The Acadia Sustainability Office was created to advance sustainability initiatives across campus and in the community. Activities are focused in several areas of sustainability including waste, water, energy and climate change, transportation, food, and biodiversity. Our work involves student education and engagement, campus operations, community outreach and partnerships.
There have been many achievements since our work began in 2008. In 2017 Acadia became the first Fair Trade Campus in the Maritimes. In 2022 Acadia became the first Organic Campus in Canada. Supporting our local community is very important. One of the ways we do this is with an ambitious goal to source 50% of our food from local producers. Acadia students are very active in our sustainable food program and started the Acadia Community Farm, a half-acre campus and community garden, in 2008.
Being a coastal campus, protecting oceans and marine resources is especially important to Acadia. We've reduced our water consumption by 50% since 2008. Acadia started a Plastic Free Campus program to reduce single use disposable plastics, such as plastic bags and straws, to protect our oceans, lakes and rivers.
SDG Accord Signing Ceremony with ESST 4003 class and President Ricketts in Nov. 2021
In 2021 Acadia became the first university in Canada to sign the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Accord. Helping to advance the 17 global goals, adopted by the UN in 2015, is an important goal in the Acadia Strategic Plan.
With support from the Town of Wolfville and the Government of Canada Acadia installed a level 3 electric vehicle charging station at the Athletic Centre for campus and community use. It charges an EV in under 30 minutes. We are a pedestrian-friendly campus and encourage active-transportation.
We've welcomed Jane Goodall, Elizabeth May, Vandana Shiva, and many more notable speakers. These public lectures highlight current sustainability issues and inspire action on campus and in the community.
And, finally, one of our proudest achievements is that Acadia's has done its part to meet Canada's commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement by reducing Greenhouse gas emissions by over 30% and now has a goal of becoming a Carbon-Neutral Campus.