Task Force Seeks Ideas on Boosting Sustainability

March 24, 2010 - Campus Bulletin

Got an idea about how the University of Guelph can enhance sustainability both on and off campus? If so, the Presidential Task Force on Sustainability wants to hear from you.

The task force is looking to the University community for feedback and input on the various ways U of G can promote desirable and achievable social, economic and environmental sustainability practices.

It has scheduled the first of a series of town hall meetings April 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Peter Clark Hall. The event, which will be moderated by president Alastair Summerlee, will available as a podcast so that people who cannot attend may listen to it later and e-mail suggestions and ideas to sustainability@uoguelph.ca

“Our mission is to create opportunities for discourse and action,” says Prof. Kevin Hall, vice-president (research), who chairs the task force. “We want to hear from everyone — students, faculty and staff from all our campuses — who has ideas about how we can live and work more sustainably. Whether it’s using less energy and water, initiating social and economic changes, or enhancing our teaching and learning practices, we as a university need to look for ways to place fewer demands on the planet.”

People wishing to speak at the town hall meeting are encouraged to register by March 31 by e-mailing sustainability@uoguelph.ca. A speaker’s sign-up sheet will also be available at the event, but priority will be given to people who register in advance. People will be asked to limit their remarks to three minutes, and organized groups are asked to choose a one person to represent them.

President Summerlee created the task force earlier this year with the mandate of coming up with suggestions for how U of G can integrate, enhance and promote desirable and achievable social, economic and environmental sustainability practices both on and off-campus.

“Everything we teach, do, build and operate should help ensure the current and future welfare of our local and global communities,” Summerlee says. “It’s a responsibility and commitment that we all must embrace, collectively and individually.”

Hall says the task force will take a comprehensive view of sustainability, focusing on the basic principles: the environment, communities and the economy. It will look at issues related to carbon footprint, water use, sustainable practices in teaching and academic programs, and future initiatives that could also benefit other communities.

University of Guelph
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