Audit will size up Brock’s carbon footprint


In another green Brock measure, James Federico, technical services officer in Facilities Management, shows off Brock’s new electric service vehicle in front of the Schmon Tower. The vehicle is 1.8 metres high and travels at a top speed of 40 kilometres per hour. It can travel up to 63 kilometres on one charge.

Brock has launched a carbon audit of its operations to get the most comprehensive measurement to date of its greenhouse gas emissions.

Over the next four months, the Toronto-based carbon management firm HR Carbon will collect energy consumption data and calculate the University’s carbon footprint. A final report is planned for spring 2010.

The research project will review activities such as water consumption, paper usage, garbage disposal and recycling, said Professor Richard C. Mitchell, co-chair of the University’s Sustainability Co-ordinating Committee.

The audit has taken two years to organize. A cross-section of departments combined to cover the cost of the project, including the dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Brock Food Services, Facilities Management, Student Residence Services, Recreation Services and the Brock University Faculty Association.

The broad base of sponsors reflects the Brock community’s commitment to environmental responsibility, Mitchell said.

“University stakeholders providing for this initiative in such a difficult financial climate show that they understand the importance of sustainability in a very meaningful way.”

The audit will lead to new ideas for green initiatives in a Brock community that has long been environmentally proactive, said Tom Saint-Ivany, associate vice-president of Facilities Management and co-chair of the sustainability committee.

“It’s up to us to get good knowledge on where we can go and what we can do better,” he said, “whether it’s in facilities management practices or students learning sustainability and societal responsibility.”

Brock is committed to a greener world, and pursues that commitment with actions, President Jack Lightstone said.

“The Brock community has shown itself to be a full partner in this responsibility, from emphasizing locally grown food to buying hybrid vehicles,” he said. “We continue to shape our strategies and plan our actions in ways that protect the generations of tomorrow through sustainable approaches today.”

Sustainability practices at Brock have included eliminating Styrofoam product use by Dining Services; using environmentally friendly tissues and biodegradable takeout containers and packaging; and moving to use of green cleaning solutions.

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