Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) is working on a three-year plan that will advance environmental sustainability initiatives throughout its buildings and businesses.
BUSU is tackling the project alongside Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) and Facilities Management (FM), who work in partnership and co-lead Sustainability at Brock.
“It is BUSU’s mission to foster an ever-improving student experience that is transformational, enriching and empowering,” said BUSU President Rafay Rehan. “Delving into our organization’s environmental impact and current efforts in the area of sustainability and having a plan for the future is essential in achieving this.
“BUSU is committed to maintaining environmentally friendly practices and we look forward to working with Brock and building on our efforts so far,” he said.
The BUSU Board of Directors has approved a proposal created by the ESRC to complete a full audit of all the students’ union’s projects, policies, programs, current buildings and businesses, which include the Student-Alumni Centre, BUSU’s offices, Isaac’s Bar and Grill, Union Station Food Court, General Brock Convenience Store and BrockTV.
The Environmental Sustainability Plan project will be funded by BUSU’s Green Levy, a per-credit fee charged to all undergraduate students for the purpose of improving environmental efficiency and reducing impact. Funds collected from the Green Levy have been used in the past to improve operations, including renovations to facilities that reduce BUSU’s environmental impact, such as energy efficient LED lighting, automatic faucets in bathrooms to reduce water waste and dual flushing toilets to limit water usage.
Through the Green Levy, BUSU has also funded the purchase of 44 water bottle filling stations across campus, which have diverted more than five million plastic water bottles from landfills. BUSU frequently supplies students with reusable water bottles as free giveaways to encourage the use of these filling stations.
This latest sustainability project, which is set to wrap up in August, will identify key priority areas, goals and strategies to direct BUSU’s environmental sustainability approach from 2022-23 to 2025-26. It will guide future decisions that support long-term environmental resiliency and sustainability of BUSU and Brock’s wider campus community.
BUSU’s Environmental Sustainability Plan will also target areas and goals to align with Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Plan and Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Ratings System (STARS) Report, in which Brock received a silver rating for its inaugural submission.
“We are thrilled to be working closely with BUSU in developing an Environmental Sustainability Plan for the organization that will not only assist them in moving forward on several sustainability priorities and goals but also provide us with the chance to find synergies for sustainability initiatives across campus,” said Amanda Smits, ESRC Centre Administrator.
BUSU’s plan and future updates on this project will be posted at brockbusu.ca