The Opportunity

Time for Prosperity: A New Energy Future for Rural Communities (pdf) 

Leading the Way to Community Sustainability in Canada

UNBC was established in 1990 as a research-intensive university in British Columbia. We have 4000 students and a unique mission aimed at the sustainability of vibrant, northern communities.

Energy, Food, Housing, Employment

These are the ingredients of community sustainability and self-reliance. Hundreds of communities in Canada suffer from cycles of boom and bust, few local economic opportunities, and a dependence on global trade for resources and food. Nevertheless, these communities have a strong cultural and economic relationship with the environment and are effective stewards for the sustainable use of natural resources in partnership with industry. The future of both aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities relies on re-establishing connections with the land.


Our two bioenergy plants at UNBC’s Prince George campus have demonstrated how local energy production can be  a catalyst for research, teaching, and public education, all of which are critical to the deployment of effective energy systems. Now, the unique opportunity exists to build on this infrastructure and experience, as well as UNBC’s mission, academic strengths and location to integrate local energy production into on-campus housing and food production.

Why Now?

Northern BC is UNBC’s home and it is experiencing an industrial renaissance vital to provincial and national prosperity. In response, we’re mobilizing our research and education infrastructure, the skills and values of our graduates, and innovation to ensure the coming boom benefits everyone. In particular, the way this university can integrate energy, food, and housing makes UNBC a role model for what is possible in BC and across Canada.