Georgian College takes environmental issues seriously. Official policy requires us to keep environmental concerns in mind in everything we do. That ranges from curriculum and classrooms to products we purchase and how we deal with our waste.
Among the College’s core principles in the new strategic plan Vision 2015 is this: “We will evolve our practices and embrace change to ensure financial, social and environmental sustainability.”
Created in 2007, the College’s Environmental Sustainability Committee leads the way in making sure that Georgian steadily makes progress on these issues and more.
Georgian’s official environmental mission statement:
As a leading post-secondary educational institution and responsible corporate citizen, Georgian College is committed to practicing environmental sustainability through education and corporate practices and balancing future growth with the protection of the environment.
Our guiding principles:
Georgian College commits to promote, practice and pursue excellence in environmental sustainability through:
- Compliance with applicable laws and requirements
- Conservation of natural resources and the prevention of pollution
- Continuous improvement to maintain the highest environmental standards and practices.
Georgian aims to integrate environmental sustainability into all learning activities. Faculty in every program have been asked to look at how their academic material can take the environment into account. Many have already made changes and it’s an ongoing process.
We have three full-time programs that focus directly on the environment including a one-year certificate program, a two-year and three-year diploma program. We also offer two environment-related graduate certificate programs.
Visit the School of Environmental Studies website to view the program descriptions.
We are proud of having made great progress in environmental sustainability across all campuses since 2007.
Goal: To reduce waste to landfill by 50 per cent from 2008 (our base year).
- Conduct annual waste audits at Barrie, Orillia, Owen Sound and Midland campuses on an ongoing basis
- Developed waste reduction work plan, now in the process of being revised based on new waste audit information
- Implemented on-campus collection points for cell phone, e-waste and battery collection
- “Trashy Notes” – notebooks made in-house from previously used test forms, are a big seller in campus Bookstores
- Implemented organic waste collection in kitchens and student labs at Barrie and Orillia campuses
- Added a third “mixed paper” stream to hallway collection
- Promoted the use of reusable travel mugs and reusable bags, thereby reducing the amount of disposable cups and plastic bags on campus
- Implemented two-sided printing and photocopying policy
- Lighting fixtures recycled through Physical Resources department
- Promoting the use of electronic newsletters
- Writing instrument recycling
Goal: Ensure that all graduates of all programs have the knowledge to make sound environmental decisions in their personal and professional lives
- integrated sustainability into curriculum and learning activities
- new courses developed that pertain to environmental sustainability
- Students in Georgian’s CNC program program use scrap blocks of aluminum rather than full blocks. Filings and other scraps from student projects are collected for recycling. Students learn the value of recycling right in the shop.
Procurement/Purchasing Policy Review
Goal: Ensure that vendors and products are environmentally sensitive
- all RFPs are now evaluated, in part, taking into account environmental considerations
- renegotiated Georgian’s contract with Grand and Toy to include only “green” office supplies
- switched to 30 per cent post-consumer paper stock
- major College publications are now printed on Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper
And there’s more…
- Georgian has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers 2010, 2011 and 2012
- recognized by the Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce Green Step programs (gold level)
- Chartwells, the College’s food service provider, has signed a contract to collect used cooking oil from the Barrie Campus cafeteria and The Last Class for conversion to bio-diesel
- continuing efforts by Georgian’s Physical Resources department see huge gains in energy efficiency, particularly through the introduction of improved lighting systems
- Earth Day is marked annually by a campus-wide clean-up activities in which thousands of pounds of waste was gathered up
- energy Conservation Week and Waste Reduction Week are observed annually with special activities showcasing College sustainability initiatives.
- hydration stations at most campuses reduce the amount of plastic water bottles used.
- portable recycling units are available for use at special events.
- a Georgian award recognizes employees who have reduced their environmental impact at work.
- College uses green cleaning products
- live meeting technology
- electronic waste asset recycling
- LEED construction standards
Environmental Sustainability Committee members 2012-13
- Bridget Blair (Physical Resources)
- Kim Brent (SAC)
- Tammy Burke-Marson ( Orillia)
- Ben Corosky (SAC)
- Dianne Corrigan (Chair)
- Debbie Donnelly (Orillia)
- Angela Foster (Orillia)
- Joseph Fruchter (Deans)
- Mary Sue Gamroth (UPC)
- Anne Green (Faculty)
- Timothy Green (Faculty)
- Mark Hall (Marketing and Communications)
- Mike King (Chartwells)
- Sandra Kurt ( Academic Officer)
- Phil Le Boeuf (Midland and Regional Campuses)
- Susanne Schmidt (Owen Sound)
- Wes Shedler (Kempenfelt Conference Centre)
- Debbie-Jane Stansfield (Support Staff, Barrie)
- Rob Theriault (Faculty)
- Vivian Wade (Owen Sound)
- Jean Warbucks (Faculty)
GEAR (Getting Environmental Attitudes Rolling) is a group of volunteers who work throughout Georgian College and Barrie to raise awareness and provide solutions for environmental issues.
On campus, the group actively supports and promotes sustainability practices and in the community, and offers chances for everyone who counts themselves a part of this community to get involved!
GEAR tries to stay as active as possible and welcomes new members to help keep the organization moving as it grows and changes, at any one of the campuses.
In the past, the group has been involved with a number of initiatives including:
- Coffee Booth mornings: Where the group serves Fair Trade Coffee once a week for those who bring a reuseable mug
- Green Screens: Weekly/Monthly screenings of environmentally related movies/documentaries
- Lib LEAD: Public Issue Discussions that focus on specific environmental issues
- Earth Day Cleanup: On campus and at Little Lake
- Recyclables Drop Off: Weekly collection/drop off of unusual recyclable items (light bulbs, batteries, ink cartridges, and cell phones)