Carleton University is continuing to implement actions and programs within its Energy Master Plan. This plan provides key strategic direction for achieving reductions in energy usage and emissions reduction, as well as utility and carbon cost savings and campus engagement towards the university’s plan and individual actions. Carleton has set aggressive targets towards carbon reduction with a 50 per cent reduction by 2030 and carbon neutral by 2050. You can find out more about the work towards energy and carbon reduction in our Energy Master Plan.


  • Pursue the strategic objectives as identified in the Carleton Energy Master Plan
  • Minimize greenhouse gas emissions associated with the operation of the university campus and related infrastructure to support a progression to a 50 per cent reduction by 2030 and a zero-carbon campus by 2050
  • Achieve a 50 per cent reduction in Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 2030, 100 per cent by 2050 (2005 baseline).
  • Increase the use of on-campus renewable energy sources
  • Reduce energy consumption through implementing energy efficiency and conservation measures.
  • Implement innovations, upgrades, preventative maintenance and best practice solutions towards energy management and environmental protection
  • Actively engage the campus community in energy use and reduction through improved targeted communications and data sharing

What's Being Done?

Switch to LED lighting

In 2018, over 1,200 exterior lighting fixtures including parking lots, roadways, pathways and tunnels, were replaced with more energy efficient LEDs. This project will provide annual savings of 652,000 kWh. With funding coming in part from the Green Revolving Fund, tunnel lighting was also included. The overall LED lighting project will save the equivalent CO2 emissions from 93 homes energy for one year and provide annual cost savings of an estimated $115,000.

Green Buildings

Carleton University has committed to ensuring that all new construction and major renovations achieve a minimum rating of 3 out of 5 globes with the Green Globes Rating system. To date 11 buildings on campus have been certified to this standard. Find out more about Carleton’s commitment to Green Buildings and the measures and initiatives involved.

Energy Retrofits

Large scale energy retrofits have been completed in Athletics, Robertson Hall, Loeb, Mackenzie, Minto CASE, Dunton Tower and Maintenance Building. This has seen targeted energy reduction measures including building assessment and energy audits, LED re-lamping, replacing control systems, retrofitting plumbing fixtures with high efficiency, IT computer sleep software and improvements to building exteriors.

To date, within the five initial buildings included as part of the first phase of energy retrofit programs, there have been annual cost savings of $660,342 and GHG reductions of 1281 equivalent CO2 tons. A number of other buildings have been targeted for future implementation and retrofits.

Promotion and engagement to individual departments to encourage energy conservation has also been further developed. This is included as part of the Green Workplace checklist. Targeted promotion in residence has seen the installation of Energy Display Screens to provide real-time data regarding energy use to all residents. In addition, the development of a sustainable living floor has ensured wider promotion of best practices.


Carleton Sustainable Energy Research Centre

Carleton University established the Carleton Sustainable Energy Research Centre (CSERC) in 2009. The research centre was just one initiative in a larger effort by the University to develop research and teaching programs in sustainable energy. Through the research centre, Carleton University undertakes world-class research and offers students a choice of academic programs to prepare for their role as the next generation of professionals and leaders. Canada will need both innovative engineering and progressive policies in sustainable energy over the next decade to address and profit from tackling the emerging challenges. Neither technology nor policy in isolation will be sufficient.

Carleton University is expanding its research in modern sustainable residential design. The Carleton Research and Innovation in Sustainable Energy (C-RISE) house will make use of solar thermal energy, seasonal thermal storage, and provide a test bed for various innovative concepts with the aim of reducing the overall energy demands. Single-family detached is the dominant form of housing in the residential sector which contributes to 17% of Canada’s total energy end use. As such, the research conducted on C-RISE will be invaluable in finding ways to reduce energy consumption in the residential sector.