August 13, 2014
By Craig Leroux, Senior Communications Officer
Queen's and other Ontario universities continue to take strides towards sustainability according to Growing Greener Campuses at Ontario Universities, a report released by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).
"Sustainability is an important priority for Principal Daniel Woolf, our students and the entire Queen's community," says Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). "The university is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and lessening its environmental impact."
The Growing Greener report highlights many of the sustainability initiatives happening at Ontario's 22 university campuses, from building retrofits to awareness campaigns. The report notes that all universities report their total emissions and conduct regular waste audits.
Queen's is a signatory to the 2009 sustainability pledge, Ontario Universities: Committed to a Greener World, and in 2010 Principal Woolf signed the University and College Presidents' Climate Change Statement of Action for Canada on behalf of Queen's, committing the university to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.
"Queen's has undertaken many initiatives to create a more sustainable campus," says Aaron Ball, Sustainability Manager. "There are also some important projects now underway, including the development of an energy reduction strategy that will help us achieves emissions reductions over the short and long terms."
Queen's recently conducted a campus-wide energy audit that will form the basis of the university's energy reduction strategy. It also completed a lighting retrofit program that has resulted in a 520,000-kilowatt hour reduction in energy usage. In May the university issued its 2011 and 2012 greenhouse gas inventories, showing an overall reduction in emissions since 2010.
Other sustainability initiatives include the annual Sustainability Week, a composting program, solar energy generation on campus, a partnership with car-sharing company VRTUCAR, and a bottled water ban on campus.