Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
This goal works to improve adaptation models and impact reduction to the increasingly changing climate. It looks to educate and bring awareness on the issue and then promote solutions to elevate the stress the current environment is facing due to human influence. Without action towards this goal, temperatures are expected to continue rising risking massive wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, and other natural disaster impacts.
Initiatives at Brock University
Students at Brock were asked to think of ways they could be more environmentally friendly in their everyday lives by finishing the sentence “I pledge to…” and images of the recorded pledges were posted to social media sites. The hope is to inspire others by these messages so that they too can incorporate these modifications in their everyday life too.
Brock will become a leader in electrical vehicle charging infrastructure by installing 20 new electrical vehicle (EV) charging stations, including 17 Level 2 and three Level 3 DC Fast charging stations. Level 3 charging is particularly important for people who travel from outside Niagara, as they can charge a near-empty battery to 80 per cent in as little as 20 minutes.
This action will help towards climate change adaptation in creating a world with low carbon impact. The additional EV charging infrastructure will also help contribute to Brock’s Strategic Plan goal of enhancing the life and vitality of our local region and beyond.
Brock University recently earned a Silver rating from its inaugural Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), a comprehensive framework developed for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.
STARS is administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) with support and ongoing engagement from a wide variety of higher education stakeholders.
With more than 900 participants in 40 countries, AASHE’s STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to college and university sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in five overall areas: academics; engagement; operations; planning and administration; and innovation and leadership.
In collaboration with Blackstone Energy Services, Brock hosted its first-ever Sustainability Challenge in Sept. 2021. The challenge’s objective was to engage students in sustainable actions and bring awareness to simple lifestyle changes. The success of the event led to four other Sustainability Challenges being hosted, with some being adopted to involve a graduate course, promotion of earth hour, and has even included staff taking part in a holiday challenge. Overall, the culminative sustainability challenges have saved approximately over 23,100 kg CO2, diverted 1,300 kg waste, and saved 134,600 L of water.
A new course at Brock, ENGL 4V74, is going to emphasize climate change and virus disasters through literature and film studies. The course encourages people to take climate change more seriously and promote action through storytelling in a genre called eco-horror, which looks at human fears on the natural word.
THE IMPACT RANKINGS
As part of Brock’s 2022 submission to THE Impact Rankings, we shared information on how the university is working toward climate action. This information ranked us in the top 400 of over 670 institutions around the world and gave us a score of 42.5/100.
Some key information we summitted includes:
- Brock provides a variety of local education programmes and campaigns on climate change risk, impacts, mitigation, adaption, impact reduction and early warning. Various partnerships have provided the opportunity to have training days, seminars, and other programs, such as an SDG Training Day workshop and conference.
- Brock hosts an ongoing Sustainability Seminar Series which is open to the public. The seminars connect members of our community to learn together. Past seminars include: Implementing Climate Change Adaptation Plans, Green Infrastructure and Low Impact Development, and investigating the Impact of Knowledge on Climate Action.
- Brock is nearing the time frame of its current GHG reduction goal of GHG emission intensity (GHGEI) by 20% below 2013 baseline levels by 2023 (Scope 1,2, and 3), which is outlined in the Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan. The University is starting the discussion for setting new targets towards carbon neutrality.
Initiatives in the Niagara Region
Niagara adapts partnership
Niagara Adapts is a partnership designed to build innovative climate solutions right here in Niagara. By leveraging resources and expertise from seven municipalities in the Niagara Region and Brock University’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, the partnership will support collaborative climate change adaptation assessment, planning and implementation.
Niagara’s Official Plan
New Niagara Official Plan 2019 was developed to establish a plan to adapt to climate change and prevent economic stress on communities. The plan focuses on infrastructure, transportation, promoting alternative energy systems, the natural environment, and agriculture in the Niagara Region.
Adopt-a-Road Program is a service open to members of Niagara Region to pick up litter on a selected highway. Training, equipment, disposal, and more are offered through the region.
Niagara Climate Change Action Network (NCCAN)
The NCCAN was established in 2022 and works to form partnerships, share critical data, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Niagara. Network members include individuals from educational institutions, environmental groups, Indigenous organizations, municipalities, and businesses in sectors of energy, development, engineering, and agriculture.
Did you know temperatures continue to rise, where 2019 was the second warmest year on record and ended the hottest decade ever recorded (2010 – 2019).
- Join the Living Planet @ Campus Partnership through the World Wildlife Fund – Canada! This arrangement allows students of all disciplines to gain opportunities to become a leader in conservation activities on campus, in the community, and global affairs.
- Students are encouraged to register in the Living Planet Leader certification that is recognized nationally!
- Join Leaders at Brock club to create sustainable change in the community, as well as in your life. Contact email@example.com for more information.
- Work on ways at home to reduce your carbon footprint such as: unplugging devices when done and powering them off, bring your own coffee mug, choose to not get plastic cutlery on take out and many more lifestyle choices to make a healthier planet.
- Use reusable bags.
- Air dry your cloths and hair.
- Only buy items you need or will use.
- Use green bins for food scraps and think about creating your own compost.
- Use non-gasoline products including lawn mowers.
- Use renewable sources of energy such as solar panels and windmills.
- Use other means of transportation and limit flying whenever possible.
- Dietary habits have huge impacts. There are solutions for eating meat and being environmentally friendly.
- Attempt to avoid peak traffic times to travel.
- Think of your family and future generations in your actions.
- Take care of your car. Maintained cars produce less emissions and think of switching to electric vehicles.
- Have less children.
- Participate and/or lead cleanup events in your community as well as other climate change events to engage in.
- Staying informed and using your voice is the best way to promote the need for action in climate change.