Green Campus

LED lighting

CBU is the first campus in Nova Scotia to implement a comprehensive LED road way lighting system that can last up to four times longer than conventional sodium lights and save up to 60 per cent in energy costs while emitting more light. The LED roadway lighting system is also more eco-friendly because they don’t use lead or mercury. In addition to upgrading the exterior lighting system, CBU is also committed to expanding the use of LED lighting to inside buildings on campus.


Wind energy is one of the fastest growing sources of electricity in Canada. The 5.4 MW CBU Wind Farm is located in Gardiner Mines directly across from Cape Breton University and near Nova Scotia Power’s Victoria Junction Sub-station. Project objectives focus on key areas including providing a source of renewable energy to Nova Scotia under the new COMFIT legislation; protecting the environment while ensuring the sustainability of the project; and providing CBU with increased resources to pursue its goal of attaining electrical and heating self-sufficiency. This project is a testament to CBU’s commitment to foster innovation and offer unparalleled research opportunities and hands-on training for students interested in renewable energy technology.


In March 2012, Cape Breton University and BioEnergy Inc. (BEI) began a project with the goal of converting CBU’s more than forty year old coal-fired heating plant to one that can efficiently burn biomass with reduced emissions. To date, the results have been extremely favourable, with significant reductions in ash and sulphur emissions and achieved combustion efficiencies exceeding 85 per cent.

There are many benefits to producing heat using biomass, which is made of 100 per cent renewable and recycled resources.  It significantly reduces emissions of greenhouse gases sulphur and ash. The fuel source can also be made using clean wood waste diverted from municipal landfills or a combination of shredded waste paper, tree trimmings, sawmill waste – practically anything that has been alive can be biomass. Wood pellets can be made from dedicated energy crops such as willow, alders, hay and straw. CBU is currently growing hybrid willows on campus that will later be used as biomass for the University’s heating plant.

With very few complications since the project began, it is expected that Cape Breton University will be a biomass only heat producing campus by this September.

Active Transportation

CBU is an Advisory Member of the CBRM Active Transportation Committee and has provided advice and funding towards its ‘Active Transportation Plan’, in particular, its signature project – a 10 km multi-use pathway for pedestrians and cyclists that will connect Cape Breton University to Reserve Mines and the Mayflower Mall.

Community Garden Project

Cape Breton University’s Community Garden Project is an initiative of faculty, staff, students and community members. Through collective engagement in gardening we aspire to create awareness and to promote action around issues of sustainability, healthy living, and community building. The garden is seen as a site for launching teaching and research projects that allow the CBU community to reflect on its own practices around sustainability and to link our university with initiatives in the broader community and globe.

Herb Garden

Picture of woman holding herbs from the CBU Herb Garden
The garden in a portion of the courtyard is both aesthetic and edible. This garden contains herbs, which can be used in cooking or as a decorative flower in the garden if left unharvested. Both the catering chef and the chef from the Hospitality and Tourism Management program use the herbs in the garden for cooking and teaching.

The following herbs are available for use:

  • Garlic and garden chives
  • Tricolored Sage
  • Sweet Fennel
  • Golden Lemon and Mother of Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Winter Savory
  • Oregano
  • French Tarragon
  • Dill


The Financial Policies and Procedures manual (30.30) states:

“Where environmentally friendly procurement does not conflict with established principles of good materials management, the Purchasing Department will, where appropriate, assist requisitioners in specifying materials and services which will lessen the negative impact of the use of that material on the environment”.

The Purchasing Clerk will procure, whenever available and economically feasible, products and services which:

  • Contain post-consumer recycled materials.
  • Contain materials that lend themselves to recycling.
  • Contain a minimum of non-recyclable packaging.
  • Are not inherently harmful to the environment, where less harmful alternatives are available.


Battery recycling helps to reduce the number of batteries being disposed as municipal solid waste.

Cell phone recycling to 911 emergency services

Evergreen computer recycling sells off lease machines, donations to not-for-profits

Toner cartridge recycling

Replacement of individual servers with a blade server infrastructure – energy efficiency

Smart Classrooms – remote access to equipment allows shut-down when presenter leaves equipment powered on

Provision of Moodle to faculty and students to allow access to course materials/readings online, eliminating the need for a high-volume of photocopied handouts

Beginning use of on-line course evaluations

Plan to reduce rates for student printing  if ‘double-sided print’ is selected

Remote access to equipment to allow shut-downs when presenter leaves equipment powered on

Facilities Management

Custodial Services through Crothall Canada Services

Food Service through Chartwells College and University Dining Services

  • Local Purchasing
  • Styrofoam-free
  • Sustainable Seafood Policy
  • Certified Fair Trade Organic Coffee
  • 100% Compostable Napkins and one-at-a-time Dispensers
  • Cage Free Eggs
  • Organic Products
  • Oil and Grease Recycling
  • Ecoflame Chafing Fuel

Solid waste collection, disposal, and recycling