Sustainability Policy and Action Plan: University of Victoria showcases on-the-ground implementation



The meet-and-greet for Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation at the University of Victoria starts at 8:30am on October 10. Program concludes at 2:30pm after a walkabout. To download the agenda, click here. To register, contact Jennifer Wong at either (250) 721-8189 or Registration will be capped at 40.

CAVI- 2008 showcasing series - uvic green roofs


Doing Business Differently

A community of more than 25,000 people, the University of Victoria (UVic) is a case study for green buildings and compact growth. Over the past five years, UVic has been able to transition from an incremental approach in planning and resource management to a water-centric approach that is much more holistic and integrated –– the new business as usual.

“This transformational experience resulted in a new vision for constructing water CAVI - 2008 showcasing series - sarah webband energy efficient buildings in a built environment that respects the natural environment,” reports Sarah Webb of the Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability.” UVic is leading by example in implementing approaches and practices that achieve Design with Nature outcomes, and reduce physical impacts resulting from intensive urbanization.”


On-the-Ground Successes

UVic has seen a number of successes in the past decade when it comes to comprehensive water management — notably the integrated rainwater/stormwater management plan, the green building program, and the treated wastewater program have helped to reduce both potable water consumption and rainwater leaving campus even while the campus has continued to grow in size.

The surrounding municipalities now have an opportunity to learn from, and adapt, the UVic experience. On October 10, the Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability and the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance are co-hosting Towards a New Infrastructure – Integrated and Water-Centric Planning at the University of Victoria and Beyond.

Showcasing uvic - logos

For a program overview and registration details, click on this link to download a copy of Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation at the University of Victoria. The UVic event is the third and final in the series organized by Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI) in collaboration with the Capital Regional District and the Green Infrastructure Partnership.


Sustainability Policy and Action Plan

Throughout 2008, the Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability is undertaking a process to develop a new and innovative Sustainability Policy and Action Plan. This one of the key strategies to help achieve the UVic mission:

  • “We are committed to promoting the development of a sustainable society through our programs of education and research and the stewardship of our own financial and physical resources.”

A sustainability policy will provide an overview of UVic’s institutional commitment to sustainability and will empower individuals, offices, departments and units to take action on incorporating sustainability into their daily activities.

A sustainability action plan will provide a formal framework for identifying opportunities, establishing strategic priorities, and developing resourcing strategies for sustainability. It will also include a campus generated vision, goals, sample actions and indicators of success.
“On October 10, participants will get a sneak peek at sections of the draft action plan and will have an opportunity to provide ideas and input from their own knowledge and experiences,” explains Sarah Webb.  “It will be a unique opportunity to help shape the future of sustainability at UVic.”

UVIC showcasing - sustainability plan


Possible Template for the Bowker Creek Initiative?

“When we designed the Showcasing Innovation program, we wanted to achieve a progression,” reports Jody Watson, Harbours and Watersheds Coordinator with the Capital Regional District. “From a road in View Royal…to a neighbourhood in Langford…to a mini-municipality at UVic.”

“Because UVic is situated in the Bowker Creek headwaters, we saw an opportunity to connect the dots between what UVic is doing and what the current multi-jurisdictional Bowker Creek Urban Watershed Renewal Initiative would like to see,” continues Jody Watson, who is also Chair of the Bowker Creek Initiative.

“UVic is applying water-centric planning across the campus, and is leading by example in doing business differently in the Bowker Creek watershed. The UVic experience can inform how three partner municipalities guide watershed redevelopment,” concludes Jody Watson. “Specifically, the UVic Sustainability Policy and Action Plan could serve as a useful template for the purposes of watershed renewal. Other local governments may also find the UVic template helpful and/or adaptable.”


Sustainability Plan Topic Areas:

The UVic Sustainability Plan encompasses eight topic areas, each of which has possible applications at the municipal scale:

  • Grounds, Food, and Urban Agriculture
  • Water and Waste Management
  • Education, Research, and Civic Engagement
  • Energy, Climate, and Transportation
  • Green Buildings and Renovations
  • Purchasing and Social Responsibility
  • Healthy Campus Community
  • Governance, Decision making, and Sustainability Resources

Each topic will have a format of: Vision; Principles; Goals; Sample Actions; Quantitative Indicators. The last three are especially relevant to municipalities.


Natural City Vision:

On October 10, Councillor Vic Derman of the District of Saanich will round out the UVic program by elaborating on his vision for a Natural City. He will pose the UVIC showcasing - vic derman (120p)question: What do we want this place to look like in 50 years, and how will we get from here to there?

Well-versed in a water-centric way-of-thinking, Vic Derman chaired the organizing committee and was the driving force behind the highly successful 2006 Water in the City Conference, held in Victoria.


UVIC showcasing - 2008 schedule

About the 2008 Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series

The goal of the Showcasing Innovation Series is to promote networking, inform and educate practitioners, and help local governments move ‘from awareness to action’ in doing business differently — The New Business As Usual — through sharing of approaches, tools, experiences and lessons learned that will ultimately inform a pragmatic strategy for climate change adaptation.

UVIC showcasing - design with nature (september 08)


Previous Water Bucket Stories:

Three ssories about Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation at the University of Victoria and the Capital Region series as a whole were posted previously:


Registration for Showcasing Innovation at UVic:

To register, contact Jennifer Wong at either (250) 721-8189 or Registration will be capped at 40. For an agenda and registration details, click on Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation at the University of Victoria.

UVIC showcasing - format


Who is CAVI?

The CAVI Partnership comprises the British Columbia Water & Waste Association, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, the provincial Ministries of Environment and Community Development, and the Green Infrastructure Partnership. CAVI is co-funded by the Province and the Real Estate CAVI logo - june 2008 revised (240p)Foundation of British Columbia. The Water Sustainability Committee of the BCWWA is the managing partner and is providing program delivery. For more information about the CAVI Partnership and what it wants to do, please click here



View royal - create a legacy


Posted September 2008