Sustainability Office

Sustainable Queen's
Sustainable Queen's

​Who we are

Nathan Splinter is the Manager, Energy and Sustainability. In this role he and his team are tasked with delivering on the mandate from the Queen's Climate Action Plan, a net Zero Carbon campus by 2040. Nathan manages a diverse portfolio which includes the university's energy management programs and projects, utilities purchases, as well as grant and conservation projects. Additionally, his portfolio includes waste diversion, recycling and organics programs and Sustainability oriented programs, outreach and engagement activities.

 

 

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability is at first a complex concept but once you distill it down and start to define what it looks like in action, it is most simply defined by as a recognition that we all share the planet with all living things and we have a responsibility to protect and maintain the environment for future generations. It is about thoughtful and fulsome decision making, and using technology when possible to ensure that pollution and the impacts from our daily life don't constrain and impact future generations or the natural world.

How have you integrated sustainability practices into your workplace? 

I have the benefit of being able to say that everyday I come to work with the opportunity to help make the university a more sustainable place for students to live and learn, faculty to conduct research and to teach, and for staff to contribute and support the Queen's community. In our office we have an organics program, Green Office certification and we support those using active transportation.

How are you sustainability-minded outside of work? 

Sustainability is not something I leave behind at work, it really comes down to mindfulness and appreciating the impact of the daily decisions we make. Personally I bike to work until the snow files and recently finished building a new home that is close to twice as efficient as current building code requires. I enjoy spending time outside and appreciate the connection and impact we all have on the natural environment.


Llynwen Osborne is the Recycling Coordinator in the Sustainability Office and has held this position since 2009. As Recycling Coordinator, Llynwen works to advance waste reduction and diversion initiatives at the university and serves as a resource for faculty, students and staff to ensure responsible disposal of solid nonhazardous waste. She manages the waste hauling contract, and oversees the day to day recycling programs in compliance with government regulations and according to the "reduce, reuse, recycle" principles.

 

 

What does sustainability mean to you?

To me, sustainability is a way of life. It's about being thoughtful about the everyday choices we make and the impact those choices have on the environment. It's about examining the way we live and changing our behaviour to protect our natural resources.

How have you integrated sustainability practices into your workplace? 

Most of my job focus is on the three R's: reduce, reuse, recycle. I have developed a robust asset exchange program on campus to reduce the amount of reusable items the university sends to landfill and to ensure that reusable assets go to departments that need them. I also work very closely with students, custodians and staff to ensure that campus buildings are equipped with recycling stations that include organics disposal.

How are you sustainability-minded outside of work? 

I always look for opportunities to make sustainable choices at home by limiting purchases, thinking about the end-of-life options for the things I do buy before buying them, sharing reusable items I no longer need with my community and recycling everything I can.


David Gerrish Dave Gerrish is the Energy Specialist, joining the team in April 2019. In this role Dave looks for opportunities to improve the efficiency of existing buildings and influence the design of new builds with an eye to the institutional goal of carbon neutrality by 2040.  Dave works collaboratively with Physical Plant Services project managers, designers, and skilled trades; as well as academic departments, suppliers, and local utilities to find and implement cost and emission avoidance solutions.  Prior to joining the team at Sustainable Queen’s Dave had over 10 years experience as an energy efficiency consultant for industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential clients across Ontario.

What does sustainability mean to you?

Living and working sustainably is the only approach that is internally consistent. Living unsustainably is dying, working unsustainably is failing.

How have you integrated sustainability practices into your workplace? 

As the Energy Specialist sustainability is at the heart of my role. I work with departments across campus to identify and implement energy conservation projects.

How are you sustainability-minded outside of work? 

I try to avoid being pedantic or judgemental about sustainable living. In any group there will be a small selection who make the choice to sacrifice for greener living, but the majority of people will tend toward societal norms. The small things we do as individuals are important, avoiding single use materials in our personal purchases, using active transportation like biking or walking, these things are good, but to quote David MacKay:

If everyone does a little, we'll achieve only a little. We must do a lot. 

To get to “a lot” requires leadership at the societal level, including a shift in attitudes and policy. I think advocating for this is very important.