Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.48
Liaison Emmanuelle Jodoin
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Université de Sherbrooke
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Véronique Bisaillon
Sustainable Development Education Advisor
Office of the Vice-President, Administration and Sustainable Development
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

Students from the GHG and Climate Change course contributed to the production of the University's GHG inventory (2016-2017 and 2017-2018 versions) by completing specific portions of it.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Buildings:

In 2017, a student team from the Integrative Project course conducted a research project in order to evaluate the potential of implementing an autonomous building (energy-efficient construction) at the Université de Sherbrooke.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Energy:

As part of an Environment and Sustainable Development University Training Center (Centre universitaire de formation en environnement et développement durable (CUFE)) Integrative Project course, students have developed an eco-friendly research guide that includes dimensions of reduction and sound management of residual materials as well as the reduction of energy consumption related to laboratory fume hoods. This guide is currently under revision and will be distributed to laboratory managers of the University. Furthermore, a student in mechanical engineering completed her internship with the University's energy efficiency team in the fall of 2018. Her mandate was related in particular to analyzing energy efficiency data.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Food & Dining:

In summer 2018, a professor specializing in cultural food history, in collaboration with graduate students in history, carried out a unique project: the implementation of an ancestral garden within the University's collective garden. The garden includes species grown by First Nations peoples, French settlers and Loyalists, which are no longer being cultivated as they no longer meet the criteria of the food industry, essentially fruits and vegetables that can withstand transportation. With this project, the team's objective was to raise awareness among the student population of the memory, taste and nutritional value of certain ancestral plant species, as well as the importance of eating locally. At the end of the summer, when these fruits and vegetables were harvested, the students were able to enjoy a historical feast, but also to experiment with certain fermentation techniques in order to preserve them until winter, techniques that were discussed during their seminar on food history. Later in the fall, as part of the Cultural Food History course, students from the Bachelor of History program participated in a guided tour of the ancestral garden. This field educational activity gave rise to rich exchanges, particularly regarding the undeniable contribution of First Nations peoples to agricultural and plant heritage.

Having attracted the attention of the entire university community, the project persists. In 2019, a graduate student in history dedicated himself to the project and sought to promote indigenous food culture. A horticultural system drawn directly from First Nations peoples’ traditions was put forward. At harvest time, an Abenakis history popularizer and Chef prepared recipes using food from the garden and related their history and that of their consumption. Through this historical garden project, the student and his colleagues from the Department of History sought to highlight the food heritage of First Nations peoples and, more globally, the healthy local consumption habits in an era of global climate crisis. Notably, the student was presented with the Sustainable Development Award for his full dedication to the historical garden project.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Grounds:

In 2017, as part of a marketing course, students conducted a survey to probe the university community about land-use management practices on the main campus (presence of wilder spaces, more regenerated spaces, or more structured landscaping). These elements were submitted to the green spaces’ management committee as part of the development of a strategy specific to this area.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Purchasing:

Since the fall of 2018, a team of students, as part of the Groundwork for a business start-up course offered in business administration, is working on a business project of sharing economy called RÉGime. Knowing that the textbooks at the University represent tons of paper (12,000 to 14,000 books each session), the team gave itself the mandate to give a second, third, even a fourth life to textbooks. Finding the used book for a specific course takes time and proper transactions when you really need the book are not always present. By grouping all the books into a structured purchasing and resale service, and by partnering with the University Cooperative to offer the service, the team is sure to respond adequately to a real need. In addition to the values of sustainable development, the group wanted the project to have a positive impact, to give back to the student community.

The project represents the 100th one supported by the University Fonds conjoint d’initiatives en développement durable (FCIDD), meaning Joint Sustainable Development Initiatives Fund, fund that provides the necessary boost to start and materialize sustainability ideas and that, for the past 10 years.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Transportation:

Two survey projects on transportation habits were conducted in 2018 and 2019: a survey on transportation habits at the Longueuil Campus, conducted by students from the Integrative Project course offered by the Environment and Sustainable Development University Training Center (Centre universitaire de formation en environnement et développement durable (CUFE)) and another survey at the main campus conducted by a graduate student as part of his study project. The study provides enough information for the University to put in place various means to raise awareness, encourage and even reward the responsible use of public transportation and discourage the use of single occupant vehicles.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Waste:

As part of an Environment and Sustainable Development University Training Center (Centre universitaire de formation en environnement et développement durable (CUFE)) Integrative Project course, students have developed an eco-friendly research guide that includes dimensions of reduction and sound management of residual materials as well as the reduction of energy consumption related to laboratory fume hoods. This guide is currently under revision and will be distributed to laboratory managers of the University.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Water:

In reference to sponsored research projects, the University is currently building a Research Complex based on a combination of three infrastructures, namely a watershed, an artificial waterway and a hydraulic and environmental laboratory designed around a free-flow channel. This project is located on the main campus (Innovation Park) and is directly related to students’ and researchers’ projects in civil engineering and in environment. These infrastructures are aimed at adapting construction and management standards for structures as well as in the remediation of environmental contamination problems.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Coordination & Planning:

As part of an Environment and Sustainable Development University Training Center (Centre universitaire de formation en environnement et développement durable (CUFE)) Integrative Project course, students conducted a review of good practices in sustainable development management in universities as well as research into innovative practices. This document contributed to the sustainable development planning process updated in 2018.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Diversity & Affordability:

Two graduate students conducted their master's research on themes related to sexual violence in university settings, under the supervision of a professor who specializes in these issues and is co-director of the national survey on sexuality, safety and interactions in university settings (Enquête nationale sexualité, sécurité et interactions en milieu universitaire), which was conducted in 2018. These research studies, one of which of very high quality was awarded a prize for science popularization, were disseminated to the university community by the University as part of its institutional approach to preventing and fighting sexual violence. See the article here: https://www.usherbrooke.ca/actualites/nouvelles/facultes/education/education-details/article/40688/


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Investment & Finance:

A student produced a tool to track the ESG performance (based on Environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria) of the Université de Sherbrooke Foundation's portfolio as part of his essay in finance.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Public Engagement:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

The project “Fak On Bouge!” was established in 2018 by twenty graduates from the Bachelor of Kinesiology program at the Université de Sherbrooke, in an academic format, and in partnership with the Student Life Service. Through a programming of various activities, “Fak On Bouge!” offers tools to promote the integration of physical activity by balancing education, work and an active life.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to other areas (e.g. arts & culture or technology)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to other areas:

Arts and Culture

Recognizing the arts and culture as one of the pillars of its development, this is what the Université de Sherbrooke has embraced by adopting in June 2014, in collaboration with many partners, the first ever arts and culture policy at a university level in Québec as well as in Canada. The principle by which culture is a fundamental dimension of societies sustainable development is shared by several organizations around the world. The Université de Sherbrooke is fully committed to this movement and is committed to fostering the relationship between knowledge, arts and culture and to giving culture a privileged place in the living environment of members from the University community.

It is in such a context that students part of the In-Situ Environmental Practice course, Certificate Program in Visual Arts, have been offering their artworks on the three campuses over the past few years. The following artistic projects have been produced: Les tours de la connaissance (2016), Guéridon (2017), La clé au sol (2018) and Casse-toi pas le bicycle, tire-toi une bûche ! (2019).


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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