Saturday, November 28, 2009

Royal Roads University Sustainability Plan

I go to Royal Roads University in Victoria B.C. and therefore we had to do a blog on the sustainability plan of Royal Roads University. I am not going to lie and beat around the bush, I have not read the Royal Roads University Sustainability Plan but will have to in order to make this blog post accurate. We had various speakers/employees of Royal Roads come and talk to us about where Royal Roads is on sustainability now, where they want to be, and a vision on how to get there.
According to the Royal Roads University Sustainability Plan, the university’s policy has had sustainability implemented since It opened in 1995. Many policies that have to do with sustainability have been made and passed throughout the years such as: Environmental Stewardship Policy and a sustainability plan. The university also has set many goals in addition to these policies. The main focus of the university at the moment is to become carbon neutral by 2010; this is because in B.C. all of the Public services need to become carbon neutral by this time.
According to Mr. Steve Grundy of Royal Roads University, the university’s goals and plans for the future are to become Grid positive or “off grid” by 2018. A big part of reaching this goal that is being implemented today is the preservation of using less energy. The university’s computer labs have energy star computers which help save energy, and they also are programmed to self turnoff or sleep at night. In order to reach their goal by 2018 many other plans need to be implemented, for this goal to be reached the university must introduce different sources of energy, heat and water. One idea that was broght up was the use of burning the methane gas that is produced by we organic waste to heat the campus buildings and being self sufficient.
The part about the university that impresses me, it the wonderful recycling program that is put in place. It consists of, compost, bottles, plastic, paper, juice boxes almost everything is being recycled. The supervisor of the janitorial staff talked to us about the recycling program and how they accumulated $11,000 in five years by recycling bottles alone. This money is then used to implement more recycling bins and also gets donated to The United Way Charity. Some of the janitorial staff were allergic to cleaning with chemicals and now use a micro-fiber cloth and water which actually works better. The micro-fiber cloth can then be washed and re-used up to 50 times which eliminates the amount of paper towel going in the garbage. In 2003 the janitorial staff came up with the idea to start using compostable paper towels in the bathrooms. By doing this the janitorial staff realized that they were eliminating 10 tons of paper towel going to the garbage per year, which is now recycled. The cafeteria at the university is also putting in their two cents about a sustainable campus by having a recycling program as well. The cafeteria’s plates, coffee cups, coffee sleeves, cutlery and plastics are made of a compostable corn material which helps eliminate unneeded wastes going to the landfill as these items can be composted.
The Royal Roads University Sustainability Plan is in full effect and is going to expand and excel through the upcoming years. The university is well aware of the changes that need to be made to meet these goals and by making small changes will reach their goal of being grid positive by 2018.

Royal Roads University Sustainability Plan, December 2008. 6B4F4A7/0/SUSTAINABILITYPLAN4.pdf

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