Sustainability in Education


In 2012, our flagship project, the Sustainability and Education Policy Network Canada (SEPN-Canada) began began the world’s first large-scale, national-level research collaboration by collecting and analyzing comparable data across Canada’s formal education system.

SEPN-Canada was funded by a $2 million Partnership Grant from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), with an additional $1 million in funding from our partner and contributor organizations.

SEPN-Canada’s ambitious research program has involved examining and comparing the range of sustainability policies and practices being developed, implemented, and experienced in Canadian primary, secondary, and post-secondary contexts.

The work has included studies of all 13 provincial and territorial Ministries of Education, 374 school divisions, and 220 accredited post-secondary institutions in Canada. SEPN’s research in Canada and its research toolkit have received much interest by researchers and policy analysts internationally, within and beyond education.

Access our comprehensive archive of our scholarly publications, technical reports, research briefs, infographics, and methods documents and learn more about SEPN’s impact.


SEPN’s research is conducted through three main research methods and includes an extensive strategy for ensuring its research results are useful and used by key educational stakeholders, including policy-makers, sustainability staff, educational practitioners, and researchers.

  • Document Analysis: Sustainability census and content analysis of existing policy initiatives
  • Survey: Quantitative examination of on the ground experiences with sustainability uptake in educational institutions as well as broad relationships between sustainability practices and related policies
  • Site Analysis: In-depth comparative case studies examining the relationships between sustainability practices of educational institutions and related policies
  • Knowledge Mobilization: Ensuring research-based analyses of sustainability in education policy and practice are taken up by target audiences through print and digital media, meetings and interactive workshops, and collaborative online work environments

Learn More