Prince George, BC - The University of Northern British Columbia has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for the fourth year in a row.
The list, organized by the editors of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project, recognizes employers that lead the nation in creating a culture of environmental awareness in their organizations. The employers selected by the editors have developed exceptional earth-friendly initiatives and are attracting people because of their environmental leadership. UNBC is one of six universities on the list.
The 2015 Canada’s Greenest Employers website lists several reasons for UNBC’s selection:
- Over the past six years, the University has made a commitment to become "Canada's Green University" through the integration of sustainability programs and projects in its teaching, research, operations and community engagement.
- UNBC established its first recycling program back in 1992, which today features a campus-wide composting program as well as an in-house recycling centre to collect, sort and compact materials for transport -- the program captures batteries, used cellphones and electronic waste.
- It maintains a "Green University Planning Committee" composed of senior administrators, faculty members, students and campus groups -- there are also numerous green sub-committees in operation that address specific areas of interest, including energy, carbon neutrality, teaching and food.
- Along with secure bicycle storage and a bike repair station, the University offers transit subsidies for students, has installed three electric car charging stations (users only pay the standard parking fee), and has six electric service vehicles for use around the main campus.
- UNBC manages a unique Green Fund that is dedicated to funding various sustainability project across the campus, from retrofitting the campus pub with LED lighting to funding a student-led research project on identifying the most suitable renewable energy options for all UNBC locations -- the unique fund is supported by parking revenues and a total of $50,000 is available each academic year.
- The University also operates a unique biomass gasification facility that uses local wood residue from a local sawmill (roughly one third the cost of natural gas) to produce clean, renewable energy and has achieved the impressive LEED Platinum certification standard -- the facility has been heating the main buildings of its Prince George campus and reducing demand for fossil fuel heating by 70%
Cyclists at UNBC have access to bicycle storage and a repair station. Download high-resolution image.
UNBC's bioenergy infrastructure reduces fossil fuel consumption. Download high-resolution image.
“Building environmental awareness improves the culture of an organization far beyond the confines of the ‘green’ debate,” says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor at the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project at Mediacorp Canada Inc., which organizes the competition. “Creating a culture of sustainability attracts people to the organization who are interested in the long-term and new approaches to problems.”
For the past nine years, Canada’s Greenest Employers has recognized employers that lead the nation in creating a culture of environmental awareness. The employers selected by the editors have developed exceptional earth-friendly initiatives and attract people because of their environmental leadership.
“Being named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers demonstrates that our employees and students are taking on a leadership role and are passionate when it comes to sustainability at UNBC. Many of the initiatives we undertake help us operate more effectively and efficiently,“ says UNBC President Daniel Weeks. “To be one of only 60 institutions across the nation to be named to this noteworthy list is something of which we can all be very proud.”