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Queen's University

Sustainability Office

Queen's answers Challenge

July 2, 2014

By  Mark Kerr , Senior Communications Officer

Queen’s played a major role in helping Kingston place first in the 2014 Commuter Challenge for the third year in a row.

[Kathy Lewis and Rich Allen]

The university had the highest number of participants among the 40 Kingston workplaces that took part in the Commuter Challenge. From June 1-7, 136 Queen’s staff, faculty and students recorded at least one active commute (walking, cycling, carpooling/ride-sharing, taking transit and telecommuting). Empire Life had the second highest number of participants with 82.

Kingston had the highest participation rate relative to its population against 24 cities in its category (100,000-250,000 residents). Overall, 40 Kingston workplaces and 421 individuals signed up and travelled a total of 37,576 km by using active transportation during the week. The active commutes saved 2,475 litres of fuel and prevented the emission of 5,702 kg of carbon dioxide.

Kathy Lewis, an administrative assistant in the dean’s office at Queen’s School of Business, accepted a highest employee participation award on behalf of the university at a recent ceremony.

“The City of Kingston has a really strong push for sustainability, and I think it’s important that Queen’s shows that we’re onside with that as well,” she says. “The Commuter Challenge is a healthy competition that brings us together for a common goal of lowering our carbon footprint and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Other Queen’s affiliated organizations posted strong results during the Commuter Challenge. All seven employees at the Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre participated. Similarly, CFRC Radio 101.9 FM recorded a 100 per cent participation rate.

Ms. Lewis, who doesn’t own a car, walks and takes public transit to and from work each day. She says the Commuter Challenge is an important way to reduce the university’s carbon footprint.

“Sustainability is something we take seriously at Queen’s and QSB, but it is often not visible enough. The Commuter Challenge is one way to spread that message and get more people involved,” Ms. Lewis says.

Visit the Queen's Sustainability Office website for more information about alternative transportation initiatives on campus.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000