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University wins City of Calgary award for environmental achievement

Calgary Awards recognize university's Zero Waste Strategy
June 18, 2014
The University of Calgary received the Calgary Award for Environmental Achievement (Educational Institution).

The University of Calgary received the Calgary Award for Environmental Achievement (Educational Institution).

Representatives from various groups involved in implementing the university's Zero Waste Strategy stand on the steps of historic City Hall.

Representatives from various groups involved in implementing the university's Zero Waste Strategy stand on the steps of historic City Hall.

The university’s Zero Waste Strategy has earned the recognition of a high-profile community awards program.   

In the most recent edition of the Calgary Awards — an annual City of Calgary program honouring outstanding achievements and contributions by Calgarians — the University of Calgary received the Environmental Achievement Award (Educational Institution).

The award recognizes the university for the outstanding progress made in waste reduction and diversion, and the innovative approach to working across organizational boundaries to achieve goals. This award was one of several the campus community won this year. 

To date the university has reduced overall waste by the equivalent of 17 full garbage trucks since 2008 despite adding five buildings and many people to the campus community. Additionally, the university is diverting over 50 per cent of its daily waste and 75 per cent of construction and demolition waste.

“Underpinning this award is the collaboration and efforts of many in our campus community,” says Joanne Perdue, chief sustainability officer, who accepted the award on behalf of the institution. “A big thank you goes out to members of the Sustainability Stewardship Working Group’s Zero Waste Group for their efforts in bringing the Zero Waste Strategy to life.”

The university’s success can be attributed to practicing end-to-end analysis of waste streams to identify key leverage points for change and investing resources in these opportunities as well as its partnership model with shared accountabilities for action and implementation. The award recognizes the progress of many partners including:

  Facilities Management – for leadership in management of daily waste

  Project Management Office – for leadership in construction and demolition waste diversion

  Students’ Union – for leadership in waste reduction and diversion in the MacEwan Student Centre

  Supply Chain Management – for leadership in e-waste management and reuse/recycling of surplus furnishings and equipment

  Residence Students’ Association and Residence Services – for the Eco-Moveout program

  Ancillary Services – for leadership in dining practices

  Students – who lead through independent co-curricular and coordinated club activities on waste reduction

  Office of Sustainability – for overall coordination and engagement

  Waste Management – our external partner and resource management provider

  Campus Members – who are making daily efforts to reduce, reuse, compost and recycle

This is not the first time the university has been recognized for its leadership in sustainability. In 2011, the university won the same award on the strength of its 2011 Institutional Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan. In 2012 and 2007 the institution’s two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certified buildings, the Energy Environment and Experiential Learning building and the Child Development Centre, each respectively won the award as well.

Visit the website to learn more about the Zero Waste Strategy and other sustainability initiatives on campus.