At Langara College, our goal is to foster and provide educational opportunities that empower students to be environmentally sound. Instructors like Environmental Studies Coordinator Andrew Egan recognize their inherent duty to share knowledge about the value of sustainable practices. “I look for opportunities to incorporate the concepts of sustainability into my courses, often using the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as an example of how setting goals and working collaboratively can overcome enormous obstacles.”

Instructor on whiteboard

As an instructor in Langara College’s new geographic information systems (GIS) lab, Andrew is proud to be part of an institution that puts sustainability into practice. Since 2009/10, Langara College has reduced carbon emissions by 45% per square foot. Our campus is home to four LEED® Gold Certified buildings, 38 solar panels, and 16 electric vehicle charging stations. We have more than 20 water fill stations that have already saved the equivalent of 2.2 million plastic water bottles.

Andrew has cultivated his sense of sustainability throughout his career. Prior to teaching at Langara, he honed his interest in environmental research, finding solutions to issues through a sustainable lens. In the fall semester, Andrew regularly supervises students as part of Langara’s commitment to CityStudio Vancouver, a unique urban program that allows students to impact urban issues that directly affect the City of Vancouver’s strategic initiatives.

Participants progress through the creation of a project designed to create small-scale change within the city. The hands-on program often finds students mentored by staff from the City of Vancouver and other leaders in sustainable urban stewardship.

I look for opportunities to incorporate the concepts of sustainability into my courses...[and] how setting goals and working collaboratively can overcome enormous obstacles."

Andrew Egan, Langara instructor
Students talking in front a computer

“The CityStudio model is fantastic for our students; they learn about the issues that are faced by most urban environments. They conceive of and design a project using applied project management skills,” said Andrew. “Students find solutions through experimentation and analysis. These are the skills that future employers covet and what institutions like Langara pride themselves on imparting.”

Langara students regularly place in the top three at the CityStudio project showcase, HUBBUB, winning first place in December 2020 ahead of post-graduate students at large universities. Andrew’s students have been recognized for other award-winning projects, including Salt Marsh Proposal, proposing the City convert a 1-hectare section of Charleson Park’s seawall into a salt marsh. Another project, Charleson Bay Island, proposed the construction and installation of a small island within the Charleson Park bay to restore the shoreline and promote Indigenous environmental education.

“We have a responsibility at Langara to ensure that the quality of information and knowledge transferred to students is current and sound,” concludes Andrew. “If we value this responsibility, we are obligated to incorporate the concept of sustainability; it is too important for future generations’ quality of life.”