Queen’s University

Member Since: 2018

Baseline Year: 2008

Baseline GHG Emissions: 57,716 metric tonnes CO2-equivalent

Emissions Reduction Target: 35% below their 2008 baseline by 2020.


*for information on the badges, visit https://www.sustainably.eco/#/badges


  • Queen’s University is strategically committed to investing in sustainability and creating a culture where our community is empowered to achieve progress. Queen’s Climate Action Plan commits our institution to taking tangible actions in order to reduce our carbon output, conserve energy and promote sustainability on campus.

    Situated on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory, Queen’s is home to approximately 24,000 students and nearly 9,000 employees. Boasting 175 years of tradition, academic excellence and research at its waterfront campus in Kingston, Ontario, sustainability is essential in ensuring we have a vibrant future.


  • Queen’s University offers a monthly learning session to provide staff and faculty with an overview of sustainability initiatives at the university, and to highlight opportunities to get involved in creating a culture of sustainability on campus and beyond. Participants have the option of joining a growing community of practice focused on fostering engagement, raising awareness and inspiring action on topics such as energy conservation, waste reduction and alternative transportation.  

  • Queen’s University is the newest member of the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), a group of 19 leading North American research institutions united in a collaborative effort to accelerate local action against climate change.

    Together, UC3 members leverage their institutional strengths to foster cross-sector partnerships and knowledge sharing aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and nurturing community resilience.

  • West Campus District Energy Project: This year Queen’s University will sever the 2.5 km steam and condensate lines that currently run from the Central Heating Plant on our main campus to the buildings they serve on West Campus. The boilers in the current system are fueled by natural gas to provide steam for heating and hot water. Once the new district energy system is in place, distribution line losses will be reduced and hot water will replace steam heating. These major changes will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,500 MT of CO2e annually and provide future opportunities to integrate renewable energy sources such as biofuels and waste heat.

  • The Queen’s Sustainability Working Group has launched and will provide strategic direction and recommendations for the evaluation, planning, development, communication and implementation of initiatives aligned with the university’s sustainability goals and the carbon reductions targeted by the Queen’s University Climate Action Plan.

  • Queen’s Hospitality Services has switched from plastic to paper straws for unique restaurant brands, diverting 280,000 straws each year from landfills.

  • Queen’s students are gaining practical experience while also bettering local communities and the province. The Beaty Water Research Centre is dedicated to further understanding water governance, sustainability and protection of water resources. The 8,000 square feet of new lab space will bring together 44 graduate and 24 undergraduate students along with their research professors from the departments of civil and chemical engineering, chemistry, microbiology, genetics and public health. The new space will support the Centre’s work on projects such as extracting safe drinking water from possibly untreated and unsafe water sources in rural and remote communities.

  • With 64 electric vehicle charging stations (as of June 2018) across seven designated parking sites, Queen’s has more electric vehicle charging stations than any other Ontario post-secondary campus! The stations provide drivers with the chance to charge their vehicles while at work or when visiting the university.

  • Dropbike is partnering with Queen's University and the greater Kingston community to bring flexible bicycle access to all. Through this bicycle sharing program, users get convenient access to bikes across campus and Kingston’s downtown core. Memberships can be accessed via a smartphone application and rental rates are as little as $1/hour. Since bikes can be “dropped” almost anywhere, this program provides students, staff and faculty, and the community with flexibility and the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint while commuting, running errands or exploring the campus and downtown area.

    A full timeline of current and historic projects and initiatives is available on the Queen’s Sustainability Office website.


  • The total adjusted emissions for Queen’s University decreased from 42,723 MTCO2e in 2016 to 40,643 MTCO2e in 2017, which is the fewest emissions reported on Queen’s campus since 2008. This decrease was driven primarily by energy reduction projects that reduced building level electricity loads, and fewer cooling degree days.

  • The 2017 Carbon Footprint report provides complete details on new, ongoing and completed initiatives mitigating GHG emissions. 

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