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A new workshop inspires the campus community to embrace sustainability

Sustainability @ Queen's is a workshop in the HR Learning Catalogue that highlights opportunities to help create a culture of sustainability on campus and beyond.

Photo of Nathan Splinter leading workshop participants on a sustainability tour of campus
Nathan Splinter leads workshop participants on a sustainability tour of campus. (University Communications)

As Queen’s works towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040, it needs the help of the broader campus community. To help educate people on how they can help the university achieve this ambitious goal, the Office of the Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) has started offering the Sustainability @ Queen’s workshop this year. This workshop will next be offered on Oct. 1, as part of the university’s Sustainability Week program, and Queen’s community members can now register to participate in it through the HR Learning Catalogue.

This half-day workshop has been offered four times since January 2019, and it was run most recently on July 9. Participants in the course learn a variety of strategies to help them adopt more sustainable practices, including how to recycle properly on campus and utilize the organic waste program.

“Creating a culture of sustainability is a priority at Queen’s,” says Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “The Sustainability @ Queen’s module creates awareness among staff and faculty of the sustainability initiatives currently underway, offers information on how to promote green practices on campus, and solicits ideas from participants on what can be done in the future.”

During the workshop, Nathan Splinter, Manager, Energy and Sustainability with Physical Plant Services (PPS), explains large infrastructural changes that have been undertaken by the university.

To help illustrate the university’s sustainability efforts, Splinter takes participants on a tour of a campus location that showcases some of these changes. In the most recent workshop, for instance, Splinter brought participants to the mechanical penthouse at the top of Stauffer Library, where he showed them how the heating and cooling system there has recently been made more efficient.

In addition to Splinter’s portion of the workshop, there is typically at least one guest speaker from a different part of the university who offers new ways to think about sustainability. Past speakers have addressed topics such as sustainable procurement and Indigenous approaches to the environment.

Sustainability @ Queen’s will be offered again on Oct. 1 and Feb. 4, 2020. Registration is now available through the HR Learning Catalogue