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Partnership for a greener Queen’s

[Queen's and Sustainable Kingston]
Queen's University announced a partnership with Sustainable Kingston's Green Economy Program and the formation of the Queen’s Sustainability Working Group on Monday, Oct. 1. From left: Nathan Splinter, Manager, Energy and Sustainability at Queen’s; Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration); Matt Benson, Board Chair of Sustainable Kingston; and Kristin Mullin, Executive Director of Sustainable Kingston.

Queen’s University announced a partnership with Sustainable Kingston’s Green Economy Program and the formation of the Queen’s Sustainability Working Group, two efforts that will extend the reach of sustainability on campus, during a special event on Monday, Oct. 1.

The event, kicking off Sustainability Week, featured remarks from Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration), Matt Benson, Board Chair of Sustainable Kingston, Bryan Paterson, Mayor of Kingston, Sandra den Otter, Associate Vice-Principal (Research), and Warren Mabee, Professor and Head of the Department of Geography and Planning.

“Our university is committed to creating a culture of sustainability, and this commitment is of tremendous importance to me,” says Vice-Principal Janiec.  “I’m very pleased to announce that Queen’s is joining Sustainable Kingston’s Green Economy Program. This partnership will provide opportunities for all members to share best practices and learn from the successes and challenges of each other.”

The collaboration with Sustainable Kingston, one of seven Green Economy Hubs across Ontario, will allow Queen’s to join a supportive network of local organizations that set and achieve sustainability goals on measuring, reducing, and setting targets on carbon footprints.

“We are delighted to have such a pillar in our community joining the Sustainable Kingston network, and we look forward to working together,” says Mr. Benson.

Queen’s has a rich history of creating local partnerships with the city and other organizations, translating to tangible benefits for students, such as research and job placement opportunities.

“As a city we’ve set ambitious sustainability goals. The only way we can achieve these goals is by embracing innovative approaches to sustainability and by working together as a community” says Mayor Paterson. “That’s why I’m thrilled Queen’s is partnering with Sustainable Kingston. This is a perfect example of a strong and strategic partnership that will advance our goals as a community and ensure a vibrant Kingston long into the future.”

Other recent sustainability programs over the past year were also highlighted during the signing event, which all contribute to reaching the goals of the Climate Action Plan. Some of the many projects and initiatives include:

  • Queen’s Hospitality Services has switched from plastic to paper straws for unique restaurant brands, diverting 280,000 straws each year from landfills.
  • Ontario’s largest campus electric vehicle charger deployment on a post-secondary campus, including 64 stations across campus.
  • Dropbike, a bicycle sharing program to give more convenient access to students across campus and in the downtown core.
  • West Campus District Energy Project, a boiler system efficiency project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,500 MT of CO2 annually by severing the 2.5 km steam and condensation line between main and west campus and replacing it with localized boiler and hot water heating system.
  • Beaty Water Research Centre, an 8,000 square feet laboratory for interdisciplinary research to further understand water governance, sustainability, and protection of water resources.

The Queen’s Sustainability Working Group, also announced during the event, will provide strategic direction and recommendations for the evaluation, planning, development, communication and implementation of initiatives aligned with the university’s sustainability goals and the carbon reductions targeted by the Queen’s University Climate Action Plan.

“The Queen’s Sustainability Working Group includes a cohort of talented and knowledgeable faculty, staff and students will bring their expertise to help shape the future of sustainability at our university. Our first meeting is later this month, and we look forward to working together,” says Vice-Principal Janiec. “It is vitally important that we collaborate – both with community partners and internally at Queen’s – to continue moving toward our sustainability goals.”

To find out more about Queen’s partnership with Sustainable Kingston, check out the Queen’s Green Economy page.