Students Internationally Recognized for Energy Initiative

November 19, 2007 - News Release

The University's Student Renewable Energy Group has received an honourable mention from an international student organization for an initiative to improve energy efficiency on campus.

Oikos International recognized U of G's student group for the recent approval of a student referendum that has undergraduates committing more than $4.3 million over 12 years to energy conservation.

The money will be used for projects ranging from lighting and heating to water efficiency and retrofitting. The University is matching all the money raised, earmarking all the funds for energy conservation, and will continue looking for partnerships from all levels of government.

"I’m delighted that the energy retrofit continues to receive recognition," said Derek Pieper, Central Student Association academic commissioner and a member of the referendum campaign team promoting the energy retrofit project. "It's fantastic that this project is not generating only results for the environment but also learning opportunities for those students involved in the initiative."

Based out of Switzerland, Oikos is an organization promoting sustainable economics and management with student chapters in 15 countries worldwide.

U of G received an honourable mention in the Award for Student Entrepreneurship in Higher Education, an award that highlights student action to transform institutions of higher education towards sustainability.

As part of the award, Katie Neufeld, a member of the group, has been invited to attend the Oikos Winter School Conference this week in Witten, Germany.

"The conference will be a great way for me to gain an international perspective on sustainability, and to meet people from all over the world who can offer input into how we can make the university a better place," said Neufeld.

The week-long conference offers workshops on issues surrounding sustainable management and the opportunity to interact with world leaders in sustainability.

The student energy initiative also received recognition last spring from the Ontario Power Authority's Conservation Bureau when the Ontario's chief energy conservation officer, Peter Love, presented the students with a certificate of recognition.

For more information. To learn more about the retrofit project.

Derek Pieper
Central Student Association
519-824-4120, Ext. 56742

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Deirdre Healey, 519-824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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