George Brown College launches sustainability institute

The institute will be housed in Limberlost Place, a net-zero carbon emissions building.

A rendering shows the design of Limberlost place. – George Brown College

Key Takeaways:

  • The Brookfield Sustainability institute at George Brown College will support knowledge sharing of smart sustainability strategies.
  • It will be housed in Limberlost place, a soon-to-be-completed mass-timber, net-zero carbon emissions building.
  • The launch of BSI coincides with the release of the Royal Bank of Canada report exploring the technologies and practices needed to cut building emissions.

The Whole Story:

A new institute to fight climate change and build sustainable communities has launched in Toronto. 

George Brown College (GBC) announced that the Brookfield Sustainability Institute (BSI), a new college-based centre of excellence in Ontario, will offer tangible solutions for building sustainable communities that are environmentally, socially, culturally and financially viable.

Located at Limberlost Place, GBC’s soon-to-be-completed mass-timber, net-zero carbon emissions building on Toronto’s waterfront, BSI’s global solutions studio will help companies, municipalities and other institutions develop applied solutions to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.

The college stated that BSI will support knowledge sharing of smart sustainability strategies and develop talent for the future by training students to tackle real-world challenges in the fight against climate change.

“The Brookfield Sustainability Institute is one of the many exciting new developments underway at George Brown College, both in terms of its innovation and its environmental impact,” said Gervan Fearon, president of George Brown College. “The Institute highlights the college’s aim to be a sustainability leader and a force for positive environmental change locally and globally.”

The Institute will also offer up-skilling opportunities for professionals and college and university graduates who want to work in sectors developing smart and sustainable solutions to climate change.

“Climate change is not a problem that governments can solve alone. Collaboration across disciplines and sectors is essential to finding innovative and sustainable solutions,” said Luigi Ferrara, chair and CEO, BSI. “The Brookfield Sustainability Institute brings together knowledge and expertise from diverse experts to share best practices and foster applied projects undertaken by collaborative working groups. Tangible solutions will be realized that can be prototyped and tested with municipal and private sector partners.”

The launch of BSI coincides with the release of the Royal Bank of Canada Climate Action Institute’s landmark report Low Carbon, High Rise: Canada’s $40 Billion Net Zero Building Challenge on decarbonizing Canada’s buildings for a Net Zero future. Created in partnership with BSI, the report explores the technologies and practices needed to cut building emissions, and identifies strategies for overcoming barriers to achieving a Net Zero future.

“Changing how we build and design our homes and offices is one of the best tools Canada can wield against climate change,” said John Stackhouse, senior vice president, office of the CEO, RBC.  “To address affordability and population growth, Canada will need nearly 6 million homes by 2030. But building those homes the way we do now, risks adding to an emissions footprint that’s already too large.  But by changing the way we build, we can turn buildings into powerful drivers of the green transition. It’s a generational opportunity for Canada and we haven’t a moment to lose.”


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