Blog Posts

  • The Race to Meet Net Zero by 2050

    By: Kassie Burns

    Greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the use of fossil fuels are the primary contributors to climate change and one of the largest global hurdles we are facing in our attempt to meet Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. Achieving Net Zero would mean Canada does not emit GHG emissions and/or offsets its emissions to ensure there is no overall increase (Government of Canada, 2023). The transportation industry accounts for 25% of Canada’s total domestic GHGs, where passenger cars and light trucks account for half of these emissions (Government of Canada, 2022). To address this issue, the Government of Canada has proposed Regulations Amending the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations to introduce new requirements for manufacturers of vehicles for sale in Canada.  

    The requirements will work towards decarbonizing the transport industry by requesting that vehicles produce zero emissions. These zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) can be battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and hydrogen fuel cell operated, ensuring they do not produce tailpipe emissions (Transport Canada, 2021). The new regulations are being phased out so that 20% of passenger car and light truck sales will be ZEV by 2026, at least 60% by 2030, and 100% by 2035. This plan hopes to have all GHG emitting vehicles phased out by 2050, given a car life expectancy of 15 years.  

    To help encourage the transition to this new set of vehicles, the government has developed the Incentive for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program. This program will allow people to receive up to $5,000 when purchasing or leasing eligible zero-emission vehicles, and it is continuing until March 31, 2025.  

    Brock is happy to help offer accessible charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), with 22 ports across 13 charging stations on campus!  

    The news shared here helps contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 11 and SDG 13. 


    Government of Canada. (2022). Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 156, Number 53: Regulations Amending the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations. Retrieved from,  

    Government of Canada. (2023). Net-Zero Emissions by 2050. Retrieved from, 

    Transport Canada. (2021). Zero Emission Vehicles. Retrieved from, 

    Categories: Net-Zero, Student Contributor

  • Interview with Jay Ismailovic: Brock’s Green Cleaning Program

    Image courtesy of Floortje from Getty Images Signature

    By: Kassie Burns

    Behind the scenes, many individuals take initiative to incorporate sustainability on Brock University’s campus. Often, these acts of stewardship are implemented everyday without people realizing it. We wanted to highlight one of these initiatives by discussing Brock’s Green Cleaning Program, which runs through custodial services. Jay Ismailovic, Manager of Custodial Services, took some time to share with us his thoughts about the program and green cleaning products on campus. 

    1. Why do you think it is important to incorporate environmentally conscious and green cleaning products on campus? 

    Green cleaning is the process of selecting cleaning products that are safer for people and the planet. Using green cleaning products is good for the health and wellbeing of all of us on campus. Many benefits can be identified by using green cleaning products from preventing unnecessary chemicals from being released into the environment, to improving the quality of indoor air, protecting the health of custodians who use chemicals daily, protecting the health of the entire Brock community, reducing the exposure to allergy-causing substances, preventing the environmental damage, etc.

    2. How do you determine what constitutes an environmentally conscious cleaning product? Are there any requirements to meet a standard? (i.e., no phosphates or fragrance, recyclable/compostable packaging, etc.) 

    For cleaning chemical to be considered environmentally friendly it has to have a third-party certification for cleaning chemicals such as Green Seal, EcoLogo, Greenguard, etc. and it has to be effective while minimizing wasted chemicals, water, energy and time to clean and not harm human health or the environment. Third-party certification means that product has undergone rigorous scientific testing and strict auditing, to prove its compliance with stringent environmental performance standards. It is also important to know that producers of green cleaning products incorporate recycled content and reduce the amount of material in packaging, and they make sure that every shipping box and all empty containers are recyclable. And one other significant benefit is also achieved by producers delivering “super concentrated” chemicals in closed-loop dispensers. For example: super concentrated product reduces up to 98.5% in packaging materials compared to non-green products. Cleaning chemical dispensers also eliminate over-use of cleaning chemicals.

    3. How did the transition process work when switching from artificial chemical-based products to more environmentally conscious products? How long has Brock been using green products?

    Custodial Services at Brock University has been using green cleaning products for over 15 years. The idea to switch to green cleaning products was a result of our ongoing commitment to health & safety, innovation and a greener future. Transition process included number of important steps such as: review of all products and practices being in place at the time, action plan, testing and evaluation of various certified green cleaning products, selection of products, custodians training, implementation, etc. That was a joint effort of all stakeholders on campus which resulted in implementation of Green Cleaning Program.

    4. What are you hoping to achieve by using these products? 

    By using green cleaning products at Brock University our goal is to reduce the exposure of students, custodians, faculty, staff members and visitors to potentially harmful cleaning chemicals which negatively affect air quality, human health, building finishes, and the environment we study and work in. Every single one of us has the responsibility to do everything we can at work, or outside work, to reduce our environmental footprint and leave our planet unharmed for future generations and every step, and every action, counts. And Custodial Services definitely is one of the leaders on campus in doing its part by using environmentally friendly, green, cleaning products and supporting all sustainability initiatives.

    5. How do you think this initiative will create a positive impact on campus?  

    Sustainability is a global challenge facing all and certainly Brock University is dealing with those challenges. All our activities on campus have a direct impact on the environment. Every day thousands of us are on the campus working and studying, as well as many students are living in our beautiful student residences. All this activity requires joint effort of many employees to ensure things are running smoothly and safely. And definitely keeping things safe and clean for campus community requires use of many cleaning products daily. And with embracing green cleaning products on campus we are creating a positive impact by protecting health and safety of Brock community and ensuring that cleanliness and sustainability go hand in hand.

    This initiative contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which you can read more about here: SDG 3, SDG 12, SDG 13

    Many thanks are given to Jay for taking the time and consideration to share his insight into the Green Cleaning Program at Brock, which has helped form this remarkable good news story!

    Categories: Student Contributor, Sustainability at Brock

  • Understanding Organic Food Consumption

    By: Sanjida Amin

    Our food choices have a significant impact on our health and the health of the planet. Buying organic and locally grown produce, when possible, is a great way to reduce the impact our food choices can have on the environment.  According to research, support for organic food has grown recently not only for its perceived health advantages over conventional agriculture, but also for the ethical production process, which considers the sustainable usage of resources and integrates techniques that preserve the ecological balance of natural systems. Let us explore what organically grown produce is, what the benefits are, and how we can identify organic products. 

    What is organic? 

    Since the 1970s, intensive agricultural production techniques and unsustainable consumption habits have been increasing at an unprecedented rate, causing pollution of the air, water, and soil, as well as significantly accelerating climate change and the extinction of species (IPCC, 2022). The current overuse of fertilisers, herbicides, and antibiotics in livestock and aquaculture threatens the environment and human health and has significant socioeconomic consequences. In contrast to this, organic food practices, restricts the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilisers and adheres to high standards for animal care to reduce the suffering of livestock due to their detrimental effects on the environment. Canada organic standards requires that organic food meets a specific set of requirements, such as avoidance of genetic engineering, minimum use of chemicals in pesticides and soil management techniques, and regulated livestock diet and care. Any agricultural product with an organic label is subject to these standards, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, eggs, meat, fish, rice, cereals, and even some natural fabrics.  

    Benefits of having organic produce in your diet 

    • Foods that are organic are often fresher that non-organic produce, especially if purchased from a local produce stand or farmer’s market. Organic options will also often provide a better cooking and dining experience, as they tend to have more flavour. Check out this post to learn more about buying locally. 
    • Organic foods contain lower levels of potentially toxic substances. When you choose organic, you are opting out of using chemical pesticides and mineral fertilizers for your food, which is harmful both for the environment and your health. It depletes the soil nutrition required for fruits and vegetables.  
    • Organic produce may even be healthier, since it carries more of certain antioxidants and nutritional properties. Certain nutrients may be more abundant in some organic food items, like organic meat and milk. According to the findings of this study, the amounts of several nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, were up to 50% higher in organic meat and milk than in conventionally farmed versions. 

    Recognizing the right product 

    Unfortunately, certified organic produce may not be readily available in all areas and stores, and they also tend to be more expensive. To be certified as organic in Canada, the food must include 95% or more, organic ingredients. Organic items are regulated under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR). Therefore, when you want to buy organic, you can look for the Canada organic logo and know that your food has been regulated properly and all organic standards have been met. Additionally, you can check out the shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce to learn which produces contains the highest or lowest level of pesticides. Lastly, if organic food is not readily available, look for foods with additional labels that indicate sustainability and/or ethical production.   

    By taking steps to improve our food choices, we can not only enhance our personal health, but also play a significant role in influencing our agricultural practices towards greater sustainability. It is important to recognize that not everyone may have access or the means to purchase organic foods. While it is beneficial to support practices that improve the sustainability of our food systems, it is more important to know that even taking small steps such as informing yourself about these practices makes a difference! No matter how big or small your actions may seem, every action towards greater sustainability is a step in the right direction.

    Categories: Food, Student Contributor

  • Sustainable Agriculture 

    By: Kassie Burns

    ChrisHepburn / Getty Images

    Agriculture is a dominate industry in the Niagara Region, which is prominently known for its wine sector. In 2016 there were 1,827 farms that spanned 218,251 acres of land across the Region (Niagara Region, 2016). Farming provides an extensive source of economic income, with the area in the Region generating a totaled $838.1 million in revenue (Niagara Region, 2016). However, with global population on the rise, it is estimated we will need to increase food production by 70% in the next 30 years to ensure there is enough food for everyone and to limit food insecurity (ECO Canada, 2022). Considering this severe projection and the consequences of current agricultural practices, more sustainable farming methods will be required. 

    Sustainable agriculture incorporates social, environmental, and economic interests. It strives to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, increase biodiversity, and promote soil health (ECO Canada, 2022). These practices can bring communities out of poverty and provide an enhanced quality of life for farming families. Reducing the use of pesticides, planting hedgerows along field edges, and planting cover crops or implementing crop rotation are all methods to promote sustainable agriculture. These methods are sometimes referred to as Agroecology, which is the name of techniques that minimize environmental impact when farming (ECO Canada, 2022). Additional benefits can arise when consideration is given to biodiversity of crops and other vegetation that can help promote crop growth and prevent pests or disease. Organic farming practices are most optimal as they do not use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, which can have devastating impacts on the environment (ECO Canada, 2022). 

    However, there are several challenges that come with creating transformative change within sustainable agriculture practices. It is not easy to simply switch to new customs that may be more sustainable. There are always risks associated when any sort of change is brought into action to affect crop growth, and when an annual salary depends on the viability of crop production in one summer period, the associated risk can be overwhelming and discourage changes in practice. Although numerous studies have shown that many of the methods mentioned above create positive changes for both a farmer’s income and the health of the environment, there are also risks (Isaac et al., 2021). For example, not using pesticides may result in damaged crops due to increased pests, and therefore, a farmer may experience a smaller yield of crops, which could put their livelihood in jeopardy. An additional challenge that exists includes finding the funds to make these sustainable changes, if funding is not easily available. Given these important considerations, it can be difficult for farmers to adopt more sustainable agriculture practices. 

    Despite these challenges, an increasing awareness of the need to adopt sustainable agriculture practices are being recognized, and more and more farmers are willing to make the necessary changes to ensure our planet and small-scale farms are regarded with high priority. More groups and government funding opportunities have been formulated in recent years, such as the Organic Council of Ontario (OCO), which to helps establish a better future for farming in the province. With growing awareness of this topic and stronger financial support for farmers, a more sustainable future for the agricultural industry is possible!  


    ECO Canada. (2022). What is sustainable agriculture? Retrieved January 26, 2023, from 

    Isaac, M. E., Nyantakyi-Frimpong, H., Matous, P., Dawoe, E., & Anglaaere, L. C. N. (2021). Farmer networks and agrobiodiversity interventions: the unintended outcomes of intended change. Ecology and Society, 26(4), 12–. 

    Niagara Region. (2016). Niagara Agriculture Profile. Retrieved January 26, 2023, from 

    Categories: Agriculture, Student Contributor

  • Tour of Brock’s District Energy System – Experiential Education for SSAS Students

    Blog by: Sanjida Amin

    Theoretical knowledge gives us profound comprehension of a concept through observing it in the context of a greater whole and understanding the reason behind practically. In line with this, Brock University Students enrolled in the Master of Sustainability program, fall 2022, participated in a Brock tour as part of their experiential education for the course SSAS 5P01.  

    The students were taken on a tour of the Facilities Management (FM) department and Brock’s energy systems, where they were able to learn and see what is happening on campus to manage the Brock campus from all perspectives, such as planning, operations, reporting and managing energy efficiency.  As SSAS 5P01 instructor Dr. Jessica Blythe explained, “The objective of this class was to engage graduate students in a direct experience with the Facilities Management department at Brock University in order to develop knowledge, skills, and capacity for enacting sustainability.” She added, “I am grateful to our partners in FM, who hosted us in the Brock tunnels and described their approach for advancing sustainability on campus. Seeing, for example, the central station, where the FM team can monitor and control all energy use, heating, and cooling on campus, offers a unique window into how this can happen at scale.” 

    The day began with a visit to the Facilities Management department where students got to know about how utilities are managed, how facilities are maintained, and how the co-generation plant is designed within a 2km tunnel. Through exploring and seeing the whole tunnel in-person, participants from both the thesis and co-op schemes were surprised to know how the District Energy System (DES) is maintained to increase efficiency, reduce carbon footprint, and save money for the university. After the tour, students enjoyed a cheerful and interactive presentation session by Amanda Smits, Centre Administrator, ESRC, Mary Quintana, Director of Asset Management and Utilities, and Drew Cullen, Manager of District Energy.  Throughout the presentation, students learned about the domains of Sustainability at Brock, including the Project Charter with Facilities Management, the Partnership Scope, Sustainability Planning, Sustainability in Operations, Sustainability Reporting & Assessment, and diversified initiatives of Sustainability at Brock to a greater extent.  

    This experience was incredibly valuable for all students, as it provided them with the opportunity to not only meet many of the resource personnel of the university, but also because they got to visit various campus facilities to gain a better understanding of how the campus is run behind-the-scenes. Erin Marie Isaac, who is currently pursuing her Master of Sustainability and is working as a Teaching Assistant at Brock, said that “Learning about the various types of environmental jobs through the co-op program and especially through experiential learning opportunities such as the tour of Brock’s energy facilities has been extremely helpful and inspiring. These experiences have provided me with the knowledge and skills to confidently start my professional journey in the environmental field”. 

    Another SSAS student, Zaara Momin, shared that “It’s truly remarkable to see the effort Brock is doing in terms of sustainability in collaboration with facilities management. The real-world strategies that have been employed throughout the project to lessen its impact on the environment are motivating, and they helped me remember why I chose to enrol in the Sustainability program at the first place”. 

    Check out the photos below for some highlights from the memorable trip of Facilities Management at Brock! Please visit the following websites to know more about FM and Sustainability at Brock.

    Sustainability at Brock  

    Facilities Management 

    Tags: , , ,
    Categories: Education, Student Contributor, Sustainability at Brock

  • Exploring Sustainable Fashion Practices

    By: Sanjida Amin

    With every purchase you make, you may have the ability to choose a sustainably sourced and produced item. Unfortunately, many products are made in ways that deplete natural resources and harm ecosystems, however, some products are made in more socially, ethically, and environmentally responsible ways. According to The United Nation Environment Programme, the garment industry contributes between 2% and 8% of the world’s carbon emissions, and textile dyeing is a major water polluter. To ensure the garment industry is more sustainable, all actors must get involved, including designers, manufacturers, fashion critics, and consumers. Individuals can make efforts to ensure that their purchasing decisions do not support the exploitation of people or the environment by learning about sustainable shopping practices.  

    How can fashion become more sustainable and what can you do? 

    There are various methods you can employ when shopping for clothing, which can help reduce the impact of fashion on the environment! While you can consider sustainability for large products you purchase, such as technology and furniture for your home, you can also make ethical decisions for everyday purchases, such as clothing, food, beauty products, and more. Since the fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to growing greenhouse gasses, it’s important to question how our clothing is made and where it is coming from. Check out these simple tips to be more sustainable when choosing your fashion products. 

    Be cautious and think before your purchase:  

    Before you purchase a garment, think about if you really need it. Buying fewer clothes is one of the main things we can do to reduce the impact of fashion on the environment. If we all try to buy less, manufacturers will be compelled to produce clothing at a more sustainable level, resulting in a drop in emissions, textile waste, and runoff chemicals. The faster pace of garment production has also accelerated the consumption rate, and according to sources, an average person now purchases 60% more clothing than they did in 2000. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation  estimates that every year, $500 billion USD is lost due to clothing that is hardly used, not donated, recycled, or ends up in a landfill. As quoted, “Rather than impulsively buying a pair of boots, ask yourself: what do you really need, and do you want to follow trends or set them?” – Garrette Clark, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 

    Consider gently used items and shop local: 

    Purchasing gently used items benefits society and the environment. It not only lowers carbon emissions and your carbon footprint, but it also helps save resources like water and energy. Additionally, you generally have to pay less money when buying gently used  items. Most significantly, by choosing gently used goods, you’re preventing them from being thrown away and keeping them out of landfills. You may also consider shopping locally and supporting small businesses that support fair wages and ethical production.  

    Be a smart laundry manager: 

    When it comes to taking care of your clothes, washing them at a cooler temperature and less frequently is key to improving your own fashion sustainability, and you’ll also save money on your utility bills. Try to only wash full loads of laundry and spot clean items, when possible, rather than giving them a full wash. You may also choose to air-dry clothing, rather than use a tumble dryer, which tends to use more energy. 

    Consider the materials used in your clothing: 

    Another approach to lessen the impact of your wardrobe is to choose garments made with natural materials with fewer synthetic dyes, such as wool and linen and clothing dyed with plant-based materials. The UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion estimates that the textile industry is responsible for about 9% of the annual micro plastics in oceans. In addition, a lot of fibres are comprised of polyester, a material that tends to release far more carbon emissions than cotton. Lots of synthetics are made from plastics, which re-release micro plastics into water streams during washing, are almost impossible to recycle, and can take centuries to decompose. 

    Repair, reuse, and repurpose garments when possible: 

    It is always a great idea to commit to wearing clothing to their maximum lifecycle before discarding any garments. Instead of throwing out unwanted clothing and contributing to textile waste, you can donate unwanted items to charities, repurpose them as rags, or even repair or alter them into something new. A garment you intend to throw away may make a difference for someone else! Every year, the Brock University Faith and Life centre organizes a Winter Clothing Drive for International Students, which not only enhances the donation behaviour of the community, but also nurtures a practice towards greater sustainability. For more information on the clothing drive, please visit the ExperienceBU event page.


    Although the fast fashion industry has significant negative social and environmental effects, the future of sustainability in the fashion industry is promising, and sustainable production methods are expanding. Starting with small actions and making changes in daily lifestyle choices, like reducing your fashion consumption, will not only benefit your bank account but also the health of our planet. If possible, try to keep your garments for as long as possible to minimize their impact on the environment as well as reduce the quantity of new items you need to purchase. Before purchasing clothing, doing some background research on the practices of the brand and the fabrics used can allow you to make a more informed decision on the sustainability and longevity of a product. 

    Categories: Clothing, Student Contributor

  • World Wetlands Day

    Blog by: Kassie Burns

    Happy World Wetlands Day! The theme for this year is wetland restoration, to help bring attention to the horrendous loss of ecosystems and the need to prioritize their restoration (International Coral Reef Initiative, 2023); but what is a wetland, and why should we care about them?  

    A wetland is an area where the primary element is water that helps dictate the environment, plant, and animal life (United Nations, 2023). They can range from large bodies of water like lake shorelines or rivers, to smaller areas like ponds or wet grasslands. They also diversify in marine or freshwater systems. The general requirement for a location to be established as a wetland is for the site to be saturated with water for varying periods of the year, so that area may dry but is known to become flooded again (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2022).  

    The unique nature of wetlands to connect both aquatic and terrestrial environments provides an optimal and necessary habitat for many organisms which makes ecosystems rich in biodiversity. Although they only account for 6% of the earth’s land surface, wetlands are required for 40% of all plant and animal life to live or reproduce (United Nations, 2023). Not only are they vital components to maintain biodiversity, but they also provide a variety of benefits that directly improve human quality of life. These benefits or ecosystem services are ones that occur naturally through different processes undertaken in the environment, with some listed below.  

    Ecosystem Services and Benefits 
    • Water regulation 
    • Flood and storm prevention 
    • Water purification 
    • Food production 
    • Tourism 
    • Job growth 
    • Recreational activities
    • Educational opportunities
    • Enhances health and well-being

    Despite the vital importance of wetlands and the many roles they play, their value is not always recognized. Wetlands continue to get drained for agricultural and urban development. Climate change and invasive species threaten ecosystems further, as well as pollution and the overexploitation of resources. In the last 50 years, wetlands have declined by 35%, which is a rate that is three times faster than that of forest decline (United Nations, 2023).  

    That is why this year’s World Wetlands Day theme reflects on reviving and restoring degraded wetlands. There is an urgent need to take action to bring back what has been lost, and that can start with you! Help spread awareness of these valuable ecosystems so they can get the restoration needed! 

    What Can You Do? 
    • Educate yourself on wetlands and share knowledge with others 
    • Become a wetland champion by advocating for their protection and restoration (ICRI, 2023) 
    • Be conscious of the amount of water used and aware of toxins in products migrating to water sources (ICRF, 2023) 
    • Do not litter and help to clean-up a wetland site  
    • Volunteer directly to a wetland restoration project! Visit the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) to see their list of volunteer opportunities. 


    International Coral Reef Initiative. (2023). World Wetlands Day 2023 materials are now available online. Retrieved January 18, 2023, from 

    United Nations. (2023). World Wetland Day February 2. Retrieved January 18, 2023, from,all%20the%20world’s%20forests%20combined. 

    United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2022). What is a Wetland? Retrieved January 18, 2023, from

    Categories: Events, Student Contributor

  • International Development Week and THE Impact Rankings

    By: Sanjida Amin

    International Development Week

    The Sustainable Development Goals are at the heart of International Development Week, which Brock University is marking with a weeklong series of events running from Feb. 5 to Feb. 11, 2023. The events aim to raise awareness of the United Nations’ (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the steps needed to achieve a more peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous world. The 2030 Agenda has established an ambitious set of 17 goals identified as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through bringing an end to environmental degradation and building a society free of poverty, inequality, and hunger, the SDGs aim to create a safe and peaceful world with full and productive employment, access to quality education and universal health coverage, gender equality, and more. 

    Brock acknowledges that a sustainable campus involves the dedication and cooperation of everyone at the university, in the Niagara community, and beyond. During International Development Week, the Brock community will explore the SDGs and several approaches we can take to help pave the way towards greater sustainability. One of the events during the week will be a presentation on the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings and Brock’s submission to them. The presentation will be given virtually on Feb. 6 at 12pm. Please visit ExperienceBU to learn more about this event and to register! 

    THE Impact Rankings

    The Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings are world performance tables that evaluate universities based on their progress towards achieving the SDGs. THE Impact Rankings are open to any institutions offering undergraduate or graduate-level education. Using the SDGs as a means of gauging a university’s sustainability performance, they employ precisely calibrated indicators across four major areas—research, stewardship, outreach, and teaching.  

    Brock University’s Submission to THE Impact Rankings

    In 2022, Brock placed in the 201-300th ranking category and received significant scores for each of the top four SDGs submitted:​ SDG 3 (68.3), SDG 5 (61.6), SDG 8 (73.8), and SDG 17 (87.9). For the 2023 submission, Brock chose to submit evidence for a total of seven SDGs, which include: 

    • SDG 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing 
    • SDG 4 – Quality Education​ 
    • SDG 5 – Gender Equality​ 
    • SDG 7- Affordable and Clean Energy​ 
    • SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth​ 
    • SDG 13 – Climate Action  
    • SDG 17 – Partnership for the Goals​ 

    Each university submits data as evidence towards various metrics, which require a specific combination of quantitative and qualitative data. The presentation on Feb. 6 will provide attendees with an overview of some of the data and information submitted by Brock for the 2023 rankings. 

    Next Steps and Future Planning​

    Official results of THE Impact Rankings 2023 submission will be announced in April 2023, and a Brock News story will be shared with information on the university’s ranking. Brock plans to continue to submit to the rankings annually and enhance efforts, including submitting to more SDGs every year.​  

    Brock University’s community of dynamic students, exceptional researchers, staff, and alumni all collaborate to make a positive contribution to social impact and sustainability. For more information on THE Impact Rankings and how Brock is contributing to the SDGs, please visit the Sustainability at Brock website!

    Tags: , ,
    Categories: Events, Student Contributor, Sustainability at Brock

  • Bill 23: More Home Built Faster Act

    Blog By: Kassie Burns

    Low-rise houses mixed-use urban multi-family residential district area development with children playground overcast cloudy sky background.

    November and December are always busy months in the year. Last year, through the chaos of the holiday season, the Ontario government decided it was a perfect time to pass Bill 23: More Homes Built Faster Act. This new piece of legislation aims to address Ontario’s housing crisis by eliminating input on residential development from individuals and municipalities. This allows development to proceed on conservation and agricultural land, and would allow for the destruction of Indigenous sites, wetlands, and forests without dispute.

    Bill 23 has raised questions surrounding the authority conservations hold, if “protected areas” can now be developed on. The consequences of developing on these grounds, such as the critical greenbelt, would be drastic, and there are deep concerns relating to conservation authorities’ ability to protect people and infrastructure from flooding, erosion, and slope failures (Rideau Valley Conservation Authority) if development is allowed. Further risks to developing on these protected lands involve water supply and food scarcity, all amplified by climate change.

    Although the housing crisis needs solutions fast, this legislation is not the way to resolve the issue (City of St. Catharines, 2022). Instead of helping housing, the City of St. Catharines states that the bill “fails to address the goals of increasing housing supply, housing affordability, and improved process”, where the city and Niagara Region are expecting to be severely impacted with financial implications. Community planning and building has been a process that has critically required all levels of collaboration, and this is now being diminished to create divisions and conflict (City of St. Catharines).

    Alternative forms of housing development have begun to emerge, as exemplified with plans for the Cloverdale Mall in Etobicoke. The plan in progress would build various apartments and condos vertically on top of the mall to transform the location into a community neighbourhood. The plans add green rooftops and vegetation between buildings. Additional benefits come with walking distances to fitness-wellness centres, art and culture programs, restaurants, shopping, and parks. This mode of development showcases that Ontario does not lack land for development, but rather, we lack innovative approaches to housing development which conserve nature and wildlife and do not contribute to growing issues of habitat fragmentation, biodiversity loss, and increased prevalence of invasive species. The government exacerbates the situation by already having excess land approved for development to meet the needs of the Act, yet they still choose to encroach on protected lands and increase urban sprawl. This fact has been widely discussed in the media and more details can be found in this article.

    Unfortunately, taking these alternative development strategies and already approved land into consideration did not seem to be on the government’s agenda when addressing this bill. “Bill 23 has no regard or consideration for infrastructure funding, asset management, environmental systems, public realm, and quality of space”, stated a spokesperson for the City of St. Catharines. The new Act brings with it immense environmental, social, and economic impacts that jeopardize human health and well-being, and results in a huge leap backwards instead of progressing forward to a more sustainable future (City of St. Catharines).

    Hope remains that with enough awareness, action, and voices heard, Bill 23 can be repealed. We ask you to act by signing Environmental Defence Canada’s petition.


    City of St. Catharines. (2022). Bill 23 – More Homes Build Faster Act. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from

    Cloverdale Mall. (2022). The proposed Cloverdale. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from

    Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. (2022). Bill 23: Less Protection, More Cost, Diminished Local Decision-Making. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from,over%20the%20past%20two%20years%E2%80%9D.


    Categories: Student Contributor

  • Sustainable Transportation Options at Brock

    By: Sanjida Amin

    Sustainable transportation is one of the key considerations in protecting environment and preventing climate change. Carbon emission and climate change are major issues that have been addressed globally and it is our collective responsibility to find ways to contribute to reduce carbon emissions. One of the ways we can do this is by adopting sustainable means of transportations in our everyday lives. Brock University is committed to promoting sustainable transportation, by offering more environment friendly means of transportations which may reduce on campus carbon emissions by a significant percentage. According to Natural Resource Canada,  passenger vehicles are one of the major contributors of local greenhouse gas emissions. Apart from single-passenger vehicles, there are many alternatives to allow individuals to still travel but in a more sustainable way. Let’s explore some of these transportation offerings below:

    Choose Your Sustainable Transportation

    Public Transportation

    Niagara Region and St. Catharines Transit is offering public transportation facilities to the students of Brock University through the Universal Bus Pass. Most of the city routes are covered by this transportation facility and students, staffs, faculty can use this option, rather than using personal vehicles. The bus goes inside the campus in a regular interval. Both undergraduate and graduate students qualify for a universal bus pass, which provides them with the opportunity to get access to St. Catharines, Thorold, Niagara Falls, Welland, Fort Erie, Pelham and the Niagara Regional Transit Systems. So, leaving the personal vehicles at home and using the transit service can reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable transportation behavior. Each stakeholder of Brock University can make great positive impact on climate change by adopting transit services whenever possible.


    Biking is fun way to get from one place to another. It is also physically refreshing and is one way we can fit exercise into our day. Biking is an environmentally sustainable behavior as it saves gas, fuel and reduces overall carbon emissions by a lot. For every 7 kilometers travelled by bicycle as opposed to driving a car, one kilogram of CO2 emissions is saved, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. According to the same UN report, cycling saves 150 grammes of CO2 for every kilometer travelled as opposed to driving.

    It occupies small portion of roads, thus reduce traffic congestions and carbon emissions while remain stuck in roads. Brock University promotes biking by offering the superb cycling facilities inside the campus area. There are over 30 bike racks on the main and east campus that students, staffs and faculty can use in order to safely secure bikes. There are also cycling lanes just outside of the campus area on main roads which offer dedicated and safe biking experiences. Please see this page to learn more about cycling paths near Brock.

    Electric Vehicles

    Electric Vehicles are modern means of transportation that are reducing our reliance on gass and oil and subsequently reducing the emission of carbon dioxide. Brock University is promoting this environment friendly and sustainable transportation option by offering on campus charging stations for electronic vehicles. There are now 22 ports across 13 stations around campus for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and Electric Vehicles (EVs) to charge the battery while parked. To know more about charging points please visit parking services page. The stations are a 90 Amp unit that provides up to 90 kms of travel on a one-hour charge on select e-vehicles. It has also different indicators to show status of charging.

    Walking and Other Activity Based Transportations

    Walking or inline skating is highly beneficial to health and also offers to get fresh air which can make you mentally refresh in comparison to driving own vehicle. These options produce little to no emissions while offering alternative means of transportation specially those who stay on campus or nearby to the campus area.

    Take Action Today

    Choosing sustainable transportation options is just one of the ways you can reduce your carbon emissions and have a collective positive impact on climate change. Leaving your own vehicles at home and instead choosing public transportation, biking or deciding to walk even two times a week can make significant impact. To know more, please visit Sustainable Transportation Options at Brock.

    Categories: Student Contributor, Sustainability at Brock, Transportation