Going Green(er)

Rory Tighe - Wed Aug 31, 2011

Over the past year, the Students’ Union has worked hard to become an organization that supports a culture of sustainability. In fact, in our new Strategic Plan, we explicitly mention the following as one of our key values:

“We value ensuring the ability to serve current and future generations by being socially, environmentally, and economically responsible.”

We still have a long way to go but have made a lot of real progress in a relatively short time.

Over the past year, we have thoroughly reviewed our ‘Sustainability Service’, the Environmental Coordination Office of Students (ECOS). This review produced some great recommendations and, with the hard work of the Director, has come a long way. The Service is now called SUSTAIN SU and will be working hard to support and create sustainability initiatives on campus throughout the year.

In the past month, with support from the university, the Students’ Union also installed two new chilled water-refill stations to replace old water fountains. The hope is that individuals will be encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle with them everywhere on campus and use these stations to fill up.

We have also been wrapping up the final stages of our Sustainability Assessment and will be releasing a summary within the next month. The Assessment provides a ‘snapshot’ of where we are currently at and where we could go from here. Over this year, we can all look forward to some more of the Assessments’ initiatives being implemented. A couple of examples of what is to come include: a Socially Responsible Investment Policy, and the transitioning out of our Styrofoam and non-recyclable/compostable food containers and utensils. We will also be working with our new Product Development Expert to implement some additional sustainability-focused food items into our menus.

If you have any further questions, suggestions, or concerns, please do not hesitate to follow-up with me, either in person at SUB 2-900, by phone at 780-492-4236, or by email at