KPU Again Deemed One of Canada’s Greenest Employers

KPU has won the "Greenest Employers" award for the second year

(Yuta Anonuevo)

Less than a week before this year’s Earth Day, Mediacorp Inc. published a list of the “greenest employers in Canada.” Along with the City of Vancouver and the University of Toronto, Kwantlen Polytechnic University once again earned a top place on the list.

According to its website, Mediacorp is the “nation’s largest publisher of quality employment periodicals, reaching over 15 million Canadians each year.” The organization was created in 1992 and provides recognition for Canada’s top 100 employers as well as 19 other regional and special interest designations.

This is the second year that KPU has won the “Greenest Employers” award. The president of the university, Alan Davis, says that “it’s incumbent upon us to turn that around and see how we can celebrate our work.”

“A lot goes into trying to be green and we can take some satisfaction and celebrate the fact that we actually do put a lot of time and effort into this,” he says. “We’re interested in ensuring that people think of KPU as a respectable, socially responsible institution. We try not just to teach it but also to practice what we preach.”

KPU has many sustainability-related initiatives such as waste and recycling management, distribution of drinking water, reduction of energy usage, and environmentally-focused programs.

KPU has also been the recipient of similar awards in the past. In 2014 and 2012 it received the BC Hydro Power Smart Excellence Award and in 2010 and 2009 it was designated a BC Hydro Power Smart Leader.

Still, Davis acknowledges that there is much more to be done.

“We need someone to take our ideas and put them into action,” he says. “It’s all being done off of the side of people’s desks and I think we’ve kind of plateaued.”

He hopes to hire a sustainability manager soon to work with the university’s Environmental Sustainability Committee and implement new ideas for how to be more environmentally conscious. According to Davis, this—and other potential initiatives such as adding plugins for electric cars in campus parking lots—will be part of the university’s next strategic plan.

“The awards are nice and they give us these opportunities to have conversations,” he says. “It’s a good way to celebrate a lot of work that both the employees and the students do [but we also need to] make sure that we not only win awards, but that we actually are more sustainable as an institution.”

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