Sustainability

College named one of Canada’s greenest employers for seventh year

April 21, 2017

Rooftop beekeeping at RRC

From urban beekeeping, to landfill diversion efforts, to active transportation options for staff and students, Red River College shows no sign of ending its Greenest Employer winning streak.

For the seventh year in a row, RRC’s environmentally friendly policies and efforts to engage staff and students in sustainability efforts have resulted in a Canada’s Greenest Employer designation from Mediacorp Canada.

Today, almost 90 per cent of staff and faculty believe that sustainability needs to be a priority in all College operations, and it continues to be a key strategic priority, as well as a fundamental part of RRC’s five-year Strategic Plan.

“Red River College continues to be a champion of sustainability in Manitoba, and I congratulate all members of our College community for their efforts in continuing to cultivate a culture of sustainability at RRC,” says RRC president Paul Vogt. “From our applied research on green construction and vehicle technologies, to our recycling programs, to our state-of-the-art building projects, that culture touches everything we do.”

Feeding into that culture are the many initiatives that support RRC’s commitment to a green environment, including recycling and composting programs, efforts to promote public transit and other active transportation options, and e-waste drives that divert more than 10,000 pounds of electronic waste from landfills each year. Read More →

Hive mind: RRC launches urban beekeeping initiative on downtown dormitory rooftop

August 5, 2016

Chris Kirouac (Beeproject Apiaries)

Red River College’s downtown dormitory is home to more than just students this summer. The rooftop patio at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute is also the new seasonal home of our very own buzz-worthy urban beehives.

A fixture at PGI since early July, the three hives each house between 40,000 and 50,000 European honeybees, a docile but still industrious breed expected to produce up to 75 kilograms of honey by this fall.

Until that time, they’re being tended to by Beeproject Apiaries’ Chris Kirouac (shown above) and Lindsay Nikkel, a husband-and-wife team of former nurses who describe their sticky venture as a DIY hobby gone wild, and with whom RRC’s Sustainability department struck a honey of a partnership earlier this year.

The resulting initiative is a perfect match with the College’s mandate on sustainable practices, offering environmental benefits (via the pollination of nearby greenspaces) and the opportunity to add another locally sourced food product to RRC’s menu — one that arrives at the table in very nearly its natural state.

“Honey is one of those amazing foods that’s better the less refined it is,” says Kirouac, noting the harvested honey is bottled in a CFIA-inspected facility, but not pasteurized or refined in any way. “The quality and safety of honey — right when you crack the hive and stick your finger in there — means it’s good to go, just the way it is.”

Once extracted, the honey will be used by students in PGI’s culinary labs (including in the kitchen of restaurant Jane’s), and by Food Services departments at all three Winnipeg campuses. It’ll also be available for purchase at College events throughout the year, including a new farmer’s market planned for the Notre Dame Campus this fall. Read More →

Eyes on the future: College unveils new mission, vision and values statements

June 16, 2016

Open Cafe meeting

Classes may be winding down for the summer, but Red River College sits poised to enter a new era of post-secondary excellence, armed with an updated set of initiatives to guide its strategic direction and future growth for the next five years.

Following months of consultations with internal and external stakeholders — including a series of Open Café meetings (shown above) with staff and faculty from all campuses — the College has adopted newly-revised mission, vision and values statements, casting an aspirational eye towards sustainability, service to community, and global recognition.

Redrafted in tandem with RRC’s new Academic and Research Plan and pending five-year Strategic Plan (due this August), the new statements provide a roadmap for the College to follow, and a set of guidelines for all staff as they put policies into practice — both inside and outside the classroom.

“We don’t expect people to memorize them word for word, but hopefully to get to know them and understand what we are as an institution, and where we’re trying to go, so they can be part of the change,” says Cindee Laverge, vice-president, Student Services and Planning at RRC.

“It’s a way for people to help us achieve our strategic direction: through the mission and vision, to understand on a day-to-day basis what’s important to us, and through our values to understand how we work and play.” Read More →

RRC nabs Greenest Employer designation for sixth year in a row

April 22, 2016

greenest2016-englishFor the sixth year in a row, Red River College has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, a designation that recognizes RRC’s environmentally friendly policies and programs that engage staff in their sustainability efforts.

The listing comes courtesy of Mediacorp Canada’s ongoing Top 100 Employers project, and coincides with Earth Day activities and events throughout the globe.

“Red River College continues to be a champion of sustainability,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “We’re honoured to continue to receive this honour each year for the past six years. This is something every member of our College community can take pride in.”

“There’s a real culture of sustainability at Red River College,” adds Sara MacArthur, RRC’s Manager of Sustainability. “Our staff do more than just ‘know’ about sustainability — they also embrace the values of sustainability in their day-to-day actions.”

Over the years, RRC has taken a lead role in a number of sustainability-related initiatives, including: Read More →

Research partnership with Manitoba Hydro nets national innovation award

February 16, 2016

NSERC Award CeremonyA research partnership with Manitoba Hydro focusing on sustainable building infrastructure and transportation has earned Red River College the top honour from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Presented today at a ceremony at the Governor General’s residence in Ottawa, NSERC’s Synergy Award for Innovation recognizes outstanding research and development partnerships between colleges and industry partners in the fields of natural sciences and engineering. Only one Canadian college receives the award each year.

“This award is the highest level of validation a college can receive for the impact and lasting benefits of its research partnerships efforts,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Our partnerships with industry stakeholders like Manitoba Hydro are critical to our mandate for supporting innovation in Manitoba, and providing our graduates with the skills that industry requires.”

Dating back more than a decade, the partnership between RRC and Hydro includes collaboration on such high-profile projects as the award-winning Manitoba Hydro Place and the development of a zero-emissions electric battery transit bus.

“The legacy of the relationship between Manitoba Hydro and RRC will live on in our downtown office tower and zero-emission buses operating within many North American cities for decades to come,” says Lloyd Kuczek, Manitoba Hydro’s vice-president of Customer Care and Energy Conservation.

“These projects provide daily reminders of what we can accomplish through collaborative research and of the importance of leveraging the capabilities of research partners like RRC.”

Read More →

College’s commitment to sustainability in building management earns Earth Award for HETC

September 24, 2015

BOMEX AWARD PHOTO

Red River College has been recognized for excellence in building management with a 2015 Earth Award from the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Canada.

The award went to RRC’s Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre (HETC), and was presented in conjunction with BOMA’s national conference in Quebec on Sept. 17.

“We have an excellent Facility Management team and this award further demonstrates our hard work and dedication to sustainability,” says Tom Skraba, director of Facility Management at RRC. “I wish to congratulate the team for their tireless efforts.”

BOMA’s Earth Awards recognize excellence in resource preservation and environmentally sound commercial building management. During the selection process, BOMA evaluates a building’s ability to reduce overall environmental risk, provide good indoor air quality, practice green cleaning, recycling, and energy conservation.

HETC is one of the largest industrial training facilities in Manitoba, and one of the province’s most environmentally friendly buildings. Read More →

RRC awarded $1.75-million grant to establish new Centre for Building Envelope Performance

July 8, 2015

DSC00391Red River College has been awarded $1.75 million over five years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), to establish the Centre for Building Envelope Performance (CBEP) at the Notre Dame Campus.

Lawrence Toet, MP for Elmwood-Transcona (shown above, at centre), was on campus yesterday to announce the new funding, which comes in the form of a Technology Access Centres Grant under NSERC’s under College and Community Innovation (CCI) program.

Work on the CBEP will see RRC partnering with the local construction industry to conduct applied research, provide specialized education and training, and support innovation in building envelope design and construction.

“Colleges play a key role in supporting innovation and business, and RRC has been a leader in applied research for more than 10 years,” says Interim RRC President David Rew (above, second from right).

“This grant will help enhance our ability to serve Manitoba’s construction sector with advanced graduates and professional training, as well as foster innovation in a critical component of building design and construction.”

The CBEP is expected to significantly increase access to the College’s facilities, equipment and expertise for Manitoba’s building industry, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises whose products and services directly impact a building’s envelope. Read More →

College picks up pair of awards for building management, environmental responsibility

June 4, 2015

BOMA Manitoba 2015Red River College was recognized twice last month for excellence in building management and environmental responsibility, picking up a pair of honours at BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) Manitoba’s 2015 Awards of Excellence.

The College’s wins both came in BOMA’s Earth Awards category, with downtown’s Roblin Centre recognized in the Mixed-Use Building division, and the Notre Dame Campus’s Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre (HETC) in the Light Industrial category.

The Roblin Centre’s award celebrates a number of sustainable milestones, including a recent retrocomissioning process that focused on documentation and training to help improve energy efficiency and identify energy-saving opportunities.

BOMA’s Awards of Excellence program is designed to align with program requirements of BOMA Canada and BOMA International.

Last year, RRC’s Paterson GlobalFoods Institute (PGI) was recognized in the Multi-Use Building category. The Roblin Centre, HETC and PGI are all included on BOMA’s BESt (Building Environmental Standards)-Certified Buildings list.

Shown above: Murray Hiebert, Exchange District Campus Maintenance Manager; Tom Skraba, Director, Facility Management; and Dave Wozny, Technical Officer.

Five for five: RRC again recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers

April 22, 2015

Greenest Employer 2015 logoFor the fifth year in a row, Red River College has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers. This annual award acknowledges RRC’s environmentally-friendly policies, and programs that effectively engage staff in their sustainability efforts.

“Red River College continues to be a champion of sustainability in Manitoba, and I congratulate Sara MacArthur, Kristine Koster and Sue Hayduk from our Sustainability team for their efforts in continuing to cultivate a culture of sustainability,” said David Rew, Interim President and CEO, Red River College.

“As the only post-secondary institution in Manitoba to receive this honour each year for the past five years, this is something every member of our College community takes pride in.”

RRC works hard to be designated one of Canada’s Greenest Employers and is proud of the many sustainable initiatives launched by the College, including: Read More →

Cut it out! RRC marks Waste Reduction Week, Oct. 20-24

October 17, 2014

11999551035_10584e029c_zThis week, Red River College joins the growing number of individuals and organizations across Canada taking steps to cut waste and improve the environment.

From Oct. 20-24, RRC will mark Waste Reduction Week with a series of initiatives aimed at encouraging the College community to rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle — whether on campus or at home.

Waste reduction is a year-round effort at RRC, where each month we collect and recycle over nine tonnes of paper, food and beverage containers and cardboard. The diversion rate at RRC is over 50% — an impressive figure, considering Winnipeg’s residential diversion rate is only about 28%.

Here are three ways you can get involved: Read More →

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