The Applied Research category encompasses how research mandates, as well as data, evidence and scientific information
help advance the SDGs.

Vancouver Island University Maps its Contribution to the SDGs

Vancouver Island University – Nanaimo, BC

Project: UN SDGs & VIU: Vancouver Island University SDG Highlight Report

SDGs: All

Project duration: July 2018-April 2020

Functional Category: All

UN SDGs & VIU: In 2018, Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI) was approached by Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) Office of the President and asked to analyze the ways in which VIU was working towards the advancement of the UN SDGs.

MABRRI began this review by exploring how sustainable development applied to post-secondary institutions, and then assessed the ways in which VIU was contributing towards the advancement of the SDGs. By reviewing VIU’s educational and research foci, policies, community engagement, infrastructure, services, and other initiatives, MABRRI produced a final report and a summary report highlighting VIU’s contributions. A list of recommendations was also provided to VIU’s Office of the President.

Stakeholders Involved: VIU’s Office of the President, staff, faculty, and students, MABRRI


Project Lead: Dr. Pamela Shaw (Research Director, Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute), pam.shaw@viu.ca

More info:

This highlight report, as well as a summary report, can be found on VIU’s Sustainability webpage, here:

VIU & the UN SDGs – Highlight Report

This webpage also includes a Vancouver Island University and the SDGs video series, produced by Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI) and The Swivel Project. The video series was funded by the Government of Canada’s Sustainable Development Goals Funding Program.

Contact information : Anna Lawrence (Senior Research Assistant, MABRRI) – anna.lawrence@viu.ca 



Canadore College’s grow pod sprouts into success 

Canadore College – Ontario

Project: Campus Living Lab – Off Grid Grow Pods

SDGs: 2,3,4,9,11,12,13

Project duration: September 2022 – April 2023

Project Budget :70,000$

Functional Category: Applied Research

In May 2022, Canadore College was selected as one of ten demonstration sites nationwide by Colleges and Institutes Canada.

Canadore College focused on using climate resistant sustainable technologies (solar) to displace the use of fossil fuels to grow food, and to help find solutions to create food sovereignty for rural and Indigenous communities.

The project goals included the following:

  • Increase production for our culinary programs and restaurant. 
  • Consult with Indigenous community to determine their needs
  • Conduct nutrient testing to compare food grown in soil versus hydroponic.
Example of the production




Canadore College relocated the pod to from its original location to connect in with our Clean Water Initiative, linked here. Water treated from various locations (rain, snow, pond, air vapor) will be used to feed the hydroponic system.

As of January 25th, 2023, 1231.96 KG CO2e have been offset.  Students have benefited from applied research opportunities and have learned about sustainable production and embodied carbon.

The project has been a great success and has generated interest from post-secondary institutions, industry, and rural communities.

The second larger pod will be added in Spring 2023.


Stakeholders Involved :

  1. Shawn Chorney (Vice President Strategic Infrastructure, Indigenous and Learner Services)
  2. Mike Miscio (Senior Director, Infrastructure and Public Safety)
  3. Carly Renaud (Manager, Indigenous Research and Development)
  4. Lou-Anne Robinson (Coordinator, School of Culinary Arts)
  5. Angela Proudfoot (Project Administrator – Clean Water and Food Security)
  6. Rebecca Morin (Web & Social Media Designer)
  7. Jason Chirico (Student, School of Environmental Studies)
  8. Shane Ralli (Student, School of Environmental Studies)
  9. Dr. Letitia-Nadalin-Penno (Dean, Faculty of Environmental Studies, and Health Science)
  10. Jesse Russell (Project Leader – Sustainable Development)

Project LeadJesse Russell (Project Leader – Sustainable Development)- jesse.russell@canadorecollege.ca


New Brunswick Community College conducted research to share sustainable development goals best practices into the organization

New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) – New Brunswick

Project: Weekly Internal Briefs

SDGs: 4 – 8 – 9 – 10 – 13.

Project Duration: Sept 2020 to Sept 2022

Functional Category: Applied Research

The internal weekly brief was sent to various staff throughout the college, including the Senior Executive Team and the majority of staff in leadership positions.

The briefs were organized around 4 “strategic framing questions” for the purposes of providing research and deeper insights on areas of strategic and operational importance. The strategic framing questions for the weekly briefs were developed with senior leadership to guide insight and analysis in the areas listed and are explicitly related to understanding and increasing social impact in SDG-related areas.

The briefs shared key points from research pieces and were complemented in certain scenarios by analysis by NBCC’s Policy Advisor. These briefs formed a repository of information and examples of best practices for the purposes of integrating sustainable development goals into college operations and strategy.

Stakeholders Involved: Staff.

Project Lead : Jamie Watson – Advisor, Policy and Engagement, jamie.watson@nbcc.ca

More info: Please see here the briefs developed by NBCC

Highlighting SDGs within Selkirk College’s State of the Basin community monitoring project

Selkirk College – British Columbia

: State of the Basin indicators and the SDGs

SDGs: All

Project duration: Continuous

Functional Category: Applied Research

The State of the Basin indicators provide data to monitor well-being in the Columbia Basin-Boundary Region of British Columbia. Each indicator has now been flagged with the corresponding SDGs it is related to. These SDGs were selected by cross-referencing keywords and datasets from the State of the Basin indicators with the SDGs’ targets and indicators. By linking State of the Basin indicators to the SDGs, the local lens of these global goals has been created. These connections help inform and motivate local decision-making to contribute to the shared global vision to achieve the SDGs.

Stakeholders Involved: Rural Development Institute, local community

Project Lead: Jayme Jones (State of the Basin) Laura Nessman (Sustainability Coordinator) and Nicola Herman (SDG Intern)

More info:State of the Basin indicators


NSCC Achieves Top Marks with Gold Certification from the SDG aligned Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS)  

Nova Scotia Community College – Nova Scotia

Project: NSCC & STARS

SDGs: All

Functional category: Applied Research & Finance and Admin

Project duration: August 2019-April 2020

STARS (Sustainability, Tracking, and Rating System):  STARS is a program of AASHE (The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education). It is a self-report framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance in all aspects of their institution. An institution can earn ratings ranging from reporter, bronze, silver, gold and platinum. AASHE has directly linked the program to the SDGs and its various credit categories have been linked to specific SDGs. The credit categories include: Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning and Administration. NSCC recently submitted for STARS 2.2 and a received a gold certification. The NSCC sustainability team worked collaboratively with various departments to gather data and information on sustainable development initiatives at all NSCC sites.

Stakeholders Involved: Institution staff, senior leaders/upper management, students (Facilities Management, Occupational Health and Safety, Human Resources, Procurement, Academic Departments, Diversity and Inclusion, Campus Sustainability Committees, students, facilities management staff, and faculty)

Project Lead: Michael Chapman, Manager Infrastructure, Sustainability & Space Planning, Michael.chapman@nscc.ca

More info: NSCC’s 2020 STARS submission 



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