April 21, 2011 —
The University of Ottawa is proud to announce that its Eco Prosperity Program has already developed several large-scale, innovative renovation projects aimed at reducing energy costs and increasing the efficiency of campus facilities, making it one of the most successful programs of its kind among Canadian universities. These projects will be implemented over a seven-year period and generate annual savings of more than $5 million. The University is also moving towards certification as a Fair Trade Campus.
Reducing energy costs has always been a challenge for large institutions, and more so in a context of limited resources and rapidly expanding campuses. Controlling and reducing energy costs is vital to ensuring sustainable investment of the public funds which support the university’s core activities.
The Eco Prosperity Program has helped the University of Ottawa to improve the quality of its services, environment and working conditions. It encourages students to embrace long-term sustainability as a key value for their future. Energy savings and energy efficient campus facilities serve as a common goal for students, employees and researchers, and the University of Ottawa now considers energy efficiency in its campus facilities to be one of the key elements that can help it achieve its mission.
The Eco Prosperity Program includes the following:
• Capital investments of just under $18 million, resulting in approximately $5 million in annual savings
• Reduction of total annual energy consumption by nearly 10 per cent from 2008 to 2010, and of 25 per cent by 2015, despite significant campus growth
• Projected reduction of furniture purchases, paper use and waste creation, and implementation of eco-efficient practices across the campus, including the Sports Complex, with a direct impact on both the University’s activities and values
The Eco Prosperity Program was recommended by the Sustainable Development Committee, formed in 2007, whose mandate is to develop, implement, promote and benchmark sustainable development, recommend initiatives, and change community attitudes and values.
The University is also pleased to announce that its chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) has begun an initiative to have the campus certified as a Fair Trade Campus (FTC) under TransFair’s new Fair Trade Campus Certification.
As the University of Ottawa already has an ethical purchasing policy, it is only natural that it seek this prestigious certification. The University of Ottawa believes in conducting its business affairs in a socially responsible and ethical manner. In order to become a Free Trade Campus, the University of Ottawa must increase the availability of Fair Trade coffee and tea on campus, and increase the visibility of Fair Trade products at points of sale and catered events. It must also educate the community on Fair Trade and form a committee to ensure compliance and performance measurement.
The University of Ottawa is committed to making a difference. Our efforts will create a cleaner environment and a healthier quality of life for all of us. Canada’s university is proud to lead by example in tackling the global challenge of environmental sustainability.