WINNIPEG - Red River College has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2018 for the eighth straight year.
This annual award recognizes RRC’s environmentally friendly policies and programs that continue to successfully engage staff in their sustainability efforts on campus and at home. In surveys conducted over the past two years, 90 per cent of RRC’s staff and faculty consistently believe sustainability needs to be a priority in all College operations. It continues to be a key strategic priority for Red River College and is a fundamental part of the College’s Strategic Plan.
“Through the efforts of our Sustainability Office, and the commitment of our entire College community, Red River College continues to be a champion of sustainability in Manitoba,” said Paul Vogt, President & CEO, Red River College. “Every day on campus there are innovating and engaging activities that create a sustainable culture and educate our staff and students about the role they can play. Everything from pledging to power down over earth day, to learning about the energy reduction methods we use in our state-of-the-art buildings, to engaging in active transportation strengthens our overall commitment to sustainability.”
Last summer, RRC expanded its Urban Beekeeping Project in partnership with Beeproject Apiaries. RRC installed three hives on the rooftop of the Notre Dame Campus to complement the three existing hives on the fourth floor patio of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute. This addition doubled RRC’s yield to more than 150 kgs of honey, which is used as an ingredient in RRC’s Culinary Arts and Professional Baking programs and sold at the College-run farmers markets held throughout the year.
Throughout the summer, staff and students had the opportunity to visit the hives and learn about the important role bees play in our food system.
“Staff and student engagement is critical for the success of these projects. And what’s great is that these are the types of projects our staff and students want to be involved in,” said Sara MacArthur, Director, Sustainability, Red River College. “For example, we've taken staff on green building tours, visited the Brady Road Landfill, held bike safety courses – and of course have had a lot of interest in visits to the honeybee hives."
Green transportation has been top of mind over the last year. In a continued effort to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles coming to the College, the Sustainability Office engaged staff by asking them to prioritize the commuting programs and incentives that matter most to them. Red River College is proud to offer a 60% subsidized monthly transit pass, has 37 indoor bicycle parking spots downtown, and recently unveiled 37 weather-protected bike lockers at the Notre Dame Campus- the largest installation of bike lockers in the city. The College also offers a bike loan program, in which an employee can access a bicycle free of charge to commute during the workday.
Last year, Paterson GlobalFoods Institute was designated LEED Gold. The 113-year-old building is western Canada’s first skyscraper and is the first (and only) historically designated building to achieve a LEED New Construction rating in Manitoba. PGI houses the College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality programs and has a 100-bed student residence. PGI contains eight kitchen energy recovery units that capture heat from the Culinary Arts labs and restaurant cooking grills that would have normally been exhausted outdoors. This heat is then re-circulated throughout the building, decreasing reliance on natural gas.