new electric-steam turbine chiller in the Energy Conversion CentreThe installation of a new electric-steam turbine chiller in the Energy Conversion Centre advances the University toward its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon Neutral Masterplan sets out ambitious goals

The University of Windsor has committed to a lofty goal of a 45 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 — and achieving complete carbon neutrality by 2050.

The University has approved its Carbon Neutral Masterplan which outlines the institution’s goals and commitment to sustainability.

“The unveiling of our Carbon Neutral Masterplan sparks tremendous enthusiasm within our community," University of Windsor president Rob Gordon said in a news release.

“It’s a testament to our dedication towards fostering a more sustainable future, marking a pivotal step in our journey towards a more environmentally conscious campus as highlighted in the Aspire strategic plan.”

The University hired engineering services company Stantec in September 2022 to help establish its first-ever campus carbon neutral plan.

With input from campus community members and other stakeholders, the plan identifies core objectives of increasing the University’s familiarity with its buildings’ energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, determining net zero targets, creating a roadmap for how the University can achieve such targets, and determining short-term priorities.

The complete report outlines bold goals compared to a 2019 baseline and sets out a pathway for achieving carbon neutrality. Read it here.

“Our roadmap toward carbon neutrality involves a comprehensive approach, from infrastructure renewal to fostering partnerships for regional sustainability,” said Gillian Heisz, UWindsor vice-president of finance and operations.

“We’re poised to translate plans into impactful actions that will drive tangible change across our campus and hopefully, inspire others to take on similar initiatives.”

Did you know?

  • The University’s Energy Conversion Centre (ECC) provides approximately 40 per cent of the total campus energy needs.
  • Lighting, while a heavy energy consumer (14 per cent), produces only a small share of campus carbon emissions.
  • Currently, 45 per cent of campus buildings have been retrofitted with LED lights, with more lighting initiatives planned to meet the 2030 target.
  • Eighty-eight per cent of the University’s net carbon emissions come from steam systems and heating.
  • The University installed an electric steam turbine chiller, the first of its kind at a Canadian university, which achieves 82 per cent of the 2030 emission reduction target.
  • Given the scale of the masterplan, a phased approach involving conservation, energy transition, and renewable generation has been established.