Georgian College has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2014 – the fifth consecutive year that the college has won the award. The announcement was made on April 22, Earth Day, at the Barrie Campus. The Greenest Employer award recognizes employers that lead the nation in making environmental values part of their organizational culture. This award is based on activities that were undertaken in the 2012-2013 academic year.
This month, numerous environmental activities are underway across Georgian campuses. Staff and students at the Barrie, Orillia and Owen Sound campuses are dropping off old cell phones and other e-waste for recycling. Money paid by the recycling firm will be donated to the student food locker program at each campus. The Orillia Campus will be screening environmental documentaries throughout the day and evening on Earth Day, April 22. The Midland Campus is planning a campus clean-up day with students and staff, finishing with an environmentally friendly pizza lunch for participants.
“It is a great honour for Georgian College to be recognized once again as a green employer, and a testament to the efforts of students and staff who are dedicated to finding new ways to reduce our environmental impact,” said Angela Lockridge, Vice President, Corporate Services and Innovation. “I am impressed by the variety of innovative solutions they discover and implement each day, from finding better ways of using materials in labs and classrooms, to implementing increasingly advanced recycling strategies. ”
Georgian College is being recognized for its strategy of advancing and promoting three environmental priorities: waste reduction and diversion, enhanced environmental literacy and policies and procedures that consider environmental impacts. Every day, Georgian’s staff and students work together to achieve these objectives.
“Georgian continues to be recognized for its commitment to reducing its environmental impact and having environmentally responsible business activities,” said Dianne Corrigan, Georgian College’s Environmental Sustainability Co-ordinator. “The college has taken a leadership role in demonstrating how a large organization can find practical ways of incorporating environmentally friendly practices in its operations. It is a series of small steps that collectively make a significant difference, but there is still a lot of work to be done.”
Corrigan said a key to Georgian’s success is encouraging students and staff to become aware of the environmental impact of their daily activities.
Pre-consumer food waste from food preparation operations at the Barrie and Orillia campuses is separated out and collected for conversion into bio-fuel. The college continues to host and sponsor community sustainability events, such as a zero-waste conference and is a “greening” sponsor of the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia.
Canada’s Greenest Employers are selected each year by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Toronto-based Mediacorp Canada Inc.