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.


Aaron Ball is the Sustainability Manager in the Physical Plant Services department at Queen's University and has held this position since 2008. As Sustainability Manager, Aaron works to advance green initiatives at the university, identify and implement new opportunities for working closely with faculty, students and staff, and create a greater degree of awareness about environmental issues within the university community. His current focus is to develop a comprehensive climate action plan for the university.

 

Aaron participates in a variety of sustainability associations and committees in Kingston including, SWITCH, Sustainable Kingston, and the Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum (KEAF) and is currently a member of both AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) and OSCA (Ontario Sustainability Coordinators Association).

Aaron has previous work experience in facilities management at both Queen's and St. Lawrence College. He is a graduate of Queen's University and holds a BAH in English Language and Literature. Aaron's personal interest include travel, photography, history and electronic gadgets.


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.


Eric Aucoin is the Energy Management Engineering Intern within the sustainability office. After finishing his third year of mechanical engineering at Queen’s, he took up an internship opportunity with Physical Plant Services. Eric assists in bringing new energy conservative and sustainable technologies to the campus, and plays a crucial role in the school's demand management operation. Some of these technologies include new lighting controls, electronic vehicle chargers, and energy recovery systems for air handling units.

 

 

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability means to take consideration for your impact within all the small things that you do, and doing what you can to use as little as possible. When faced with decisions, we must turn away from using anything that is available to us, and only use what is needed.

How have you integrated sustainability practices into your workplace? 

My position begins with seeing one source of impact that the University has, then incorporating some sort of technology in an effort to reduce it. These technologies can reduce anything from water to natural gas to electricity.

How are you sustainability-minded outside of work? 

I make an effort to incorporate sustainable thinking into anything I take on. It doesn't take much as a person to make an impact. I walk whenever I have the opportunity to do so, and use items from shelf to grave before considering new purchases,


Madelen Fellows is the Sustainability Intern with the Sustainability Office. Having completed her third year at Queen's studying Environmental Science, she volunteered with the Sustainability Office throughout the summer, which turned into a full time internship position. Madelen has helped with organizing Sustainability Week, a week dedicated to encouraging sustainability practices on campus through various events and initiatives, and is looking forward to implementing new sustainability projects and programs on campus. 

 

What does sustainability mean to you?

To me, sustainability means looking after our current home, so that future generations will be able to enjoy everything we do today. Sustainability means being aware of the harm we have done to the planet and living in a way to reduce that harm and protect Earth's natural resources. 

How have you integrated sustainability practices into your workplace?

As the sustainability intern, my position is fully focused on making Queen's a more sustainable institution. I aim to start initiatives that promote campus sustainability, and am hoping to create a campus wide conversation around sustainability, creating awareness at all levels. 

How are you sustainability-minded outside of work?

My passion and dedication towards a sustainable life does not stop at work, I am always trying to incorporate more sustainable practices into my daily life - inside and outside the office. I walk to work, always use reusable containers and coffee mugs, and buy local as much as possible. I am always trying to educate myself more on sustainability and through this I try to educate my friends and family as well. There is always more to learn, and I think this is especially important to keep in mind with regards to environmentalism and sustainability.