Sustainability is an important concept at Red River College, continuing to be a significant focus in our new strategic plan. It’s about taking measures that enhance the viability of our institution, our environment, and our community. That’s why, on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 8:30 pm, Red River College will be joining millions of individuals, organizations and municipalities in 135 countries worldwide by shutting off all non-essential lighting and participating in Earth Hour.
Turning off your lights, TVs and computers for one hour might seem like a small commitment but the significance of that small commitment by all who work at RRC, can have an impact in reducing power consumption, and raising our awareness about the power of collective action and benefit to our planet.
Consider the electrical consumption of Red River College not just on Earth Hour but throughout the year. Our campuses span more than 1.4 million square feet of building space and consume enough electricity in a single month to power a Winnipeg home for 163 years.
To reduce electrical consumption we’ve installed occupancy sensors in new construction and renovation projects, use intelligent parking lot controllers and have developed a lighting replacement program (with T5 and LED lighting). Collectively, we can do even more to reduce our impact -even small actions like turning off the lights when daylight is sufficient, powering down your computer when it’s not in use, and re-considering the use of ancillary equipment like space heaters can make a difference.
In Manitoba we’re fortunate to receive the bulk of our electricity from hydropower, a renewable and more sustainable energy source, but that’s not the case elsewhere. Many provinces and states rely on burning coal to produce electricity. By reducing our electrical consumption within the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro is able to export more surplus power to neighbouring provinces and states and displace the reliance on fossil fuels.
This Saturday I hope you will join RRC and millions of people throughout the world to celebrate Earth Hour. At my home a candlelight evening with family and friends has become a tradition as we discuss ways to further reduce our carbon footprint. Perhaps you’ll consider doing something similar.
This Saturday I encourage you to pledge your participation. To learn more about Earth Hour, please go to www.earthhour.org.
President and CEO