Environmental Sustainability Shines

A First for Walker Environmental & Canadian Colleges

Niagara College JerseyOn January 7, 2013, Niagara College’s Wine Visitor + Education Centre (WVEC) marked an exciting environmental achievement.  The WVEC, located at the College’s NOTL Campus became the first post secondary educational facility in Canada to earn Carbonzero Certified status. This certification indicates that the carbon emissions resulting from the operations of the educational facility have been quantified, audited and offset through a partnership with Walker Environmental (WE).

Niagara College’s WVEC opened in November 2009 as the first on-campus facility of its kind in Ontario. It is home to the first   commercial Teaching Winery in Canada. The 8,500 square-foot facility is a state-of-the-art centre for education and applied learning in wine and viticulture for students and the public.

Niagara College visitThe event itself celebrated the WVEC’s certification as a Carbonzero Certified building as well as the College’s partnership with Niagara’s Walker Environmental . Representatives from Niagara College, Walker Industries, Walker Environmental and Carbonzero were all in attendance along with NOTL’s Lord Mayor David Eke, Regional Chair Gary Burroughs, Minister of the Environment/St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley and other members of the community.

Over the last year, Niagara College has been working with WE, a division of Walker Industries and Carbonzero, which have created a carbon neutral building service with the vision of making sustainable building operations more accessible and practical for small to medium-sized businesses and organizations.  This effort is part of Niagara College’s ongoing commitment to incorporate environmental sustainability – a key strategic priority for the College – into its operations.

Walker Environmental  ’s Kirsten Groody with COO of Carbonzero, Dan FralieghWe are proud to have been part of the Wine Visitor + Education Centre’s journey to Carbonzero Certified, “said Kirsten Groody, manager of Business Support for WE.” We appreciate the opportunity to work with students to quantify the facility’s greenhouse gas impact, identify energy efficiency opportunities and use carbon as a driver for continuous environmental improvement.”

Once WE completed its assessment of the WVEC, Carbonzero, Canada’s leading carbon offset provider and public registry stepped in to review and confirm the findings.

“We are honoured to welcome the Niagara College Wine Visitor and Education Centre as the first Carbonzero Certified educational institution in Canada, “ said Carbonzero COO Dan Fraleigh. “The College’s diligent approach to sustainability and its commitment to the environment will continue to put it on the map as a high quality destination for postsecondary education for many years to come.”

WE will continue to partner with Niagara College to quantify, reduce and offset additional facilities on their Welland and Niagara-On-The-Lake campuses.