The Living Lab

The Living Lab Research Project

College of the Rockies became part of a national research program aiming to encourage post-secondary institutions to become leaders for climate action through innovation. With the support of College & Institutes Canada, College of the Rockies will conduct a campus wide research project to increase awareness and promote behavioural change to reduce greenhouse gases emissions during the 2022/2023 academic year.

The Living Lab Research Project aims to reduce the campus carbon footprint using a circular economy approach. As a continuity of the Composting Project, the project aims to increase the amount of organic waste composted on campus. The compost produced will be used to grow food on site, that will then be consumed in the cafeteria and through the Professional Cook program. The team will launch different educational campaigns to support behavioural change in students and employees including use of the newly installed composting bins, compost best practices, and GHG footprints.

This large-scale demonstration will reduce both volume and transportation distance of waste to the landfill. It will encourage circular food production and conscious consumption. The project will replace a portion of the cafeterias imported lettuce with greens grown right on campus. All these actions will lead to a decrease in the College of the Rockies’ production of greenhouse gases.


Our Team


College of the Rockies Living Lab Team.

Sophie Larsen, Primary Investigator, slarsen@cotr.bc.ca

Sarah Massardier, Student Researcher

Ashraf Hussain, Student Researcher

Natalja Polzin, Student Researcher

College of the Rockies Sustainability Committee

Meredith Funston, Cranbrook Food Recovery, Community Organization

Paul Tiege, Manager, Applied Research & Innovation

Living Lab and Colleges & Institutes Canada logos.
A student standing next to a food composter.
Three members of the Living Lab Team standing having a discussion.
Two people standing next to a food composter having a discussion.