Green Awards turn attention to sustainability

This year’s winners of the Western Green Awards are all about reduce, reuse and recycle when it comes to environmental sustainability.

Established in 2008, the Western Green Awards celebrate individuals and/or teams who initiate or support activities with positive environmental outcomes, encourage participation and involvement, work together with others or demonstrate an environmentally friendly effort. The purpose of the awards is to help raise awareness of sustainability at Western.

Announced Tuesday, the 2018 winners include Anatomy lab technician Kevin Walker, Environmental Engineering professor Clare Robinson, and Student Experience staff member Yvonne Fuller.

Sustainable thinking on campus took centre stage once again stage this year, as winners of the 2018 Western’s Ideas for Sustainability and the Environment (WISE) competition brought new insights to old problems.

Launched in 2014, WISE asks graduate and undergraduate students to come up with innovative and high-impact ideas to reduce – or even eliminate – some of today’s most pressing environmental problems.

This year’s WISE winners included Annabelle Laurin, Undergraduate Category, and Dennis He and Michelle Clarke, Graduate Category.


Kevin Walker
Anatomy lab technician

Kevin Walker takes daily action to reduce, reuse and recycle in order to improve the environment and lives of people on our beautiful campus. In his role as an anatomy lab technician, Walker has made a name for himself assisting many graduate students to complete their research projects by problem-solving and manufacturing solutions out of saved materials. His economical insight, resourcefulness and commitment to the practice of sustainability is an advantage to his department and Western.

Clare Robinson
Environmental Engineering professor

Clare Robinson has been active in supporting environmental awareness and sustainability initiatives since starting at Western in 2009. She has fostered awareness for sustainability and environmental issues through her teaching, research and extensive service and interdisciplinary activities on campus, as well as the broader community. As a professor in Environmental Engineering, Robinson has played a key role in developing and delivering curriculum focused on sustainability and environmental issues. Beyond Western, she works to raise the profile of Western as a leader in Environment and Sustainability.

Yvonne Fuller
Student Experience staff member

Yvonne Fuller’s passion for sustainability directly and consistently contributes to Western’s environmental goals helping to lead her team in adopting environmental behaviours. Through her work with employees, students and volunteers in the Student Development Centre, Fuller’s focused and tireless efforts have resulted in green conversations, collective consciousness and environmental awareness among all.


Annabelle Laurin
Don’t Throw in the Towel
Undergraduate Recipient

Environmental Science student Annabelle Laurin believes innovative ideas should be simple, concrete and practical. Her proposal involves reducing paper towel waste through composting using a ‘paper-towel only’ bin set up in all washrooms on campus. While this idea is not entirely new, Laurin’s Western-specific plan aims to start on a small, local scale with the ultimate goal of eventually eliminating all compostable material from landfills.

Dennis He and Michelle Clarke
Graduate Recipients

Masters of Environment and Sustainability students Dennis He and Michelle Clarke hope their concept GreenYards, a model for urban cropshares, will ensure a sustainable and resilient community in London. With a business plan to encourage homeowners to donate their yards to plant productive vegetable gardens, the crops of which would then be sold to local businesses and farmers markets, GreenYards aims to make a small, but measureable, impact on a local scale by generating partnerships with businesses and encouraging community collaboration.