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Sustainability: The ability to meet our needs without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same.

What is Footprint?

Footprint is sustainability initiatives at St. Lawrence College. Footprint is:

  1. A forum for open discussion of sustainable issues at the college
  2. An educational resource promoting sustainability awareness and understanding
  3. A mechanism for action as St. Lawrence College formulates its long term Sustainability Plan

Find us on Facebook and follow our calendar at www.facebook.com/footprintSLC

  • Post your thoughts, ideas and suggestions on sustainability at St. Lawrence College
  • Follow our weekly video and discuss our weekly thought piece
  • Stay current on our news and events

Footprint publishes a monthly calendar packed full of information sustainability. We hope to make the transition to making green choices a little more manageable by using a one-a-day approach. You’ll find:

  • Daily tips and facts on sustainable living
  • Scheduled Footprint events
  • A monthly challenge to participate in

Student and Staff Programs

Where are we on the road to greater sustainability at the college, and what has already been done? Below you’ll find a listing of programs, initiatives and commitments which have already been undertaken. Some you can see daily around the college, while others operate quietly in the background. Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or by email at footprint@sl.on.ca.

Carpool Program

St. Lawrence College has introduced a new online carpooling program for students, staff, and faculty on the Kingston, Brockville, and Cornwall campuses.Our program allows you to travel exclusively with SLC students, staff, and faculty, and is convenient, economical, and green. Sign up now at Carpoolworld.com/slccarpool.

Eco-box on the Kingston campus

An eco-friendly alternative to disposable take-out containers. Here's how it works: buy an eco-membership for five dollars, get a reusable, recyclable, BPA free container for your meals. Exchange your used eco-box for a clean, sanitized one for your next meal, and so on...

When you use the eco box, you'll save money on your meal, which will pay for the cost of the box, and you won't be creating garbage! Eco boxes are break-resistant, commercial dishwasher safe, microwave safe and have antimicrobial protection to inhibit growth of stain and odour causing bacteria. Check out our video.

Green Fee

Did you know that $15 of your student fees each year are put directly into green projects? A Green Fee Advisory Committee exists on each campus and works with the student governments and Facility Management Services to implement sustainability related projects with these funds each year.

Some of these projects have included:

  • Extensive outdoor green space on all campuses and a skating rink outside of residence in Kingston
  • Free reusable plastic water bottles for incoming students
  • More ‘hydration stations’ around campus
  • Volleyball courts
  • Extensive re-landscaping on all campuses

Hydration Stations

This is a jazzy term for those taps that have been fitted onto water fountains around campus. They make it easy to fill a reusable bottle, so you can save money on bottled water and avoid putting more plastic into the waste stream!

We will be expanding the hydration station program on an ongoing basis. If you know a location that could really use one, or if a hydration station isn’t working properly, let Facility Management Services know.

Coffee Cup Recycling

It’s easy:

  • Empty any remaining liquid from your cup
  • Put the lid in the bin marked ‘plastics’
  • Put the cup in the bin marked ‘paper coffee cups’
  • Many recycling stations also have specific bins for coffee cups and lids

Launched as a trial in early 2011 and now an integral part of our recycling program! St. Lawrence College is one of the only post-secondary institutions in the country to have a coffee cup recycling program.

Reusable Coffee Mugs

Browns sells reusable green coffee mugs to help students cut down on coffee cup waste. Mugs are available for $3.99. This includes a free first cup of coffee, and $1 of every purchase goes to support St. Lawrence College.

Composting

Composting is already done behind the scenes in the many kitchens that feed St. Lawrence students. We are able to divert useful organic waste from the trash stream, and cut down on our use of plastics. We are currently doing an extensive review of our waste program and looking at expanding our organics collection program tri-campus.

Pitch in SLC

The entire month of April 2011 was dedicated to sustainability awareness among students and staff on all 3 campuses. We had weekly challenges and prizes, daily green tips, volunteer clean up days, a reusable plastic water bottle campaign and a tricampus ‘turn it off’ hour.

The results? We reduced our electricity use by 10% during ‘turn it off’ hour. Scores of students and staff picked up free reusable bottles and now use them to avoid purchasing bottled water. Many more also made the choice to start bringing their own mugs and garbageless lunches. Campus offices developed standardized protocols for energy savings including double sided printing, an expanded recycling program and daily shut down procedures to cut waste when the office is empty.

Operational Programs

Annual Waste Audits

Did you know that every year in March, our Facilities Team sorts through campus waste bins to see how we’re doing? We use these results to reveal how to make our recycling programs bigger and better. Outcomes of past audits include the coffee cup recycling program, composting in kitchens on all campuses, and the pilot front of house compost program on Cornwall campus.

Back of House Composting

The 2007 trash audit revealed a huge amount of organic waste that could be put to better use. In response, composting began in all campus kitchens and 17000kg of useful organic waste is diverted from the garbage stream every year.

Energy Efficiency Audit

In 2007, St. Lawrence College invested 6.6 million dollars in an Energy Management Plan to reduce energy consumption, reduce energy costs and improve the overall building conditions for students and staff. The plan improved lighting, temperature and air quality and has resulted in an average overall energy savings of $585,000 annually. Greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by over 1,400 tonnes - that’s equivalent to taking 375 cars off the road!

Solar Energy Projects – Kingston & Brockville

Solar panels are nothing new at St. Lawrence College, right? We’ve all seen the array at Energy House on Kingston campus, or on top of the Wind Turbine Technician building. But did you know that in Fall 2011, Kingston and Brockville campuses began construction of Ontario’s largest post-secondary rooftop solar installation?

The Kingston system sits on top of the main building and student residence, and provides 250kW of electricity with over 1200 solar panels. The Brockville project adds another 100kW with 440 panels. The combined systems will provide enough electricity to power 30 homes on average. This clean energy is fed into the provincial electricity grid, replacing energy from dirtier sources such as coal, and is expected to generate $280,000 annually for the College.

Not only that,but different tilt angles and hardware choices are being tested in the systems. This allows us to provide new and useful data to the solar industry on what works best, and gives our Energy Systems Engineering students the opportunity to monitor and observe how different design choices affect system performance.

Green Procurement Policy

St. Lawrence College has adopted the Environmental Responsibility and Energy Efficiency Policy which applies to all purchases made. We are becoming leaders in using environmentally friendly and energy efficient products, and contributing to the growth of green industry.

The mission of this policy is “to procure responsible environmentally friendly and energy efficient products and/or services wherever possible” and it outlines specific guidelines for doing so.

Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability

In 2009, then-President Chris Whitaker signed an agreement with the Association of Canadian Community Colleges titled the Pan-Canadian Protocol for sustainability. In doing so, SLC has committed to maximizing its contribution to a sustainable future. The agreement has a few key elements:

  • Establish a sustainability policy
  • Develop an institutional sustainability plan that includes mechanisms for tracking progress
  • Incorporate sustainability practices in procedures and operations such as green standards for buildings, alternate energy sources, Energy Star certification for products, and energy efficient transportation

Visit the ACCC for more information: www.accc.ca/english/advocacy/sustainability.htm

Stewardship Ontario Who pays for all the recycling that’s going on? As a member of Stewardship Ontario, St. Lawrence College reports waste and recycling numbers and pays fees according to each. This money helps fund Ontario’s recycling program.

Blue W Program

St. Lawrence College is registered with the Blue W program. Blue W is an international network for information on where to find drinking water. To be a member, a business must show that any member of the public can fill their reusable container with safe, healthy drinking water at no cost.