Memorial is progressing in becoming a more sustainable campus. The Department of Facilities Management recently hired a sustainability co-ordinator to promote, develop and implement effective sustainability practices such as reducing green house gas emissions, paper consumption and energy use.
St. John’s-native Toby Rowe started on Jan. 3. She said Memorial has the potential to become a role model for sustainability initiatives.
“The size of the university population creates the potential for us to have a lot of influence and to motivate change,” she said.
Ms. Rowe, who obtained an honours degree in biology from Queen’s University and a graduate diploma in ecotoxicology from Concordia, said it’s important that Memorial implements sustainability strategies.
“Doing so will ensure that as the university grows it will do so with minimum impact on the environment and in an economical sustainable way,” said Ms. Rowe, who previously worked as the executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Legacy Nature Trust in St. John’s. She has also worked with environmental groups and government in Nova Scotia and British Columbia.
Ms. Rowe said she’ll work collaboratively with Memorial’s students, faculty and staff to harness ideas, creativity and resources to increase participation in the university’s current activities, and to determine new initiatives.
Recently, Memorial has introduced sustainability projects including Ride Share, which encourages carpooling, as well as an energy saving retrofit program.
She said these types of projects have benefits for both the university and the wider community. Energy efficient buildings, for example, involve financial savings to the university as well as green house gas emission reduction. Carpooling will reduce emissions and provide financial savings to participants.
“Universities and other educational institutions are educating the future decision makers of our communities, and are uniquely positioned to influence the direction we take as a society,” she said. “As students, faculty and staff become more aware of sustainability initiatives, hopefully they will bring these ideas and attitudes to their lives outside of Memorial.”
Faculty, students and employees are encouraged to contact Ms. Rowe regarding any sustainability issue at 737-2637 or firstname.lastname@example.org.