November 26, 2009
Queen's University Principal Daniel Woolf has signed a made-in-Ontario sustainability pledge, presented today to Ontario's Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy and Minister of the Environment John Gerretsen, Kingston and the Islands MPP, as part of the annual University Day at Queen's Park.
The pledge, signed by the heads of 19 Ontario universities and two colleges, is entitled Ontario Universities: Committed to a Greener World. It states that "Universities have a responsibility to assist in finding solutions to the challenges of environmental sustainability; to share knowledge about sustainability and climate change; and to incorporate, wherever possible, principles of sustainability into our own operations."
While acknowledging the importance of such an initiative as a first step, Principal Woolf said, "I believe strongly that Queen's can provide an even more progressive example on the type of action required to tackle this serious and complex set of issues."
At the Principal's request, an advisory committee, composed of some of Queen's leading environmental and sustainability researchers, has recently been established. They are working with the university's Sustainability Office to develop an aggressive Queen's position to advance sustainability measures. The committee will soon be expanded to include faculty, staff and students.
A draft Sustainability Framework, to be released in the near future, will establish core values in this area and outline how the entire Queen's community can participate in reducing our environmental impact.
"I see this as a very big priority for the Queen's community," says Principal Woolf. "Over the coming weeks and months, students, faculty, and staff will continue to be engaged in this important dialogue."
The latest issue of the university newspaper, the Queen's Gazette has included a look back at Queen's sustainability initiatives on campus over the past year.