Phase One of Bow Valley College’s carbon reduction plan

The College is pleased to share progress on its carbon reduction plan so far.

On Earth Day in April 2023, we announced Bow Valley College’s carbon reduction plan. We are pleased to share progress on this plan so far.

The primary focus of this plan is to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with our heating and electricity. In addition to environmental benefits, reducing our emissions has financial benefits too. The federal carbon tax came into effect in Alberta in January 2020 and is applied to the College’s monthly utility bills. The carbon tax will increase every April at least until 2030, meaning it is getting more expensive to operate carbon-intensive buildings.

Our North Campus and West Campus buildings are both heated through traditional natural gas boilers while South Campus is heated through district energy. This means that hot water is generated offsite at the nearby District Energy Centre then piped to the College. To reduce the emissions associated with our heating, we have negotiated the purchase of carbon-neutral heat from our district energy provider for the 2023-24 fiscal year. Although Bow Valley College is not the only organization on the district energy system, we are the first organization in Calgary to negotiate a contract amendment of this type.

To reduce the emissions associated with our electricity, the College has purchased 9000 MWh (megawatt hours) of Renewable Energy Certificates for the 2023 calendar year. This means the electricity we are purchasing from the grid is coming from wind and hydroelectric sources.

We estimate these purchases will reduce our annual GHG emissions by over 50%. The exact emissions reductions will be confirmed when we conduct our next GHG inventory in early 2024.

We are proud of these initial efforts but recognize that responding and adapting to climate change will be an ongoing journey for Bow Valley College. In addition to more erratic climate patterns, we are seeing shifts in regulatory environments and societal attitudes. We look forward to co-developing solutions to all this uncertainty with our entire campus community and partners.

To learn more about BVC’s carbon reduction efforts, please see our annual Sustainability Report.

Questions or comments? Please contact the Sustainability Office at

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