By the Numbers
Letter from the President
Ron J. McKerlie
Mohawk College committed to being a leader in environmental sustainability when we adopted our first comprehensive Environmental Management Plan (EMP) in 2011. The plan was the first of its kind for an Ontario college. It was a plan that set bold targets for energy and waste reduction, and included a call for a 20% reduction in 2007 baseline carbon emissions by 2020. We exceeded this target in 2014, six years ahead of schedule. A second plan, EMP 2.0, followed in 2015 and committed the college to a 30% reduction in 2007 baseline emissions by 2020.
We've come a long way since then. Today, we have reduced carbon emissions by 63%, more than double our 2015 target. At the same time, we have taken aggressive action to reduce waste and introduce policies and initiatives that encourage sustainable practices among students, employees and the community. We also built Canada's largest and the region's first zero carbon institutional building, The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation.
These successes have established Mohawk as a climate change leader and innovator within the community and the education sector, and have helped to develop strong connections with government and industry that are leading to new and exciting opportunities for our students and community.
The following report highlights the work that has been done to improve the sustainability of our campuses and the success of EMP 2.0, with a special focus on 2018 and 2019. It was during these years that Mohawk celebrated a number of key milestones, including becoming the first college in Ontario to achieve a Gold rating through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS®) of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
One of the achievements that contributed to the STARS® Gold rating was the opening of The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation. At 96,000 square feet, The Joyce Centre is an example of what can be done to fight climate change. It is also a unique living lab for our students, faculty and staff. In its first year of operation, the building exceeded its design goals, generating 115% of the energy it needed to operate through renewable sources, and quickly becoming a case study in zero carbon building operations.
The report also provides a snapshot of sustainability initiatives and progress in campus operations, student engagement, and curriculum and research. While we've made great progress, we know that much work remains to be done, and new challenges present themselves each day. That's why we're continuing our mission to ensure students have the opportunity to Learn. Live. Lead.™ in sustainability at Mohawk College.
Mohawk establishes the Sustainability Office and the Go Green Committee (GGC).