Oct 09, 2018
Senior Communication Specialist
Bow Valley College
Bow Valley College Wins International Award for Campus Sustainability
CALGARY, AB – Bow Valley College was the only Canadian post-secondary institution to take home an award by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) during its annual conference last week in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Bow Valley College was recognized for its outstanding achievements in sustainability, due to its innovative recycling program and high compliance rate. Traditional recycling and composting programs, and special programs for fabric, plastic gloves, batteries, pens, IV bags, cooking oil, and electronics recycling enabled the college to increase its recycling rate from 19 to 76 per cent in only four years.
Finalists were announced last month, and were judged on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder involvement, clarity and other criteria specific to each category. Other winning colleges and universities are from such countries as Cameroon, Israel, Sweden, France and Britain.
Sustainability Coordinator Amy Spark, who helped launch the initiative, received the award on behalf of Bow Valley College and was a guest presenter at the conference. The four-day event focused on technology, programs and ideas on how to promote and share environmental models, policies, research, collaborations and transformative actions at the post-secondary level. “Our initiative was launched in 2016 in conjunction with the City of Calgary’s recycling and composting bylaws,” she states. “The award showcases the collaborative and volunteer efforts across all our campuses toward waste diversion. It also demonstrates to the community that Bow Valley College goes above and beyond bylaw-mandated waste diversion.”
Spark believes Bow Valley College was recognized for going beyond the minimum requirements. “We are trying to recycle not just easy items, but as many items as possible. The goal is to be a leader in waste and recycling and inspire other post-secondary institutions to follow suit.”
Vaughn Ravenscroft, Vice President, Strategy and Chief Information Officer at Bow Valley College, says Spark’s creativity and team approach took Bow Valley College from a single idea to an internationally recognized sustainability program within an 18-month period. “Our staff and learners are paramount to achieving this international award” he states. “The Bow Valley College community has adopted sustainability as a living, breathing part of its culture. We have been able to find unique ways to engage everyone to make this a reality.”
So what’s next in the college’s quest for a leaner, more environmentally friendly campus? Spark says her plan is to maintain momentum, further education, and move toward waste prevention. “We’re currently helping people understand the finer points of recycling, including pouring out coffee into our organic bin, and then recycling their coffee cups in the blue bin. We are also hosting “Fix-It Day” on October 24, 2018 to empower individuals to fix broken items rather than throwing them out or recycling them—which is collaboratively planned by BVC Green, the Intercultural Centre, and Students Association.”
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Bow Valley College
About Bow Valley College Bow Valley College - Calgary and region's only Comprehensive Community College - with more than 15,000 full- and part-time students, is a leader in business and health career training, community studies, creative technologies, adult upgrading, and English Language Learning.