants and presidents in support of the plan.

National advocacy

TRU has been active in this area on two fronts:

  1. James Gordon, TRU's Manager of Sustainability Programs, sits on the National Planning Committee on Awareness Raising for a Net-Zero Campus, which is a committee of Colleges and Institutes Canada. He has been on this committee since January 2022.

    CICan advocates as the collective voice of Canadian colleges and institutes, working with governments, industry and stakeholders to ensure all Canadians have access to training opportunities that will prepare them for a fulfilling career in the field of their choice.

    The mandate of the committee is: Support awareness-raising among the students, faculty, staff, local communities, and employers of Canada's colleges, institutes and, in Quebec, its Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEPs) about the effects of GHG emissions and how they can change their behaviours and enhance their engagement to reduce their impact.

  2. Matt Milovick, TRU's Vice-President Administration and Finance, has sat on the Thought Leadership Advisory Group for the Canadian Association of University Business Officers since February 2020.

    Canadian public institutions of higher learning have a significant role to play in mitigating the impacts of climate change and enabling the transition to a low carbon economy through their institutional operating practices, community engagement and research, and education that take place on their campuses; all while striving to manage and adapt to the climate risks on their institutions.

    As a member of the Advisory Group, he advocated for CAUBO to prioritize climate change and sustainability initiatives as a core focus for CAUBO to support post-secondary institutions. Due to this advocacy, and with the support of the CAUBO membership, CAUBO initiated in late 2020 a Climate Change Mitigation Strategies project to support members’ efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The project includes four components, three of which are now complete and the fourth is pending. The components include:

    • Climate Change: Understanding the Implications on Post-Secondary Institutions — This resource material raises awareness of the risks and impacts of climate change, the implications of the Paris Agreement at the national and relevant provincial levels, the emission reduction strategies, and the impacts on operations pertaining to Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.
    • Climate Change Mitigation Strategies at Post-Secondary Institutions 2020 Survey Results — This is a high-level summary of the results of the 2020 members’ survey. The State of Affairs report outlines the current landscape regarding member policies, practices, areas of focus, and planned priority areas related to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
    • The Road Map to Net-Zero — This report provides guidance and information to orient institutions as they take actions to become net-zero and resilient, and helps them create their unique, campus-specific road map to achieve this goal.
    • The last component of the project will be released in summer 2022 — A recommended common measurement tool and approach for carbon measurement, including Scope 3, that can be adopted by post-secondary institutions to support consistent and transparent measurement across the sector.
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