University of Northern British Columbia is located in Prince George, BC., and is home to over 4,000 students each year.

It’s western Canada’s best small university, and Canada’s Green University.  Wait a second. “Green University”? What is that even supposed to mean?

We’ve all heard of global warming, climate change, or environmentally friendly. Different companies come up with all kinds of strategies and campaigns to promote how each and every one of their consumers can make their mark on the world for the better. Starbucks has branded tumblers and coffee mugs made from recycled products. TenTrees plants 10 trees for every item sold. Even this week, May 27th to 31st is ‘Bike to Work Week’ in which we are all encouraged to not use our own vehicles and find alternative ways to work.

So then what makes a building “green”? Well, with more and more people concerned about our lovely home planet, more and more buildings are being designed with that in mind. Solar panel roofs for energy or more windows instead of lights and electricity.  Tiocoat, a “high-strength elastomeric coating”, provides protection for your roof and reflects sunlight to make the building (and in turn, the earth) cooler. They specialize in white roof and flat roof coatings.

All around us, society is contributing to save the environment in whichever ways possible. More specifically, buildings that are being built these days are LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). LEED Certification is a way of rating water and energy and other resources conservation.

In which case, the University of Northern British Columbia is a stellar example of a “green” building. Since 2007, when UNBC pledged itself to being Canada’s top environmentally friendly university, the school has received many awards recognizing its “green-ness”.

  • First place for the top campus sustainability project in North America in 2010 by the American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education
  • The Environmental Stewardship award for 2011 from the Clean Energy Association of BC,
  • Voted #1 in Canada by students for environmental commitment in 2011, and
  • One of Canada’s Greenest Employers, 2012.

But how exactly do they do it? How is UNBC ‘Canada’s Green University’?

Among different ways of keeping their student/staff body informed on how to make a positive differences in the environment, such as “Green Day” and several programs in the industry, the actual building itself is advanced in being eco-friendly. The heating of the school is thanks to the Bioenergy Project, a combination of a wood pellet system, as well as a biomass gasification system.


There are a lot of ways we can ALL get in on keeping our precious planet a clean environment. So next time, take the bus or walk, recycle what you can and KEEP OUR EARTH GREEN!



Written by: Sonja Olsson

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