For the sixth year in a row, Red River College has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, a designation that recognizes RRC’s environmentally friendly policies and programs that engage staff in their sustainability efforts.
The listing comes courtesy of Mediacorp Canada’s ongoing Top 100 Employers project, and coincides with Earth Day activities and events throughout the globe.
“Red River College continues to be a champion of sustainability,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “We’re honoured to continue to receive this honour each year for the past six years. This is something every member of our College community can take pride in.”
“There’s a real culture of sustainability at Red River College,” adds Sara MacArthur, RRC’s Manager of Sustainability. “Our staff do more than just ‘know’ about sustainability — they also embrace the values of sustainability in their day-to-day actions.”
Over the years, RRC has taken a lead role in a number of sustainability-related initiatives, including:
Installation of Rapid Charger for Electric Vehicles
In March 2015, RRC gave Manitoba’s electric vehicle (EV) owners a boost by unveiling its Level 3 (30kW DC) quick charging station, the first of its kind in the province and one of only two dozen across Canada. The station is a key element in the College’s Mobility from Green Energy Initiative, and a logical next step in its vehicle technology research program. Drivers of Level 3-compliant EVs – including Nissan Leafs, Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, and Teslas – can charge up at RRC’s Notre Dame Campus, while contributing to research on the charger’s performance in Manitoba’s climate.
In-house Recycling Program
The College has a comprehensive waste, recycling, composting and re-use program, in which all materials leaving RRC campuses are tracked using an online tool that provides detailed information on program performance and potential improvements. In 2015, RRC had a diversion rate of 44%, meaning almost half the materials leaving its campuses were recycled, composted or re-used.
RRC promotes sustainable transportation alternatives to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles coming to campuses. Staffare entitled to a 60% discount on monthly transit passes; this incentive, combined with rising parking costs, has resulted in significant increases in transit usage at three of RRC’s four downtown campuses.
Fair Trade Campus
As part of RRC’s ongoing efforts to become a Fair Trade Campus, vending machines now hold Fair Trade Certified coffee and Fair Trade Certified teas and chocolate are sold on-site.
RRC is one of the only institutions in Manitoba with an on-site compost program at its primary campus. Each day, more than 300 pounds of organic waste are sent to the compost pile. The finished compost is then used on College grounds, saving $1,000 in topsoil costs annually.
Paperless Student Evaluations
Beginning in March 2015, an online process replaced the paper form survey for students, affording them increased opportunities to complete the surveys, and providing instructors with more detailed feedback on courses and instructional methods.