There are no simple solutions. Much collaboration and passion is needed in the quest to make our planet a cleaner, greener place — and through groundbreaking research and innovative new projects, and by growing advocacy and forging partnerships, Ontario’s universities continue to demonstrate their commitment to bettering the world we live in.
In 2009, Ontario’s university Executive Heads pledged to demonstrate leadership in advancing a greener world. Now in its seventh year, the Council of Ontario Universities’ (COU’s) Going Greener report highlights just some of the exceptional efforts taking place across 21 Ontario campuses. These efforts are not only making campuses greener, but also improving the environment in surrounding communities and the province.
Here are just a few examples:
- Renewing and upgrading campus buildings through facility renewal plans funded through energy savings. These upgrades will ultimately help the university use less energy and produce cleaner air.
- Tackling climate change by increasing funding for climate change research and education, supporting energy-saving building retrofits, and strengthening community engagement in environmental entrepreneurship.
- Lowering greenhouse gas emissions through energy-saving devices that regulate incoming voltage levels, and assisting other collegiate institutions with their energy efficiency strategies.
- Providing adaptation tools and climate science research to communities and sectors to help them adapt to climate change.
- Breaking barriers in commercially available electric vehicles through research and engineering, resulting in cleaner air.
- Cultivating urban farms that are improving biodiversity, engaging students, faculty and community members in the production of sustainable and local food sources, and reducing negative environmental impacts by diverting waste through composting of campus food.
This is a small sample of how Ontario’s universities are combating climate change and cultivating sustainable communities. There is more work to be done, but by sharing best practices and innovative ideas with our broader communities, Ontario’s universities continue to drive positive change and create a more sustainable future for us all.
For more information on how our universities are going green, read the full Going Greener report.