Schulich Prof engages community to shrink York’s carbon footprint
Schulich Professor Burkard Eberlein set out to reduce York’s carbon emissions in his 2021-23 Provostial Fellowship. Through the program, Fellows have traditionally engaged the community to take action on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Challenge – a key commitment of the University Academic Plan.
Eberlein’s project, “Advancing Carbon Neutrality at York: Reimagining Mobility,” took aim at reducing emissions from commuting and travel to studying, research and carrying out University business activities.
In 2022, Eberlein surveyed York community members about their travel and commuting routines. This year, to further engage the York community Eberlein worked with Alexandre Magnin, a francophone illustrator, who produced an animated video (available in English and French) highlighting the University’s current carbon footprint with a call to action suggesting how community members can help reduce it:
“Be more mindful of the choices that you make when it comes to commuting and travel,” Eberlien says. “Many of us have habits and routines that we can examine more closely. For example, if you’re driving to campus regularly, are there ways you can set up a car pool with colleagues or classmates? This would be a small but meaningful, positive change.”
Eberlein is co-chair of the Transportation Working Group that will develop proposals in this area (e.g. York business travel policy), in the context of York’s new sustainability framework. He is also looking forward to sharing his comprehensive slide deck and report on how York can reduce carbon emissions from commuting and business travel when it is officially released.