Headlines (News Releases)
Laurier initiative featured in international sustainability report
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
Aug 7/13| For Immediate Release
Claire Bennett, Coordinator
Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications and Public Affairs
WATERLOO – Wilfrid Laurier University is one of three Canadian universities profiled by the international Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for its annual Higher Education Sustainability Review.
Laurier was profiled for its residence energy competition, a new annual initiative run by the university’s residence sustainability council. During the 2012 winter semester, Laurier’s Sustainability Office and Residence Life facilitated an energy reduction competition between first-year residence buildings. The energy used by each building was measured via recently installed submeters and displayed online through a real-time interactive dashboard, which can be seen at http://buildingdashboard.net/wilfrid/#/wilfrid.
Overall, the competition saved $1,513 from an energy reduction of 15,143 kilowatt-hours, and averted 5,672 pounds of carbon dioxide – the equivalent to taking 1,009 vehicles off the road.
“The recognition among international counterparts is incredibly encouraging and shows the success of our collaborative culture in creating a sustainable campus environment,” said Claire Bennett, Laurier’s sustainability coordinator. “Laurier is increasingly being seen as an innovator and leader in sustainability management, which is having direct, measurable benefits in terms of Laurier's economic, social and environmental profile.”
Laurier has also begun conducting its second Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) assessment through AASHE, which will provide the university with an updated “grade” on sustainability. Laurier’s first assessment occurred three years ago, and earned the university a “bronze” grade. Laurier was one of the first five North American universities to receive a STARS rating. The assessment provided a detailed baseline of Laurier’s sustainability efforts, and informed the university’s Sustainability Action Plan that continues to guide sustainability initiatives on every campus. The Sustainability Action Plan set a target of a 15 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases over a five-year period. In 2012, Laurier had reached an 11 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases.
The only program of its kind, STARS involves the public reporting of comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas: education and research; operations; and planning, administration and engagement.
For more information about Laurier’s sustainability initiatives, visit www.wlu.ca/sustainability.