Objectives and Measurable/Meaningful Outcomes
As part of our campus sustainability plan, the KIP funding will allow us to retrofit an aging building. The Axelrod Building currently does not meet Model National Energy Code of Canada for Building (MNECCB) requirements. We are currently designing the building upgrades to achieve the MNECCB requirements and exceed them by at least 25%, which is equivalent to the LEED parameters. It has come to our attention that LEED EB (Existing Building) was introduced in Canada two months ago and we will be assessing the feasibility of meeting these standards. Upon completion of this project, the building will be energy efficient, will be fully accessible and allow the University to create a cutting-edge environmental teaching and research centre. Another outcome of this KIP investment will be the creation of state-of-the-art and accessible teaching space in classrooms and lecture theatres that were previously not conductive to learning.
U of G has a consumption-based water billing agreement with the City of Guelph to encourage conservation and generate savings, with 50 per cent of the savings ($150,000 to $200,000 per year) slated for reinvestment in water conservation projects. Between 2004 and 2008, the University reduced its water usage by 478,306 cubic metres or 21%. Conservation measures have included:
- large-scale water retrofits in 17 of the campus’s largest buildings;
- upgrades to the chilled water (air conditioning) and heating system for steam production;
- installation of raw water meters at the Central Animal Facility, Animal Science & Nutrition, and Hagen Aqualab buildings to track water use and monitor improvements to the aquatic facility retrofit program;
- installation of variable frequency drives at two well pumps to reduce the amount of electricity used and more closely match pumping levels with campus water needs;
- autoclaves retrofits, so water flows only when they are discharging to drain; and
- the elimination of acid treatment from cooling towers to conserve water and reduce the amount of treatment chemicals.
A current project at the Aqualab research facility will introduce filtering and conditioning technology to reduce the amount of raw water consumption.
Out of doors, irrigation has been reduced to minimal levels: only sports fields, new plantings, and annual plants and lawns in certain high visibility areas are watered. Lawns are being converted to less input-intensive landscaping. In 2008, an in-ground irrigation system was installed under three main sports fields, replacing wasteful rain-cannons.
U of G’s Transportation Demand Management Plan emphasizes alternatives to automobile transportation and calls for replacing automobile infrastructure with pedestrian, bicycle and transit infrastructure. Traffic and parking enforcement is done by foot, bicycle or using fuel-efficient vehicles. Guelph now has 20 electric utility vehicles for the transportation of maintenance, trades and custodial workers.
U of G has established an on-campus transportation hub for city and inter-city bus travel with connection to Toronto Pearson International Airport. This transportation hub at the University Centre is designed for maximum user convenience, comfort and safety (to encourage usage) with improved sidewalks, heated, well-lit bus shelters, exterior lighting, abundant signage and emergency blue phones. Ticket and pass services are also available on campus. Main walkways around campus have also been enhanced with improved sidewalks, exterior lighting and emergency blue phones. Guelph offers public transit pass discounts to faculty, staff and students. A shuttle program is available between the main campus in Guelph and Guelph-Humber. And there are 1,200 bike parking spaces on campus, with a covered shelter available at the University Centre and a second shelter planned for the Animal Science building.
U of G’s Green Vehicle Purchasing Policy commits the University to explore environmentally friendly options in the operation, maintenance and purchasing of vehicles. An anti-idling policy is in development for application across campus units.
Hospitality Services has a groundbreaking Local Sustainability Plan that promotes environmentally friendly practices and programs in all food service locations, as well as a commitment to buying local, seasonal Ontario products as much as possible (targeting at least 40%). Local food purchases include fresh produce, dairy products, eggs, yogurt, ice cream and a variety of meats. Food choices on campus include vegetarian, vegan and fair-trade options.
The University established the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming in 2008 to teach local organic food production and resource conservation through practical experiential learning. Hospitality Services purchases food from this garden when available.
Hospitality Services’ commitment to sustainability has been recognized with an A in the Food and Recycling category of the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s College Sustainability Report Card.
U of G’s green cleaning program for campus buildings requires third-party verification of environmental cleaning products (e.g. Green Seal, EcoLogo).
Purchasing protocols increasingly demand that products must contain recycled content, be energy efficient, be fair trade and sweatshop free. Formal bidding documents require suppliers to identify green initiatives in their materials, manufacturing, packaging and distribution processes for which weighting criteria are assigned within the bid scorecards.
Green Vehicle Purchasing Policy
As noted above, the University has committed to explore environmentally friendly options when buying vehicles for its fleet.
For more information about this report or sustainability initiatives at the University of Guelph, please contact: