Durham College (DC) is pleased to announce that it has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for the fourth consecutive year. Awarded as part of the 2020 editorial competition that is organized by the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, this designation recognizes employers who create remarkable workplaces that minimize the environmental impact of their operations.
Winning employers are those that incorporate environmental values into their everyday culture, and attract employees because of such values and are evaluated on the following criteria:
- The unique environmental initiatives or programs they have developed.
- Whether they have been successful in reducing their own environmental footprint.
- Whether their employees are involved in these programs and contribute any unique skills.
- Whether their environmental initiatives have become linked to the employer’s public identity, attracting new employees and customers.
This year, DC has been recognized for its comprehensive approach to sustainability at both its Oshawa and Whitby campuses. From waste reduction initiatives to the way the college heats and cools its buildings, changes have been implemented at both a personal level and on a broader scale.
For employees this means using communal waste bins as opposed to personal garbage cans and removing individual printers in favour of centralized ones, all part of the in-house Green Office certification program, which encourages adopting sustainable practices in each office’s day-to-day operations.
At a macro level, capital projects such as the Simcoe Geothermal Field, which began running in the summer of 2019, help to reduce the demand for natural gas for heating and cooling, as well as electricity generation. The Energy Innovation Centre, which is also part of the geothermal field project, processes the power and is a living lab for DC students learning about green energy.
At the Whitby campus, the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food (CFF) is home to numerous sustainable features. There are agricultural growing fields, an apiary, greenhouse, pollinator garden and an arboretum, as well as more experimental projects, such as an old shipping container that has been transformed into a vertical hydroponic garden capable of producing 700 heads of lettuce per week, all year round. This innovative growing space uses 90 per cent less water than traditional farming methods, features LED lighting for growing and eliminates food miles – the distance food travels from where it is made to where it’s consumed – by providing fresh produce to the community without having to transport it by plane or truck from elsewhere.
“Durham College’s sustainability story continues to develop with each passing year,” said Don Lovisa, president. “It is something we weave into every aspect of our operations as an institution, and we are incredibly proud to be recognized for those efforts as one of Canada’s greenest employers.”
For more information on living green at DC please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/livinggreen.