Thompson Rivers University (commonly referred to as TRU) is a public teaching and research university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees and vocational training. Its main campus is in Kamloops,
British Columbia, Canada, and its name comes from the two rivers which converge in Kamloops, the North Thompson and South Thompson. The university has a satellite campus in Williams Lake, BC and a distance
education division called TRU-Open Learning. It also has several international partnerships through its TRU World division.
Increasing sustainability is one of TRU’s five Strategic Priorities for 2014-2019. The Strategic Sustainability Plan, which also runs 2014 to 2019, was developed based on the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment,
& Rating System (STARS) by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). TRU was named a STARS Gold institution by AASHE in 2015, and was one of two Canadian universities to
qualify as members of the Founders Circle of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, an energy efficiency financing initiative launched by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.
Campus environmental sustainability
initiatives are principally coordinated by the Office of Environment and Sustainability, which was established in 2009 under inaugural director Dr. Tom Owen. The Kamloops campus underwent an energy audit in 2010,
followed by an energy retrofit encompassing 78 percent of the campus building area. TRU partners with provincial utility BC Hydro’s Continuous Optimization Program on various energy efficiency programs for campus
buildings. Solar hot water heating systems serve Old Main, the Campus Activity Centre and the Culinary Arts Training Centre, and further alternative energy options are being explored. Other initiatives by the Office
of Environment and Sustainability include campus-wide composting, zero-waste stations, water bottle refill stations, a carpool service, and annual events supporting student and community education. The office also
supports sustainability research.
As mandated by provincial legislation in the Thompson Rivers University Act, TRU Open Learning “serves the open learning needs of British Columbia” by providing open, accessible and flexible learning, as well as
recognition of learning through an “open learning educational credit bank” for students. Open Learning’s courses and programs are delivered online or via distance with a continuous enrolment schedule
and an open admission policy, to ensure all types of learners have an opportunity to complete their education and further their careers. All persons are eligible for general admission to Open Learning and can apply
for course registration as well as admission into credential programs. Applicants do not require a specific grade point average (GPA) and are not required to submit transcripts from secondary school to be admitted
to TRU-OL and to register in courses.