DC’s Living Green sustainability initiatives

Durham College (DC) continues to invest in the future with its Living Green initiative. Its dedication to encouraging sustainable behaviours and sharing responsibility for social, environmental and economic stewardship is reflected in a new video that highlights the college’s initiatives.

“When it comes to sustainability, it is our duty as an educational institution to foster stewardship of the resources and land we live on,” said Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “In 2009, we made a commitment to incorporating sustainability into all aspects of the college. We want to lead by example, demonstrating environmental responsibility for our students so they can run the organizations of tomorrow with conservation in mind.”

Highlights of DC’s sustainability in action include achieving a Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) Bronze rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in 2012. Since then, the Living Green initiative has been working to enhance the environmental sustainability of campus operations, planning, curriculum, research and innovation.

In addition, DC’s Sustainability Committee, which includes over 20 students and employees from a wide range of departments and programs, continually supports new efforts to reduce the college’s carbon footprint. These include a campus-wide battery-recycling program as well as ensuring all electronic waste and surplus asset items are reprocessed locally in a sustainable manner.

Standard drinking fountains have been replaced with new hydration stations, which offer a touchless bottle filling system and counts the quantity of bottles diverted from landfills. To date these stations have prevented more than 191,000 plastic water bottles from being used and discarded.

DC’s Whitby campus, home to programs in the School of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship & Renewable Technology, the School of Science & Engineering Technology and the Centre for Food (CFF), is also incorporating sustainability into its operations.

Students from a broad range of programs are working together to bring the field-to-fork vision and sustainable living model to life. Those studying Horticulture – Food and Farming help produce food to directly support the culinary programs and supply Bistro ’67, DC’s green-certified teaching restaurant, while students in the Construction Carpentry – Sustainable program recycle wood skids from shipping and receiving to create artisan cheeseboards that are sold at the CFF’s Pantry.

“Students studying at the Whitby campus are learning about sustainability within their curriculum,” said Susan Todd, executive dean, School of Science & Engineering Technology. “And it’s not just in the theoretical sense, they’re also getting hands-on experience.”

To learn more about sustainability at DC, read the Conservation and Demand Management Plan available on the college’s website.