Sheridan reduces its greenhouse gas emissions earlier than expected

STORY BY ANISSA BRYAN, ANDREA CARDENAS GAVIRIA, ALEXANDRA CRESPO, COREY CUSHINAN

Sheridan has surpassed its carbon emission target a ten years in advance.

Sheridan College published the Sustainability report of 2020, announcing that they accomplished one of their goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The goal was 50 per cent by 2030, the reduction for 2020 was 54 per cent, a decade earlier than planned.

“Our 2020 Sustainability Report represents a culmination of Sheridan’s interdepartmental efforts toward improving sustainability over the past decade,”

Report author, Dr. Anna Pautler.

The sustainability report is designed to share with the Sheridan community the progress that has been made since 2015 when they published the first report. This report bases on the information Sheridan submits to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARTS). They are in charge of tracking the sustainability progress made by higher education institutions.

The Integrated Energy and Climate Master Plan (IECMP) is a guide that Sheridan designed in 2010, where they establish the goals and a plan to achieve those. Changes in the buildings of Hazel McCallion and Davis campus are part of the plan.

Developments in the A-Wing building in Davis Campus and the B-Wing building in Hazel McCallion campus include smart controls, energy efficiency, water management, lighting and energy recovery. To transform these buildings into what they are today, it took Sheridan four years.

Sheridan has acknowledged that sustainability also means wellness, which is why they have invested in gardens in the Trafalgar and Davis campus. Additionally, they made improvements to the ways of transportation students and faculty use.

They have invested and promoted eco-friendly options for the community. In HMC, there is a bike rental program, and according to research, 87 students take advantage of this. In 2018, 76 per cent of students used alternate modes of transportation to commute.

To be part of the change, students and faculty can get involved in the different groups that the Office of Sustainability offers, like be a volunteer in the Mission Zero project, or be part the Green Team.

“Students are the leaders of tomorrow and they need to be educated and engaged about climate action and sustainability to make progress on these issues at Sheridan and beyond,”

Report author, Dr. Anna Pautler.

All this effort to reduce carbon emissions, waste, sustainable energy in the buildings comes hand in hand with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals made by the UN. Sheridan wants to contribute to their realization and is learning on different ways to keep contributing to this mission.

“Sheridan taking its role in mitigating climate change seriously hopefully will lead other organizations to do the same,”

Report author, Dr. Anna Pautler.

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