- Created on Sunday, 22 September 2013 19:49
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By ALEXANDRA MONTANA
The College’s Sustainability Project remains on track to achieve its goals by 2015.
Taryn Wilkinson, sustainability co-ordinator, says while the 2012/2013 term has proven to be a difficult year, the committee members are confident they can achieve their targets.
Wilkinson says, “We have many projects planned over the next two years aimed at achieving these targets. We are also looking at engaging our students and employees to assist us in achieving these goals over the next two years.”
The Sustainability Project’s objectives are to reduce paper, electricity and water consumption, as well as reducing waste and carbon emissions.
Wilkinson says the committee has received a positive response on the water bottle refill stations, with requests for more to be installed.
“We constantly see students and employees utilizing the refill stations and are continually getting requests to install more of them. We have saved more 100,000 bottles to date, which is very impressive and we are very proud of the college community.”
Overall, Wilkinson says they have seen much success through this initiative and the project is gaining momentum.
Wilkinson says electricity use has been the most difficult to reduce “due to the fact that we have been increasing our electricity consumption.”
“In February we hired an embedded energy manager after receiving a grant from the Ontario Power Authority and Welland Hydro, and her sole focus is reducing our energy consumption. We are confident that we can make serious electricity reductions over the next two years and meet our target with some major projects we have planned.” However, Wilkinson says they plan to reach out to students and employees to help reduce energy consumption.
“We have so much support from all across the college community, we should all be very proud of ourselves for what we have been able to accomplish thus far. We have some great things planned for the upcoming year and hope that we can make even more progress!”
Gina Punnunzio, committee member, says she plans to engage more employees and students by introducing the project’s sustainability themed year, which includes events and challenges each month.
September’s challenge is biodiversity where those interested can submit photographs of landscapes, animals and other elements.
The last date for submission is today, at 10 a.m. Photos will later be displayed on the Sustainability website.
The committee also prepares for Niagara College’s seventh annual Green Day event, on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus. Students from the Welland campus are invited to attend and enjoy green workshops, wildlife demonstrations, campus tours, a silent auction, raffle prizes and more.
Further details about volunteer opportunities and events can be found on the website http://sustainability.niagaracollege.ca.