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Energy & climate

Faced with the global and local challenges of climate change, there's an urgent need for more efficient and cleaner energy consumption. At Concordia, the focus is on ensuring that all buildings are as energy-efficient as possible while providing adequate services to the community.

Energy management and data

As Quebec’s most energy-efficient major university for over twenty consecutive years, Concordia University strives for energy-efficiency at every possible opportunity. From designing and building green-certified, next-generation learning facilities to renovating, operating and maintaining buildings more than a century old, every aspect of a building’s lifecycle is considered in managing and reducing energy use — while also maintaining user comfort and key functions of the university.

As an institution, managing and reducing our energy consumption has a number of direct and indirect benefits:

  • Lower overall cost of energy
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
  • Increased occupant comfort
  • Contributing to local power grid stability

Concordia’s success and leadership in energy efficiency is supported in many ways:

  • Stringent equipment and construction standards for renovations, new constructions and infrastructure work.
  • Adhesion to industry standards in energy efficiency, indoor air quality, thermal comfort and lighting
  • Incorporation of green building certifications into new construction and existing buildings (LEED and BOMA)
  • Integrated design approaches for new construction and renovations
  • Perpetual monitoring and assessment of sources of potential energy savings opportunities
  • Proactive approach to identifying, planning and executing energy efficiency projects and related programs
  • Working in cooperation with students and researchers to test and implement state-of-the-art equipment, control strategies and occupant engagement models in our buildings

Our energy data for 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21, along with those of all Québec universities, is publicly available for download through the Minister of Education website.


Greenhouse gas emissions management and data

As an institution of higher education, Concordia University recognises the impact that human activity has on our climate. As such, Concordia feels it must reduce or eliminate its contributions to climate change as a duty to both society and the diversity of life on Earth.

Concordia is responsible for the emission of 18,768 metric tons of greenhouse gases per year. These emissions principally originate from building energy use, commuting to and from campus, and the decomposition of our waste in landfills.

The figure below has been updated from our 2014-2015 GHG Emissions Inventory*.  

Overview of Concordia's greenhouse gas emissions for the years 2014 to 2015. *Note: Updated on 09/27/20. The 2014-2015 figures previously reported contained unit errors that led to the overestimation of our GHG emissions from landfill waste. The previously reported GHG total for 2014-2015 was over 23,000 metric tons.

In 2019, Concordia began to develop its climate change strategies and is actively pursuing the following activities:

  • Conversion of existing natural gas heating to electricity
  • Reducing overall energy use through diligent energy management
  • Increasing the use of on-site renewable energy and energy storage
  • Exploring meaningful carbon offset strategies to cover the remaining, unavoidable emissions
  • Divesting from the fossil fuel industry

For more on the development and adoption of policies and decisions related to climate change read our Climate Action Plan.

BOMA Building Energy Challenge

In alignment with our commitment to continuous improvement, Concordia earned recognition in  BOMA Québec's Building Energy Challenge, an international competition in building energy management that recognizes improvements over time. The ranking doesn’t show the performance of newer buildings, as they are built to be more energy efficient to begin with.

Diamond Distinction

Building owners need to show reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission (GHG) of between 50 and 90 per cent from 2018 to 2021.

  • John Molson Building (MB)

Platinum Distinction

For reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission (GHG) of between 20 and 50 per cent from 2018 to 2021.

  • B (B Annex)
  • GM (Guy-de Maisonneuve)
  • GN (Grey Nun's)
  • M (M Annex)
  • Z (Z Annex)
  • JR (Jesuit Residence)

Silver Distinction

For reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission (GHG) of between 10 and 15 per cent from 2018 to 2021.

  • VA (Visual Arts)
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