Our Approach

Our History

The University of Alberta’s Board of Governors endorsed a sustainability commitment and a set of guiding principles in 2008. This paved the way for the creation of an Office of Sustainability, and for sustainability to be included in the university’s strategic plans, including 2011’s Dare to Deliver and 2016’s For The Public Good.

In 2012, Naomi Krogman was named Director of Sustainability Scholarship and Education in the Office of the Provost. Several key developments were made during her tenure. In 2014, the Certificate in Sustainability successfully launched for undergraduates in nine faculties. The following year, Sustainability Scholars piloted a graduate student internship in partnership with the City of Edmonton. Finally, in 2015–16, Naomi Krogman and Apryl Bergstrom led academic consultations for the Sustainability Plan 2016–20, producing A Plan for Deepening Sustainability Education and Scholarship at the University of Alberta.

The Sustainability Council launched in Fall of 2018 as an academic leadership unit promoting and enabling sustainability scholarship at the University of Alberta. We work across all faculties to animate the university’s deep pool of academic interest and expertise in sustainability, bringing academic staff and students from across disciplines into a central conversation. We create avenues for researchers and instructors to connect, open up learning opportunities for every student at the university, and cultivate active and engaged citizens who are committed to building a better world.

Guiding documents

Deepening Sustainability Education and Scholarship

Deepening Sustainability Education and Scholarship outlines a vision that emerged from Sustainability Plan consultations with faculty, staff and students in 2015. The plan collates suggested goals and strategies to help attain that vision and closely informs the Sustainability Council's annual action planning.

Deepening Sustainability Education and Scholarship

Our Commitment and Guiding Principles

The university is committed to instilling sustainability into every aspect of university life. Read the University of Alberta's sustainability commitment and guiding principles, which were endorsed by the Board of Governors in 2008.

Our Commitment and Guiding Principles

For The Public Good

For the Public Good is the university’s institutional strategic plan. The plan outlines five goals we will pursue over a decade and identifies how we will reach them. The plan calls on the campus community to “SUSTAIN our people, our work and the environment.”

For the Public Good


Our place at UAlberta

Students who understand sustainability are able to forge durable connections between ecological renewal, social resilience, peace and prosperity. Sustainable solutions are designed to last for generations. The Sustainability Council works to ensure University of Alberta learners and researchers are exposed to these powerful perspectives.

The Sustainability Council's activities are strategically organized into four areas:

Academic programs

Standing among Canada’s premier research-intensive universities, the classroom, the laboratory and the studio are at the core of what we do. Our mission begins with teaching and research, and the need to inject new thinking informed by sustainability into these practices.

Experiential learning

Experiential learning connects students to their field of study through direct experiences that lead to challenge, reflection, and personal growth. Students engage in self-discovery and learn how to use their talents, creativity and curiosity to contribute to collective action on sustainability.

Educational public events

Not everyone is ready to jump into a course, a certificate or a research project. Public education programming is a crucial first step for introducing sustainability to students, academic staff and community members, fostering an interest that we hope will flare into passion and a deeper academic journey.

Building leadership and active citizenship

Our ultimate success lies in teaching and empowering a generation of young people to uplift people and planet, a mission they will carry forward into graduate studies, research fields, the workforce, government and they community.