New research on decarbonizing the U of T community to begin

Climate Positive Energy branding against background of transformers and big sky
Photo courtesy Climate Positive Energy

Congratulations to the interdisciplinary research team awarded funding by Climate Positive Campus and Climate Positive Energy for their project “Decarbonizing the U of T community: How can we enable more sustainable and equitable personal choices across the three campuses?”

The team members are Marianne Hatzopoulou, Eric Miller, Daniel Posen, Khandker Nurul Habib, Heather MacLean, Sham Gamage, Junshi Xu (Civil Engineering), Matt Adams (UTM Geography), Karen Chapple (UTSG Geography), Steven Farber (UTSC Geography).

Project description

We know little about U of T’s share of greenhouse gas emissions in the City of Toronto, and how the U of T community’s commuting habits and other personal choices contribute to our emissions. This project combines depth and breadth by analyzing in detail the factors that influence travel behaviour to and from campus, together with a broader analysis correlating carbon literacy with personal environmental action across a range of other activities (e.g., diet, air travel, home heating) among our community members. This project will develop a 7-day commuting survey to assess the travel patterns in the U of T committee and estimate the GHG impact of the trips. This will provide understanding into how transportation infrastructure is meeting the needs of the community, and where spatial and social inequities in emissions exist. Additional survey questions and curriculum analysis will collect data on other personal environmental actions, along with knowledge and education pertaining to carbon footprints. With this information, interventions and knowledge mobilization will be trialed in the community to foster carbon literacy and sustainable, active travel.

About project funders

University of Toronto’s Climate Positive Energy research initiative and Climate Positive Campus are supporting research that assists the University in reaching its net-negative 2050 campus goals, funding 4 projects with a total of $400,000 in grants for 2 years. The projects represent 16 interdisciplinary PIs across U of T’s tri-campus.

Achieving the campus climate positive 2050 goal requires a major transformation of the campus and a new model of sustainable growth. These projects represent an opportunity to innovate and advance science, technology, policy, and frameworks that can be proven and piloted at U of T as a living lab. We are very excited to announce four CPC-CPE projects focused on the themes renewable energy, energy efficiency, health, well-being and behaviour, and emissions accounting.

Explore all funded projects announced April 6, 2022.