Back to Campus and Commuting (Sustainably)

Energy & Climate Action - 08 July 2022

Inspired by the national Commuter Challenge, the Commuter Challenge at the University of Alberta takes place annually during Environment Week. A friendly competition between work units, its purpose is to encourage members of the UAlberta community to commute more sustainably to and from campus.

Bringing back the Commuter Challenge!

Due to the pandemic and related work from home orders, the Commuter Challenge has been paused for the past couple of years and the last challenge was held in 2019. However, with many members of our university community returning to work on site over the past few months, this was the perfect time to resume the competition. This year the challenge ran from June 6-10, 2022.

This year’s winners

Over one week, more than 100 people across 13 University of Alberta offices and labs participated in the Commuter Challenge. Together, they sustainably travelled 4,952 kilometres, saved 441 litres of fuel and avoided 1,035 kilograms of CO2. That is equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by 1.2 acres of forest in one year!

Most sustainable trips per team
  1. Residence Life - 128 trips
  2. University of Alberta Museums - 121 trips
  3. Rehab Robotics Lab - 97 trips
  4. Library Admin - 70 trips
  5. Sustainability Council - 52 trips
Highest percentage of sustainable trips per team
  1. Utilities (Facilities & Operations) - 100%
  2. University of Alberta Museums - 90%
  3. Student Life, Dean of Students - 88%
  4. Augustana Campus Weekly Dean’s Group - 87%
  5. Sustainability Council - 76%

Many people found the challenge to be a great learning experience. One participant said, “I learned more about how my colleagues normally get to work and we had some co-workers discover how easy it is to carpool given where they live.”

Another participant noted that the challenge was a “great team building activity and an opportunity to learn about sustainable travel options in your area.” Ninety percent of participants say they are motivated to continue commuting sustainably to work and engage in more sustainable behaviours.

Congratulations to everyone who participated, and thank you for working hard to make our world a more sustainable place to live!

Program Highlight: Green Spaces Certification

Looking for more ways to get your lab or office involved in sustainability? Consider getting Green Spaces certified! Incorporate new sustainable practices into your work space (or commit to continuing the great things you are already doing) to earn Bronze, Silver, or Gold certification.

For more information, visit the Green Spaces webpage.