Colleges call for infrastructure renewal to tackle climate change

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Ottawa is being urged to use its March 22nd budget to tackle climate change through investments in construction projects at colleges that will make buildings more energy efficient.

“This is an historic opportunity to transform our campuses as we work to reverse climate change,” said Dr. Ron Common Sault College president. “We can create a new generation of buildings at our colleges that produce as well as consume energy, and help people acquire the necessary skills to improve energy efficiency across the economy.”

Investments in retrofits and repairs of older buildings will result in less energy consumed. New funding will also allow colleges to upgrade facilities that are specifically customized to train people pursuing clean-economy careers.

College campuses should be a priority as Ottawa looks to invest in infrastructure renewal. Many college buildings in Ontario are old and need significant upgrades, with a deferred maintenance backlog province-wide of more than $1 billion.
These investments would build on the leading role that colleges have played in the shift to a sustainable future.

Ontario’s colleges promote sustainability within the physical structure of the campuses and in programs that prepare graduates for the sustainable economy. College graduates find rewarding careers in fields that include renewable energy, green architecture, and wastewater treatment.

“We have made significant improvements to the College campus over the past several years; energy efficient equipment purchases, low energy lighting retrofits, and new building controls have been added to reduce our power consumption. We are constantly seeking opportunities to improve energy efficiencies”, says Trevor Rising, Director of Physical Resources. “If capital funds are made available to us, we will target additional green initiatives that would further reduce our carbon footprint and lower our operational costs”.

“Creating a culture of sustainability is a core value at our College. While we have done a lot to improve the efficiency of our College campus, the fact remains that we some have buildings that are 50 years old. We need to continue to make investments in our facilities to keep them relevant to our students and environmentally friendly for the common good.” said Dr. Common. “We strongly encourage the federal government to help us promote greater efficiency in our buildings.”

About Sault College

The vision of Sault College is to provide a transformative life experience through empowering those who study with us to think and learn in progressive, innovative ways, including those we have not yet imagined. Ranked #1 in the province for two years in a row with a score of 88.6% in overall student satisfaction by students themselves, Sault College grants Ontario College certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, graduate certificates, and degrees to its graduates. The College is one of the largest deliverer of apprenticeship training in all of Northern Ontario. Educating over 3,900 students each year, Sault College has a significant economic impact on the community, with spin-offs in excess of $158 million. Over $2 million dollars in scholarships, bursaries and awards are distributed annually to students at the College. Located on the border to the United States and situated in the middle of three of the largest Great Lakes on the planet, Sault College is one of 24 publicly-funded colleges in the province of Ontario. Visit our website at www.saultcollege.ca to learn more.