Apr 20, 2021

Vancouver, BC – Langara College celebrates Earth Day this Thursday, April 22, through our ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability. As prioritized in our Academic Plan, we commit to a campus as a vibrant, living laboratory for experiential education and interdisciplinary partnerships in sustainability. We will integrate sustainability into all aspects of college operations; and promote Langara as a community leader in sustainability. We aim to build partnerships with employers, community partners, and alumni, including with CityStudio Vancouver and the City of Vancouver. 

Here are some highlights from our sustainability initiatives over the last year: 

Building community pride through Still Creek conservation 

  • Students in our Environmental Studies program have a unique opportunity to combine education and community building through the restoration of East Vancouver’s Still Creek. In 2012, following years of environmental conservation efforts, salmon finally returned to the creek after 80 years. 
    “If you want to engage a community and build pride in the place they live, provide them with a higher quality of living,” said Environmental Studies instructor Andrew Egan. “You’ll not only see increased biodiversity and a more sustainable ecosystem, but also a healthier community. That’s what part of this project is about: how to be a productive, environmentally conscious citizen.” 

Renewable energy sources 

  • Langara College has been investing in renewable and alternative energy sources over the last few years. We will be adding 12 new electric vehicle charging stations for a total of 28, and recently installed an additional 45 new, more efficient solar panels, bringing our total to 83 panels.

Sustainability Culture Assessment Survey 

  • The College conducted its first-ever sustainability survey, where we asked students and employees questions related to their perceptions and behavior towards the environment. Among the findings, 90% of respondents indicated they felt sustainability should be a top priority at the College. 

Sustainability Student Ambassadors 

  • Started January 2020, the Ambassador program provides an opportunity for students to work in small teams to ideate and execute their green initiatives. Topics range from recycling education, hosting climate talks, and planting new gardens. Most recently, two new pollinator gardens are being created, funded in part through the World Wildlife Fund Go Wild Grant, that will attract and feed bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies to encourage pollination and biodiversity.

Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) 

  • STARS is a self-reporting framework for higher education organizations to measure their sustainability performance. Langara is currently pursuing a bronze STARS rating. This means collaborating cross-departmentally within our campus to improve current sustainability practices, develop new programming to support sustainability initiatives, and to encourage our community to be more aware about best practices. 

For more information on these initiatives and more, please visit our website contact: 

Mark Dawson 
Manager, Public Affairs