Wheels in motion at Facilities…literally!

Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Facilities staff André Lambert, Catherine Tokessy, Ludric Burelle and Patrick Porlier, with uOttawa President Jacques Frémont (second from left). Photos: Alex Latus

By Johanne Adam

Like many other organizations around the world, University of Ottawa’s Facilities was determined to really cut down on the amount of paper used in its printers. And staff certainly rose to the challenge.

Beginning in the spring of 2016, a notice was posted on office printers each week showing the number of sheets of paper used the previous week, which quickly had the desired effect. The amount of paper used dropped consistently week after week.

And the results speak for themselves: Facilities saved $25,000 in copy paper compared with the previous year.

Goodbye gas, hello helmets

One Facilities employee suggested using some of the savings to purchase bicycles so team members could get around campus in a more ecologically friendly way.

Employees going on service requests can now use one of six bikes equipped with a rear carrier for tools and other small items. “It’s much faster than walking and a lot greener than using a vehicle,” says Jonathan Rausseo, manager of the Office of Campus Sustainability at Facilities.

The total cost for the bikes was $5,000. The team would like to allocate the remaining $20,000 to other sustainability initiatives that will directly benefit staff members. One of the possibilities they’re considering is the purchase of industrial tricycles for travelling through the network of tunnels under University buildings.

“Eventually the campus will be car-free, so we need to be looking at alternatives for getting around now," Rausseo says.

This initiative may one day be rolled out across campus. Facilities is looking at the possibility of introducing a bikesharing system for members of the University community. Discussions are under way with the SFUO Bike Co-op about the possibility of such a partnership

Facilities has purchased five single-speed bikes and one touring bike.

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