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RRC Again Named One of Canada’s Greenest Employers

April 20, 2012

The annual Greenspace Management Plant Sale at Red River College.

Red River College has again been recognized as one of Canada’s sustainability leaders, having been named one of Canada’s 50 Greenest Employers for the second year in a row.

“Corporate social responsibility is an important concept at Red River College,” said Stephanie Forsyth, President of RRC. “As an institution, we’ve committed ourselves to minimizing the environmental impact of our operations, incorporating sustainability into our research and academic programming, and engaging staff and students in more eco-conscious behaviour.”

Forsyth also pointed out that sustainability is identified as one of the College’s four key themes in its new strategic plan.

RRC is one of only two Manitoba organizations to be named to this year’s Greenest Employer list, and one of only six post-secondary institutions across Canada. Some of the College’s recent environmental initiatives include:

  • 100% of cleaning products are EcoLogo-certified
  • More than 300 pounds of organics are composted daily at the on-site compost facility at the Notre Dame Campus.
  • The Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre was among the first education facilities in Canada to be LEED certified. The new Paterson GlobalFoods Institute is also being built to LEED standards of efficiency.
  • Grounds equipment runs on biodiesel made on-site from used cooking oil.
  • Water fountains are being retrofitted as bottle fill stations to encourage the use of more refillable water containers and reduce consumption of plastic bottles.

During the past year, the College has also engaged in a comprehensive process to measure sustainability in all aspects of its operations, and benchmark those results against other post-secondary institutions through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). RRC is the only Manitoba institution to use this program, among 282 schools from around the world.

Launched in 2007, the Canada’s Greenest Employers competition is organized by the editors of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. This special designation recognizes the employers that lead the nation in creating a culture of environmental awareness in their organizations.

RRC Alumni Launch “One-Stop-Shop” for Specialty Food Products

April 4, 2012

From left: Wayne Doerksen, Brennan Taniguchi, and Chris Boreski, of World Wise Distribution

A trio of Red River College grads have teamed up to launch a new company that could soon become the leading distributor of specialty foods in Central Canada.

Chris Boreski (Business Administration, 2004), Wayne Doerksen (Red Seal Chef, 2001), and Brennan Taniguchi (Business Administration, 2010) are the driving forces behind World Wise Distribution, a new Winnipeg-based company that was launched to meet the growing demand among retailers and restaurants for natural, organic, gluten-free, kosher, vegan, locally-grown and other specialty food products.

“It’s a great feeling to see the amazing reaction from our wholesale customers when they see our wide assortment of products,” says Boreski, operations manager at World Wide Distribution. “They know they can purchase them here — from a local company.”

Since most distributors are based in Toronto or Vancouver, local retailers are usually forced to purchase specialty items from out-of-province.

“Shipping dollars outside (of Manitoba) is no longer necessary,” says Doerksen, a former chef and self-described product guru who saw the market need for a local distributor specializing in locally-grown products.

“Our business model is based on fast delivery and local expertise — something that was really lacking in the marketplace, when the closest specialty natural foods distributor was based in Toronto.”

The launch of World Wise Distribution has opened the door for more Manitoba-based specialty food processors to gain immediate access to a local distributor, which in turn helps to get more Manitoba products into the marketplace, says Taniguchi, logistics manager for the new company.

“They key to our success is our unique product offering and our strategic positioning here in Winnipeg,” says Taniguchi. “With the development of CentrePort and the North American Trade Corridor, Winnipeg is quickly becoming the location of choice for logistics-related companies.”

For more information on World Wise Distribution, or for a full listing of products, see www.worldwise.ca.

RRC Powers Down for Earth Hour 2012

April 2, 2012

March 31st marked the day the lights went out at Red River College — as staff and students joined in Earth Hour activities taking place throughout the world.

At 8:30 p.m., RRC turned off all non-essential lighting, joining the millions of individuals and organizations who unplugged to show their commitment to environmental sustainability.

“Sustainability is an important concept at RRC, and it continues to be a significant focus in our new strategic plan,” says RRC President Stephanie Forsyth. “It’s about taking measures that enhance the viability of our institution, our environment, and our community.”

To reduce electrical consumption throughout the calendar year, RRC has installed occupancy sensors at construction and renovation sites, and developed a lighting replacement program using T5 and LED lighting.

“Collectively, we can do even more to reduce our impact,” says Forsyth. “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 world of difference.”