Articles by author: eharper

  • Update to the Niagara Region Garbage Retrieval Schedule 

    Blog Contributor: Mikellena Nettos

    In case you missed itNiagara Region will be updating their garbage retrieval schedule effective October 19th, 2020. Instead of putting your garbage out once per week, you will now only be able to set out two bags or cans once every other week. The region will still collect recycling bins and compost bins weekly, which allows people to shift their waste towards recycling and compost bins instead of the garbageAccording to the regional website, more than half of the average garbage bag in Niagara contains materials that could have been recycled or composted.  

    What can you do to reduce your waste?  

    • Order less take out. Most containers and plastic bags used to deliver food end up in the garbage instead of being properly disposed of. 
    • Make sure to rinse recyclable materials before placing them in the bin. Did you know that greasestained carboard goes into the compost, not the recycling bin? 
    • Know which bin it belongs in – if you are unsure which bin an item belongs in click here  
    • Put all food waste in the compost to avoid rotting garbage. No one wants to deal with smelly garbage for two weeks. 
    • Follow zero waste pages on Instagram or twitter for helpful tips! 

    Additionally, here is a link to a previous post that shares tips on how to “Recycle Like a Pro” in Niagara.  

    Do the right thing – reduce, reuse, and recycle.  

    Together we can make the world a cleaner place. 

  • Summer Wrap Up – Sustainability Coordinator Co-Op

    Blog Contributor: Elenore Breslow

    There is a long list of reasons why summer 2020 was unlike any other. The pandemic surely impacted everyone’s lives in different ways and like many of you, I spent my summer working remotely at my home office instead of working in-person 

    Even with the widespread shift to mainly remote work this summer, I still had an incredible opportunity to work as a Sustainability Coordinator co-op student from my home over 4 hours away from St. Catharines. And yes, my work-from-home setup on most days did include the traditional attire of a dress shirt, sweatpants, and no shoes. Enough about my wardrobe though…  

    The Sustainability Coordinator position was made available through the Brock University Charter Agreement with Facilities Management and the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre. Through the Charter Agreement I worked for two exceedingly knowledgeable supervisors – Mary Quintana, Director, Asset Management & Utilities for Facilities Management and Amanda Smits, Centre Administrator for the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre. 

    The pandemic may have impacted where I completed my work this summer, but the actual work I did would have been the same regardless of location. And I was fortunate enough to visit the campus at the end of the co-op term to meet everyone (in-person) on the Brock team that I worked with throughout the summer –  check out my video below from my visit, Day in the Life as a Sustainability Coordinator 

    The overall goal of the summer was to increase our knowledge of sustainability at Brock and determine baseline numbers in areas such as, GHG emissions, water use, and wasteOur team wanted to determine where does Brock do well in terms of sustainability and where are areas of improvement. To do this, we began by working on the completion of Brock’s first Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS)This was a comprehensive process that involved coordination with several different internal and external stakeholders to collect data and information regarding the 4 main categories of STARS  academics, engagement, operations, and planning & administration. The key aspect about STARS is that it is a holistic approach to measuring sustainability on campus, and then decision makers can use that information to generate new ideas in terms of strategic planning and engaging the community. Making real progress towards sustainability can be a difficult task but starting by measuring all sustainability performance on campus is a great place to start.  

    Throughout the summer I also had the opportunity to help with many other sustainability related projects including being involved more on the operations and project management side of things. I helped with projects that examined ways to adapt current infrastructure to be more sustainable and I learned about how sustainability is incorporated into current operational practices, including the District Energy System. As many of you know, Brock recently celebrated the completion of Brock’s District Energy Efficiency Project (DEEP). It is through innovative projects like DEEP that Brock continues to demonstrate its commitment to environmental sustainabilitywith the hopes of continuing to be leaders amongst universities in reducing carbon emissions.  

    I am excited to continue my journey with the Brock team until 2021 and I am eager to part of the new initiatives and projects that are beginning this fall. Keep a lookout on Sustainability at Brock’s social media accounts (@BUsustainable) to stay up to date with all things sustainability here at Brock! 

    Categories: Student Contributor, Sustainability, Sustainability at Brock, Uncategorised

  • Taking an Active Role in Environmental Stewardship

    Blog Contributor: Elenore Breslow

    The Brock University community has come together to pledge to take an active role in the stewardship of the environment. During the 2019-2020 academic year a sustainability pledge banner was brought to various events across campus, including the Vendor Fair during Orientation Week, Training Events, and the Sustainable Development Goals Training Day, to provide the opportunity for the Brock community to sign and support the stewardship of the environment.

    During these events, Brock University President Gervan Fearon, several Directors from Departments across campus, and students came together to sign and pledge to take an active role in taking care of the environment. The sustainability pledge was signed on an eco-friendly banner that was made from 100% post-consumer waste from recycled plastic water bottles. Everyone who signed the banner pledged to do their part for the environment, whether that be biking to school, using a reusable water bottle, or even trying to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle.

    Categories: Student Contributor, Study Sustainability at Brock, Sustainability, Sustainability at Brock

  • Reducing Reliance on Single-Use Plastics After Covid-19

    Blog Contributor: Erica Harper 

    The spread of Covid-19 has changed the lives of millions of people around the globe in significant ways that will stay with them for a long time. Among many other things, the virus has made us more appreciative of family, friends, food, shelter, and essential employees such as grocery store and healthcare workers. As a Master of Sustainability candidate, it has been an interesting time to navigate through as single-use plastics become essential to avoiding the spread of the virus. That being said, as society begins to settle into a new “normal”, my hope is that innovation and strategic problem solving allow us to remain environmentally sustainable in times of extreme uncertainty in the future.  

     Living in a world that is suddenly more reliant on disposal gloves, masks, cups, cutlery, and bags than ever before can make it difficult to imagine what sustainability will entail for people and businesses post-pandemic. When chains like BulkBarn, Tim Hortons, and Starbucks began banning reusable containers and mugs, it was imperative to do so for hygiene reasons in this unprecedented time, but I couldn’t help but think about other (non-single-use plastic) solutions. Of course, at the time this was the appropriate action to take to ensure the health and safety of all employees and customers, and I understand that sustainability is far from top-of-mind during a global pandemic. That being said, fears of germs will continue to linger in people’s minds, and innovation is crucial to continuing on a path of sustainability for our planet. Although it can be discouraging to think about the increase use of and reliance on single-use plastics during this time, sustainability science is founded on being collaborative, innovative, solution-oriented, and being able to persevere when complexity arises. I strongly believe that this pandemic will encourage even more innovation in order to promote environmental sustainability in a safe and effective way for years to come.  

     To lessen the burden on our planet and waste management systems, mvision for post-pandemic times is that innovation is the key to allowing us to bring our own reusable materials to stores and coffee shops. There are definitely ways to reduce the reliance on single-use plastics while ensuring the health and safety of all by using technology and science. For example, I imagine grocery stores, bulk co-ops, restaurants, and cafés having technology-driven “sanitization stations” where customers must disinfect their hands and reusable products as they walk into a given establishment. Once this step is complete, they can safely use their bags, cups, or containers without fears of germs and contamination.   

    There also are ultraviolet (UV) disinfection devices that have been proven to eliminate up to 97.7% of pathogens in medical equipment found in operating rooms, as reported in this study by the American Journal of Infection Control. Devices with UV light technology could be used to sanitize parts of public places as well as personal belongings brought into public places (such as mugs or reusable bags) to reduce the spread of all germs. This type of device would make customers and employees more comfortable with the use of reusable products, thus providing a more sustainable option for eco-conscious consumers  

    Although there are many unanswered questions surrounding the virus, I believe that complex technological solutions will provide organizations and individuals with the ability to continue leading a sustainable lifestyle. This will require patience, collaboration, and strategic decision-making as companies learn how to run the essential parts of their businesses amid uncertainty. It may seem as though sustainability has been completely thrown out the window during this pandemic, but I am confident that organizations will continue to prioritize it once possible, and maybe place even more importance on it than ever before. Instead of remaining discouraged about the influx of plastic waste being disposed of, I think it’s important to make a conscious effort to focus on the innovation and strategic problem solving that will come to the world of sustainability and help us all be better environmental stewards.  

  • Lessons from a Pandemic

    Blog Contributor: Nolan Kelly 

    Living in the age of this pandemic has been a very stressful and uncertain time for the entire world. The collaboration and commitment from people across the world for a common goal of flattening the curve and slowing the spread of this virus has been unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life. As a Master of Sustainability candidate, I fully understand that life as a student right now can be very difficult and the prospects of not knowing when things will return to normal again is very unsettling. While everyone would love to feel a sense of normalcy again, this is also an important time to reflect and assess what our definition of normal truly was. COVID-19 is going to have a mass ripple effect on our society and the way we live moving forward. Even though there will be challenges, and significant repercussions of this pandemic, there also exists a window of opportunity for change (Geels et al., 2017). At the global scale right down to local and personal levels, there are opportunities that exist and lessons that can learned to help prevent this type of global issue and transition towards a more sustainable way of living. 

    On a global scale, we are seeing some encouraging signs of our environment recovering due to our absence (Worland, 2020). Bodies of water are becoming clear again, carbon emissions have significantly decreased in some countries, and skylines and views that have not been visible in years are showing up again (Rogers, 2020). While many are amazed to see how our world and the natural environment can recover without us, it should serve as an eye-opening look at the negative impact our way of life has had on the planet. We should see this as a red flag and warning from our planet that it does not need us, but we very much need all of the resources our planet provides to us. While many of these positive environmental comeback stories will likely fade as regular life and business as usual return, hopefully this will serve as a wake-up call to humanity that wneed stronger environmental policies and more importantly action (United Nations, 2020)Our society is reliant on the environment for our survival, this pandemic is providing evidence that the pathway we are on is simply unsustainable.  

    The pandemic has brought light to environmental impacts that make pandemics and viruses like COVID-19 more frequent (United Nations, 2020). While virus related pandemics are hard to predict (and in some cases) prevent, factors such as deforestation, illegal wildlife tradewildlife markets and factory farm practices all increase the likelihood of zoonotic viruses occurring (Osaka, 2020). Working towards stronger environmental regulations and practices worldwide is definitely a practice the entire world can be on board with moving forward. Right now, people across the globe are committed to flattening the curve and stopping the spread of COVID-19While the circumstances are unfortunate it shows that we can come together and unite for a common goalThe pandemic has successfully showed us how much our collective action could make a difference worldwide. This is the type of global unity that is needed to tackle existential issues such as climate change that will affect everyone. This sense of togetherness should remain strong after the pandemic ends in hopes that people, governments, and entire countries make decisions based on everyone’s wellbeing and with the future in mind. This pandemic should also encourage people to be more educated and involved when it comes to global issues moving forward. Too oftenan issue needs to be right in front of someone before they takeaction or care about it, but this should not be the case. While viruses can develop quick and result in a pandemic, global issues such as climate change represent more of a slow burnwhich is why education and being informed can have a real impact to addressing these global issues. 

    On a smaller more individual scale, there are many actions and steps that can be adopted and learned moving forward. One of them, as many people have found out quite abruptly is the ability to be more self-sufficient. Things that seemed so normal before this pandemic such as going to the grocery store and shopping for clothes changed drastically with COVID-19. Not only can becoming more selfsufficient help you in tough situations such as these but it can also be much more sustainableFor example, those who have the resources to grow vegetables at home or create their own clothing could try to do so.  We should value each item we bring into our homes and think about reusing and repurposing household items we may have once just tossed away. We should use this as an opportunity to become more resourceful with the everyday goods we have readily available; instead of throwing away sauce jars, we now reuse them for leftovers instead of needing to go out and buy another product. People have gotten so use to going to the one stop shops and large chains to simplify their shopping needs, but we have lost sight of supporting our neighbors and the Canadian economy. By supporting local we would also significantly reduce our environmental footprint. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of how precious life is and how fast our circumstances can change. The time spent in isolation will hopefully make people think about what is truly important and drive home the notion that less is more. At the end of this pandemic, appreciating family, friends, and what we already have should not fade away but instead be encouraged. 


    Geels, F. W., Sovacool, B. K., Schwanen, T., & Sorrell, S. (2017). Sociotechnical transitions for deep decarbonization. Science, 357(6357), 1242–1244. doi: 10.1126/science.aao3760 

    Osaka, S. (2020, April 1). ‘A common germ pool’: The frightening origins of the coronavirus. Retrieved from 

    Rogers, T. N. (2020, April 20). LA’s skies are smog-free and peacocks are roaming the streets of Dubai. Photos show how nature has returned to cities shut down by the coronavirus pandemic. Retrieved from 

    United Nations: COVID-19 is not a silver lining for the climate, says UN Environment chief | UN News. (2020, April 5). Retrieved from 

    Worland, J. (2020, April 1). Coronavirus Drives Pollution Dip But It Won’t Last. Retrieved from 

  • Why We Should Upcycle Before We Recycle

    Blog Contributor: Erica Harper 

    In a world full of disposable materials and extreme global waste, it can be difficult to lead a sustainable lifestyle. If you are overwhelmed with the amount of waste created in your household even after making more sustainable changes, upcycling may be a good solution. Upcycling is a term first introduced by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their book called “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things”. It is defined as type of recycling that transforms the waste materials into items of higher quality or value in relation to the original item. This type of “homemade” recycling is popular for those wishing to reduce their waste because it is a process that allows them to reuse things that they would discard and send to landfills.  

    Ultimately, upcycling is a way to reduce and slow down the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and waste management facilities to ease the impact on our planet and waste systems as much as possible. Some examples of upcycling include decorating a tin container (like one that holds chickpeas) to create a nice pot for a plant or using old hockey sticks as legs for chairs.  There are simple and more complex ways to upcycle but reusing otherwise disposable materials can be done with ease when using a bit of creativity! This article aims to give you answers to the common question ‘Why should I take the time to upcycle?’.   

    For the Planet 

    The first reason to upcycle is the most talked about reasonto contribute to reducing waste in landfills, oceans, parks, and waste management facilities. Not only does excessive waste in the environment harm local plant and animal species, some materials breakdown and release harmful chemicals which then causes soil degradation and seeps into the water that people and species drink. You can learn more about this topic by visiting the UN’s Environment Programme news story here. Additionally, upcycling limits trips to the store and decreases consumption behaviours as the ultimate goal is to make new items with what you have, which consequently reduces emissions and overall waste.  

    To Save Money 

    Since upcycling entails creating something new from an old object, you will be able to save money by repurposing items instead of buying new ones. For example, instead of purchasing an entryway organizer that can hold keys, coats and displays chalk messages, you can repurpose a window frame or old pieces of wood to create your own organizer. All you’ll need is a fresh coat of paint and some hooks! A simpler upcycling project would be to take an old mirror, clean it and paint it if desired, then use it as a chic candle tray to impress your guests. Another great idea is to use an empty tissue box as desk organizers by cutting the top off and using empty toilet paper rolls as pencil, pen, and scissor holders. By upcycling these common household items, you can save some money while impressing yourself with your creations! Check out this website for more great upcycling ideas.  

    To Practice Creativity

    As you’ve probably realized by now, upcycling projects require some creativity and innovation. Interestingly, creativity is a skill that is valued in school and in the workplace because it allows students and employees alike to think of newer and better ways to reach certain goals. This LinkedIn Learning article describes creativity as the “most important skill in the world” because possessing this skill allows us to be better problem solvers in an everchanging world. More and more, companies and higher education institutes are looking for people who can adapt, think on their feet and keep thinking of new solutions as artificial intelligence takes over process-driven jobs. Therefore, upcycling is a great outlet to spark your creativity and continue to work on it as you ask yourself “what can I create from this object that I would otherwise throw out?”. It’s a great exercise that allows you to pain, sew, glue, cut, and colour as much as you want and it provides you with a sense of pride since you are the artist behind your new item! 

    Hopefully this introduction to upcycling gave you an idea of what upcycling is, what some examples are, and what are three main reasons to upcycle. There are many benefits of upcycling, although helping the planet through reducing emissions and slowing down the waste production in our landfills is a leading reason behind why so many people love to upcycle. Make sure to check out the resources linked above to learn more about upcycling, examples of upcycling, and the importance of creativity. Happy crafting 


    Categories: Recycling, Student Contributor, Sustainability, Uncategorised

  • Pledging Towards Environmental Sustainability  

    Blog Contributor: Erica Harper

    To kick off the new year, we asked students to make pledges to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable in 2020. Students who participated finished the following sentence “I pledge to…” and were encouraged to choose to commit to a big or small change to implement in their lives for the new year. Some examples (as seen below) include shopping local, talking to friends about sustainability, and taking the bus whenever possible. These pledges were (and continue to be) posted to the @BUSustainable social media accounts in hopes to reach more people. By doing so, it provides a network of followers (including students, faculty, staff, and community members) with ideas to implement sustainability into their lives in a way that works for them. This initiative many people from the Brock University community who wanted to learn more about sustainability or wanted to further their commitment to sustainability in their personal lives. It was a great opportunity to further the dialogue about the environment and sustainability at the individual level, which can influence friends, family, and even strangers. Participants were then automatically entered into a draw to win a $100 campus store gift card.  

     Our two winners are Michela, a kinesiology student, and Isamaris, a child health student. These two friends split the winnings as they pledged together to share tips with friends on how to be more sustainable. Congratulations! Keep an eye out for more pledges from the Brock community coming soon to the @BUSustainability social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

    Categories: Recycling, Student Contributor, Study Sustainability at Brock, Sustainability, Sustainability at Brock

  • How to Recycle Like a Pro in the Niagara Region 

    Blog Contributor: Erica Harper

    Did you know that Canada’s first blue box recycling system was tested in 1981 in Kitchener, Ontario? This program was so successful that the program was implemented citywide and now the blue bin recycling system is all over Canada and the world (with variation). Many of us grew up with recycling and rarely question whether to do it or not because it has become such a habit ingrained in our daily lives. For others, it may seem like a chore to even try to begin to understand how to recycle and what to recycle properly. Even some people who have been recycling for years can remain confused or doubtful about what can and cannot be recycled. This may be because unlike composting (which is also very important), there are two different recycling boxes to choose from depending on the material of your items. This article will give you a clear guide on how to recycle like a pro in the Niagara Region!  

    Before we get started, it’s always a good idea to remember the 3 Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Reducing your consumption of products with unnecessary packaging and reusing containers whenever possible should be a priority whenever possible. If you can focus on reducing and reusing before recycling, you will have a lot less waste to manage which makes learning how to recycle properly even easier!  

    The first thing you need to know is that the Niagara region has two types of recycling boxes – grey and blue. They are both collected weekly and there is no limit to the amount of recycling bags or items that are placed at your curb. Residents are allowed to use any rigid and reusable containers for their curbside collection as long as it fits within the Region’s size limitations. Alternatively, you can purchase blue and grey boxes in your municipality for $6 at these locations near you.  

    Before we get into the list of acceptable items in each recycling box, it’s important to know the first general rule of recycling: rinse and clean your items before throwing them away! For example, have a bit of milk left in your milk bag or hummus left in its plastic container? Rinse it and let it air dry before you recycle it so it doesn’t contaminate the rest of your recyclables. 

    Accepted in the Grey Box: 

    • Carboard (flattened) 
    • Pizza boxes (remove food residue, oily patches and place in green bin first) 
    • Catalogues 
    • Coffee cup sleeves 
    • Plastic grocery bags (all bags must be placed into one bag and tied up to ease recycling efforts) 
    • Milk bags (rinsed) 
    • Hard cover books 
    • Magazines 
    • Paper towels (can also be placed in green bin) 
    • Plastic wrap  
    • Receipts from the store 
    • And much more, which you can find on the Niagara Region’s Waste Disposal website here 

    Accepted in the Blue Box: 

    • Aerosol cans that are empty (make sure to remove the lid) 
    • Coffee cup lids from disposable cups (the cup should be placed in the garbage) 
    • Styrofoam coffee cups 
    • Aluminum tins 
    • Empty detergent jugs 
    • Hard plastics (e.g. the ones used to make cups or plates) 
    • Egg cartons 
    • Food and beverage cartons 
    • Plastic fruit cup containers 
    • Glass bottles and jars 
    • Ice cream tubs and lids 
    • Juice boxes 
    • Plastic bottles 
    • Steel cans 
    • Shampoo and conditioner bottles 
    • And much more, which you can find on the Niagara Region’s Waste Disposal website here

    Not Recyclable – Place in Garbage: 

    Some items seem recyclable, but because they may be difficult to identify during the recycling process, they are not. For example: 

    • Loose plastic water bottle caps (too small) 
    • Items that cannot be cleaned of food and liquid residue 
    • Hand lotion “squeeze tubes” (only the plastic containers for hand lotion can go in the blue box) 
    • Plastic seal from ice cream tubs 
    • Outer plastic packaging of a cookie box  
    • Water bottle filters 

    As you can see, there is a lot to learn about what can and cannot be recycled in the Niagara Region as well as which bin recycles must be disposed in. Thankfully, the Region’s website is extremely helpful and even allows you to type in the name of an item to find out how to dispose of it. Click here to learn more about recycling and the waste disposal services offered to you from large item collections to hazardous waste disposal. Make sure to recycle responsibly to make sure that your items are in a condition that ease the recycling process and happy recycling!  

    Categories: Recycling, Sustainability, Sustainability at Brock

  • Building a Way to Environmental Sustainability: LEED 

    Blog Contributor: Nolan Kelly 

    We spend the majority of our lives in buildings, yet we often give very little thought when it comes to the design, construction, or impact that these buildings have on our lives and the environment. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or as it’s commonly known “LEED” is the most widely used green building rating system in the world, available for virtually all building, community, and home-project types. LEED has proven to be a pathway towards addressing climate change and creating buildings that are more resource-efficient, healthy, and resilient. LEED projects emphasize the importance of sustainability in all buildings, whether it is in the design, construction or operation. LEED projects can also take form in many different shapes, sizes, and purposes ranging from a small local building, to university campuses to NHL sized arenas (CGBC, 2019). Energy and water savings, recycling, greenhouse gas reductions, and green roofs are just some of the ways in which following LEED standards can improve new and existing buildings. This is important because there is no denying the impact that buildings have on the environment. It is estimated that buildings generate nearly 30% off all greenhouse gas emissions, up to 35% of all landfill waste comes from construction and demolition of buildings, and up to 70% of all municipal water is consumed in and around buildings (LEED, 2020).  

    The Plaza and International Centre building at Brock University are both Silver LEED certified. The Plaza Building, built in 2006, incorporated a unique system of heating and cooling by utilizing the precast hollow core concrete floor slabs for stored thermal mass and fresh ventilation air as part of the ThermoDeck System. This system has resulted in a higher degree of indoor air quality through this ventilation system as well a 33% energy cost savings. The Plaza Building also uses Xeriscaping and rainwater harvesting which has led to 60% water savings. Xeriscaping is used for all the landscaping around Plaza Building which minimizes irrigation, pest control, and fertilization. The incorporation of drought resistant native species also eliminated the need for outdoor watering! The rainwater harvesting on the roof of Plaza is used to for non-potable uses such as toilet flushing and outdoor water watering. During the building of Plaza over 75% of all the construction waste was diverted from landfills due to a rigorous construction waste management plan that kept sustainability at the forefront of the entire process (Sustainability Initiatives, 2020).  

    The International Centre building built in 2010 was designed to achieve 41% in energy cost reduction compared to the Model National Energy Code for Buildings. One of the advanced water conservation features of this building is the rainwater harvesting from roof. Between the 50, 000 litre underground cistern that collects the water from the roof and the installation of water efficient plumbing fixtures, the building has an 89% wastewater reduction and 41% water use reduction. The material used in the building and furnishing of the building were also carefully selected to ensure the highest level of indoor quality was achieved (Sustainability Initiatives, 2020). If you want to learn more about LEED certification or the LEED certified buildings at Brock, visit the links below! 

    Canadian Green Building Council – LEED 

    LEED Certified Buildings at Brock University  


    Image retrieved from:

    Canadian Green Building Council – Rogers Place. (2019). Retrieved from 

    LEED: the international mark of excellence. (2020). Retrieved from 

    Sustainability Initiatives: Buildings. (2020). Retrieved from 

  • Brock’s Commitment to Environmental Sustainability Continues with Completion of DEEP 

    Blog Contributor: Nolan Kelly 

    On Friday February 21st Brock University celebrated the completion of Brock’s District Energy Efficiency Project (DEEP). This project was a multiyear process that took extensive planning, collaboration, an effort in order to reach completionThe aim of the project was to reduce Brock’s carbon footprint and increassustainability on campus by replacing the 25-year-old co-generation engines with state-of-the-art energy efficient units. These units provide a reliable source electricity, cooling and heating on campus. This project was made possible through federal and provincially funded upgrades to the co-generation plant that consisted of replacing eight engines with four new high-efficiency models as well as the installation of a new lithium-bromide absorption chiller and new magnetic-bearing electric chiller.  

    The first phase of the DEEP project saw Brock receive nearly $5.2 million in funding from the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment as well as $5.4 million from Brock University. In Phase 1, Brock replaced half othe existing natural gas-powered co-generators with state-of-the-art, high efficiency electronically controlled units. DEEP Phase 2 started in March of 2018 and was entirely funded by the Ontario government’s $7.9-million investment as part of the Greenhouse Gas Campus Retrofits Program (GGCRP) Innovation Grant Fund, which was designed to help post-secondary institutions reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency. In this second phase the remaining co-gen engines were replaced, and a new high-efficiency electric chiller unit was installed. Through the completion of the DEEP project Brock University has significantly improved its energy efficiency, lowered its carbon emissions, and assists Brock in continuing in its commitment to meeting environmental sustainability targets. 

    The new engines are roughly 20 per cent more fuel efficient than their older counterparts and will consume roughly two million cubic metres less fuel to power the campus. The reduction is the equivalent of removing 720 small passenger cars from the road! The now completed project will result in Brock’s annual NOx (nitrogen oxide) gas emissions dropping from 55 tons to just eight tons, and non-methane hydrocarbons reducing from 15 tons to four. These new co-generation engines also consume 26 per cent less fuel per kWh produced, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in utility cost savings each year. 

    This a huge step forward for Brock in its efforts to become more environmentally sustainable and be a leader amongst universities in reducing carbon emissions. To read more about the completion of the project or to learn more about the savings associated check out the Brock News article and the Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan below!  

    Completion of DEEP Project articles 

    Brock LINC opening signals new era of community engagement for Brock University  

    $7.9 million in provincial funding means green light for Brock’s green energy project 

    Brock University Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan 

    Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan 

    Reference made to article originally published in the Brock News which was written by Dan Dakin. 

    Photos: DEEP Project Launch – February 2020