Western wins environmental honour

Western’s sustainability efforts reached a “significant milestone” last night as the university took home the Environmental Leadership Award presented by the London Chamber of Commerce at its annual Business Achievement Awards, the largest business awards gala of its kind in Canada. The university was nominated by recycling service provider BFI Canada Inc.

“We are proud and appreciative of our Facilities Management team, as well as all those who have helped sustainability initiatives on this campus,” said Gitta Kulczycki, vice-president (operations). “This award is a significant milestone for those efforts and achievements.”

The win highlights dozens of Western’s green initiatives such as its commitment to environmentally viable buildings and operations; energy reductions; transportation enhancements; and waste diversion. Western has demonstrated excellence in leadership, awareness and education for initiatives such as the creation of the President’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability (PACES), residence recycling awareness nights and the introduction of a new environment and energy manager position.

In January, the award selection committee paid a visit to the shortlisted organizations. They arrived on campus for a first-hand view of current initiatives.

Jim Galbraith of Facilities Management took the group through the recycling process featuring battery collection and e-waste; Mary Quintana Lopez of Facilities Management led a tour of lighting advancements in the University Community Centre; and Mike Gaylard of the Department of Engineering took the review panel up to the green roof of the Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion.

“It is special as this is recognition not just among university peers, but among the broader business community,” Kulczycki said. “We hope an award like this will create further momentum for sustainability on campus.”