Thompson Rivers University recently garnered international attention for its eco-friendly initiatives. TRU was ranked North America’s third ‘coolest school’ by the Sierra Club, and also made the Princeton Review’s 2021 Green Honour Roll.
Part of what earned the distinction is the university’s plan to convert the Kamloops campus from natural gas heating to electricity.
Zero Waste & Environmental Programs Coordinator James Gordon says phase one of construction is expected to begin in 2022.
“It will replace all the gas boilers with electric boilers through what’s called a district energy system,” Gordon told CFJC Today. “And the plan is to have three of those mini district energy systems throughout the whole campus.”
To improve it’s sustainability practices, the university has also made a single-use item elimination task force, and in 2021 it will require undergrad students to take a citizenship course which promotes sustainable behavior and social responsibility.
Gordon says the reception from staff and students around the eco-friendly focus has been positive.
“I think it definitely resonates with the students. And we work with a lot of volunteers — we have a student sustainability ambassador program and there’s some real passion and hard work that goes into it,” he notes, “so I think it does make a difference.”