Campus Sustainability Office

students studying

The University aims to encourage research and learning that support campus based sustainability initiatives and that address local, regional, national and global sustainability concerns. We are also committed to reducing the ecological impact of course delivery.  

When our Environmental Studies program launched in 1970, it was one of the first interdisciplinary undergraduate environment programs to emerge worldwide.

UWinnipeg remains a leader in sustainability education, offering six streams in Environmental Studies and Sciences and a variety of sustainability courses across other disciplines. 

Sustainability education also reaches beyond classrooms and labs in innovative extracurricular initiatives that allow students to draw connections between their lives and urgent environmental issues.

Since 2005, with the help of the working group and various campus departments, the University:

  • Partnered with the student group SUNSET (Sustainable University Now, Sustainable Environment Tomorrow) to develop proposals for campus-focused sustainability research projects and posted these to the campus sustainability website.

  • Developed a research proposal to investigate the ecological impacts of classroom delivery of instruction and identify ways of reducing these impacts and publishing a best-practices compendium for use by University of Winnipeg faculty.

  • Developed various proposals and initiatives for reducing paper consumption by setting “paperless exams”, recommending “e-books” as course texts, and recommending shifting to on-line course and instructor evaluation processes and ethics submissions.

  • Developed and implemented a Campus Sustainability Recognition Award conferred annually at Spring Convocation both to a student and a faculty member / support staff employee who have made noteworthy contributions to the advancement of campus sustainability.

  • Developed a proposal for an On-campus Carbon Off-Set Program which would involve submitting proposals for capital renovation projects.

  • Offers courses like the Philosophy Department’s “Philosophy of Nature” and International Development Studies’ “Participatory Local Development” that provide students outside of the environmental studies stream the opportunity to engage with critical issues.

  • Approved a Certificate in Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility through the University’s Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) program. This five course certificate covers topics like climate change action planning and sustainability marketing. The first classes will be offered in January of 2018.

  • Hosts an annual sustainability festival, Grass Routes, organized by the Campus Sustainability Office and the Students Association (UWSA). 

  • The Biology department mobilizes student volunteers to plant and tend hundreds of seedlings that are available to community members free of charge at a Biology Plant Giveaway in May. In addition to providing experiential learning opportunities to students, these kinds of events garner positive media coverage for the University and serve to foster community relations.

Research and Innovation

Interdisciplinary efforts allow faculty to investigate environmental issues from multiple angles while providing students with opportunities for deeper exploration of environmental issues. Below are some representative examples of the kind of sustainability related research taking place at UWinnipeg:

    • Dr. Alan Diduck of the Environmental Studies and Sciences department and Dr. Kirit Patel of Menno Simons College are currently collaborating on Judicial environmentalism and the poor: Examining the impacts of green benches of state high courts and National Green Tribunals in India, a project which aims to create a dialogue between Canada and India around green policy and practical outcomes.

    • The Prairie Climate Center, a partnership between the University and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), seeks to centralize climate change data and distribute to relevant stakeholders as a means to move, as they put it, “From Risk to Resilience.” Recent publications include Building a Climate-Resilient City, a report that outlines positive steps communities can take to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

    • Dr. Rafael Otfinowski (Biology) and his research assistant Hollie Swart are working on two research projects that examine the range of increasing drought and flood conditions in the Prairies and exploring how they will impact the function of plant communities.

    • In FY2016, the University initiated the Norway-Canada Sustainable Energy Project, a research partnership with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Through this project, 20 students will be funded to study renewable energy and energy policy under the supervision of an advisor from each university. This program will culminate in a symposium in Norway in 2018.

    • One of the coordinators of this project is Geography faculty member Dr. Patricia Fitzpatrick, who was the recipient of the 2016 Campus Sustainability Recognition award. Dr. Fitzpatrick has made significant contributions to environmental, social, and economic sustainability at The University of Winnipeg and within the wider community. Her work over the last twenty years has focused on better environmental governance surrounding large-scale development in Canada. She is an expert in environmental assessment and has been involved in reviews of Manitoba’s hog industry, the Keeyask hydroelectric project, and Manitoba Hydro’s Bipole III Transmission Line, among others.



  • Our current goals can be found in our 2017 Sustainability Strategy HERE
  • Details on our most recent accomplishments can be found in our annual performance reports

More information about current academic opportunities can be found HERE