Headlines (News Releases)
Laurier Board of Governors approves sustainability action plan
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
Apr 13/12| For Immediate Release
Claire Bennett, Sustainability Coordinator
Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
WATERLOO – Wilfrid Laurier University has approved a new Sustainability Action Plan, which sets a 15 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over a five-year period.
“The Sustainability Action Plan will play a strategic role in keeping us focused and engaged as we continue to foster a culture of sustainability at Laurier,” said Max Blouw, president and vice-chancellor of Laurier. “I am confident that it will have a valuable and lasting influence on how this university upholds its responsibility to minimize its impact on the environment.”
Laurier’s Sustainability Action Plan was created to establish initiatives and related milestones for sustainability progress in multiple areas of the university, including education, operations and community partnerships. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Integrating sustainability programming into academics, training and awareness initiatives
- Engaging faculty, staff and students and the wider community in sustainability initiatives on and off campus
- Using sustainable design guidelines in new construction on campus
- Reducing water, waste and energy consumption on campus
- Encouraging and facilitating alternative transportation for faculty, staff and students
- Increasing monitoring and reporting on sustainability initiatives
The Sustainability Action Plan contains plans, reports, policies and assessments, such as an emissions summary from 2009 that acts as the university’s baseline. From these assessments, key indicators were developed to measure the plan’s progress. With the plan, Laurier will be better equipped to respond to emerging trends and opportunities by effectively managing sustainability in the short, medium and long term.
In 2010, the university collaborated with the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union to establish the Laurier Sustainability Office and to hire a full-time sustainability coordinator. Since then, the university has taken many steps forward. These include: implementing an energy management plan; designing new buildings to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards; adaptive reuse of existing buildings; rolling out numerous projects such as a central recycling and composting system; supporting alternative forms of transportation, such as cycling; participating in an ongoing assessment program through the Sustainability, Tracking, and Rating System (STARS); providing annual reports on programs and progress; and many other initiatives.