Nancy Wilkin

Royal Roads achieves gold star for sustainability performance

Moves to green up campus earn improved rating for university

Royal Roads University has turned silver into gold.

The first Canadian university to be rated by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System has improved its rating from silver in 2009 to gold in 2014 for its sustainability performance in academics, engagement, operations and administration.

“It is a validation of our efforts. We’re working towards continuous improvement in our sustainability performance,” said Jordan Kummerfield, a masters student and research assistant at the Office of Sustainability at Royal Roads. “We’re trying to reduce our impact while maintaining delivery of our programs, and I’m happy to be a part of a school moving forward (like this).”

Changes made at the university included energy retrofits that helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent and saved $130,000 in annual utility savings, switching to more environmentally friendlier chemical cleaning agents and installing sensors and LED lights on most student residences.

Nancy Wilkin, director of the Office of Sustainability, said the university has made those operational improvements and more, despite the challenge of working in a national historic site. She said the university is on track to achieve its greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2020.

“When you’re dealing with heritage buildings on a national historic site, it makes our improvement all the more notable,” she said.

Even the students played a role in the improvement, with a team of environmental science students leading the research that led to top marks in the academic category.

More than 650 institutions on six continents are registered under the rating system, a transparent, self-reporting framework colleges and universities use to track their sustainability.

“All in all, the university continues to lead the way and is walking the talk,” Kummerfield said. “A lot of the talk involved sustainability, and it is nice to see the university follow through on its own actions.”

alim@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Over 100 take the Vancouver Island polar plunge

More than $25,000 raised for BC Special Olympics athletes

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in Victoria

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

Public packs Victoria mosque during B.C.’s Open Mosque Day

‘The best way to deal with fear is to educate. That’s what we are trying to do here’

Vancouver Island First Nations Youth Ambassadors deliver message to the United Nations

The delegation appeared at an event celebrating ‘the rich tapestry of global cultural diversity’

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read