News / Calgary

U of C offers new certificate program in sustainability

One year after launching a five-year plan sustainability strategy, the university has integrated one of the country’s first sustainability programs

Joanne Perdue, chief sustainability officer at the University of Calgary, announced the new Certificate in Sustainability Studies at the university on Thursday.

Jennifer Friesen / Calgary Freelance

Joanne Perdue, chief sustainability officer at the University of Calgary, announced the new Certificate in Sustainability Studies at the university on Thursday.

Sustainability: it’s not just a buzzword. Now, it’s a credential.

The University of Calgary announced a new interdisciplinary Certificate in Sustainability Studies on Thursday – one year after launching their five-year Institutional Sustainability Strategy.

It’s the first program of its kind at the university, and Joanne Perdue, U of C’s chief sustainability officer, said it’s “very unique in Canada.”

The certificate can be integrated into student’s chosen program and is open to the majority of disciplines.

Both students and faculty come from different disciplines – from social work to business to engineering – which is a factor Perdue said reflects the idea of sustainability itself.

“Sustainability’s complex,” she said.

“There’s no one discipline that has all the answers. So what we need to do is to look at this from different disciplinary perspectives. Through that, we’ll be better equipped to unpack some of these complexities and bring different world views into think about how to solve these complex problems.”

The program consists of four core courses and has an emphasis on group projects, which is something Perdue said reflects the institution’s desire to bring people together to be “a part of the solution.”

The new certificate was announced during the release of the 2017 Sustainability Report at the university on Thursday, where Perdue also discussed what was accomplished in the sustainability strategy in the past year in their five-year plan.

From a community garden on campus to 25 lab projects focusing in sustainability challenges, she said the first year has seen a lot of successes and that she’s excited to see what the campus will bring to the table in the next year.

“The idea of sustainability isn’t something thats isolated here or there in the world,” she said. “It’s a global movement.”

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