University of Alberta
University of Alberta staff members celebrating their leadership awards, granted by the Office of Sustainability  

Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2019):

Here are some of the reasons why University of Alberta was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2019):

  • University of Alberta hosts its own Sustainability Awareness Week each October, which features dozens of events coordinated by various sustainability-related campus and off-campus organizations -- the week-long event includes over 30 partner organizations and features over 60 initiatives, such as campus tours, workshops, presentations and film screenings
  • University of Alberta established a unique in-house Green Spaces certification program, a voluntary certification process that encourages individuals working in offices, food services, laboratories, living in residences, or managing events to adopt sustainable practices and green their operations -- the university also manages the longstanding Eco Move-Out and Eco Move-In Market programs to reduce waste and encourage reuse of everything from electronics to furniture and household items
  • University of Alberta maintains a one acre Prairie Urban Farm to demonstrate urban gardening possibilities as well as a two acre pesticide and fertilizer-free community garden, run entirely by volunteers -- the garden is a partnership with the School of Public Health and the Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences -- produce is harvested and sold, with proceeds going to a nonprofit organization that supports socially and economically marginalized women in Rwanda
University of Alberta vice president Andrew Sharman and employees collect donations for the Eco Move-Out program  

Highlights

Industry Post secondary schools, university
Major Canadian hiring locations Edmonton AB, Camrose AB, Calgary AB
Full-time employees in Canada 8,932
Employee green team Sustainability Team (new initiative evolving from the longstanding Office of Sustainability)
Senior executive who oversees initiatives Deputy Provost, Vice President of Facilities and Operations
Formal strategy/policy name Energy Management and Sustainable Operations (original initiative was first established in 1975)
Publishes sustainability report yes
Green highlights Green Spaces Certification (in-house certification program encompasses laboratories, offices, residences, food vendors and campus events), Green Labs (program to ensure laboratories follow sustainable practices), Freezer Rebate Program (funding to help labs purchase energy efficient freezers), Leading Sustainability At Work (non-credit course open to grad students and members of the outside business and institutional community), ECO Move-Out spring initiative (waste diversion program for students moving out of residence) and the ECO Move-In fall market (to resell usable goods from the move-out program), Sustainability Awareness Week (first hosted in 2008, includes one week of campus workshops, tours and events), One Simple Act on Campus (modelled after provincial and national programs)
Noteworthy initiatives unique "Green Grants" program to encourage students and staff to submit their sustainability ideas, with over $650,000 directed to sustainability initiatives since 2010
Building footprint includes PV solar panels, rainwater collection, green roof, solar water heating, LED lighting retrofits, daylight and occupancy sensors, solar thermal system, a number of LEED certified structures on campus (including Silver and Gold designations), community garden (two acre organic garden) and the Prairie Urban Farm (one acre demonstration garden for locally grown food), numerous graduate and undergraduate programs related to sustainability
Extended recycling organics (in partnership with the City of Edmonton, a new anaerobic digesting facility converts all organic waste into methane, which is in turn used to generate heat and electricity at the city's Waste Management Centre)
Commuter amenities on campus car sharing program, Commuter Challenge, secure/sheltered bicycle parking, transit subsidies, electric vehicle charging stations
Community partnerships Earth Hour Race (teams of two compete to complete a series of challenges to encourage sustainable behaviours), Habitat for Humanity, Green Key Eco-Rating Program, EcoStay Program, Sustainability Speaker Series (sponsored in partnership with the City of Edmonton and other organizations), Sustainability Scholars (partnership with the City of Edmonton, provides unique sustainability-focused summer work opportunities)

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