ÉTS is the first Montréal university to attain carbon neutrality

ÉTS attains its target earlier than expected

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Signature of the declaration of climate emergency, September 2019

Even though its initial target date for carbon neutrality was 2030, ÉTS was able to attain this ambitious objective this year, thanks to a unique and innovative system that not only allows it to offset its carbon footprint by purchasing Gold Standard certified carbon offset credits, but also to invest in research projects aimed at reducing GHG emissions.

In March 2019, following in the footsteps of the global movement entitled La planète s’invite à l’université, ÉTS committed to producing a carbon audit and divesting itself of fossil energy sources. Moving toward carbon neutrality was a promise that is in keeping with ÉTS’ values and its determination to play an active role in the fight against climate change.

A look back

In September 2019, by way of expressing the desire of ÉTS to reduce its carbon footprint, François Gagnon, Director General of ÉTS, signed the declaration of a climate emergency, thus undertaking three structural commitments:

  • A commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030, or 2050 at the latest.
  • A commitment to allocating more resources to research aimed at fighting climate change and developing related skills.
  • A commitment to increase the availability of environmental and sustainability education in academic programs on campuses and in community-awareness programs.

Much more than a symbolic signature, this action led to a pooling of efforts and initiatives among all members of the ÉTS community toward meaningful and sustainable social change.

Three pillars of carbon neutrality

  • Measure: ÉTS compiled an inventory of its GHG emissions for 2018-2019 under the supervision of Professor Annie Levasseur, an international expert in measuring the impact of climate change.
  • Reduce: ÉTS has been the most energy efficient campus in Québec for decades, and is constantly developing new energy recovery and efficiency projects. Future building developments at ÉTS will be designed with carbon neutrality as a target.
  • Offset: ÉTS has developed a unique offset system with high added value based on the following actions:
    • Purchase of carbon credits that meet the highest quality standards in the world (Gold Standard certification) through the NPO Planetair, which was ranked number 1 by Protégez-vous in 2020 in the area of selling carbon credits;
    • Creation of the Fonds de recherche ÉTS sur les changements climatiques (FRECC – ÉTS research fund for climate change), which finances research projects involving technologies for reducing, adapting to, measuring and modelling climate change. The first call for projects for the FRECC will be launched on June 16, 2021;
    • Creation of the Planetair+ÉTS product. This unique collaboration with Planetair will enable ÉTS to invest in the future through applied research aimed at developing even more efficient reduction technologies, with 20% of proceeds from product sales donated back to the FRECC. The product will be accessible to all clients who wish to carry out carbon offsets.

The rich and diversified expertise of ÉTS researchers in the fight against climate change provides inspiration to innovate and position ourselves as a leader in the field. We are committed, and we walk the talk.

For more information concerning the Planetair+ÉTS product:produit Planetair+ÉTS

Renseignements :
Sustainable Development Team
General Secretariat
devdurable@etsmtl.ca

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