Students and staff at Red River College pledged to continue serving as sustainability leaders this week, during activities timed to coincide with Earth Day celebrations around the world.
On Monday, April 23 (one day after the actual Earth Day), RRC held its second annual “State of Sustainability” celebration to inform the College community of the results of a recent environmental assessment.
Over the past year, RRC became the first Manitoba institution to take part in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating system (STARS), a comprehensive process to measure post-secondary sustainability performance — including operations, academics, social outreach and long term planning — and to benchmark those results against other post-secondary institutions.
College officials also launched Sustainability 365, a one-year work plan that outlines 42 specific and measurable targets to advance sustainability, including developing a Green Catering program, enhancing sustainability awareness through faculty development, and forming a Paper Reduction Task Force. Staff and students were invited to make their own sustainability pledges by setting eco-friendly targets they plan to achieve within the coming year.
“Sustainability is a journey, not a destination,” says Sara MacArthur, RRC’s Manager of Sustainability. “At Red River College, we’re committed to continually re-evaluating our practices and challenging ourselves to do better. Sustainability 365 will help to enhance our culture of sustainability and reduce our impacts.”
Monday’s event gave students and staff a chance to explore some of RRC’s newest eco-friendly initiatives, including worm-powered composting systems and household conservation strategies. They also gauged their “Sustainability IQ” and sampled a smorgasbord of locally-grown food.