12 Responsible Consumption and Production

SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Teaching and Learning:

  • Memorial acquires an 85-acre farm in Labrador and establishes a centre to support northern agricultural research, education and food security. "The farm property will give Memorial University and its Labrador Institute the infrastructure to continue to grow and support northern food security and community development and further Memorial’s commitment to agricultural research, education and outreach in the province".

Research: 

  • A research team at MI is trying to use what is considered "waste" from sealife such as shrimp and sea cucumber for the food, medical, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sectors, therefore limiting waste.
  • A team of researchers from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science use shrimp byproduct to create an environmentally friendly dispersant to combat offshore oil spills. The less-toxic dispersion demonstrates that this dispersant is an environmentally friendly alternative. The shrimp waste gets turned into a green product, something useful.
  • A student's research at Grenfell campus will help us to "understand how we can use a previously discarded waste source as part of a rich biofertilizer". Manure from cows was used as fertilizer for lettuce in the student's hydroponic greenhouse laboratory. This is a "pragmatic approach to integrate food production and liquid waste management".
  • Better models to assess Grand Banks fish stocks "will account for how fish productivity – such as reproduction, growth and mortality rates – varies over time and space". New ecosystem models will also "lead to the development of precautionary harvest strategies and fishing operations that help preserve the structure, productivity and diversity of ecosystems".
  • Work with a natural resource, sea urchins, has potential to create a new market. Roe from sea urchins is a highly prized delicacy in Japanese, American and European markets. This roe can be produced in greater amounts through the use of feed pellets from Norway. This is a natural resource that can be turned into a business and contribute to the economy.
    Memorial is playing an active role in NL's food security. A potential of 40-60 researchers and graduate students across the university are working on a number of initiatives including "improving Crown land approval and lease processes; identifying land, slaughterhouse and livestock opportunities in Labrador; ... creating agreements to ensure the growth of the agrifoods industry, ... and the development of a centre for agriculture and forestry development", amongst other things. Agricultural production will be enhanced through these initiatives.
  • Dr. Kelly Hawboldt, professor, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, is researching how to use waste to develop biofuels and bioproducts. Currently, "biofuels from food and agricultural production is unsustainable as it uses large tracks of land and diverts food sources towards fuel." Dr. Hawboldt suggests "Bioproducts derived from waste biomass... do not have these disadvantages and divert waste from landfill or costly disposal."
  • Dr. Raymond Thomas and collaborators are exploring mix cropping production systems as an approach to increase availability of feed in the province for livestock. Much of the animal feed in the province is imported. Mix cropping, a higher quality feed, has the potential to lead to "higher animal health and production. With higher nutrition, less feed will be required, thereby reducing the cost of production while increasing the quality of the animal as a food rich in protein and other essential amino acids and nutrients for humans."
  • Mechanically-extracted camelina oil will be used as a feed ingredient for farmed salmon and trout. "Genome Atlantic and its partners have transformed a tiny seed into a big opportunity, creating an innovative, alternative solution with long-term benefits to industry". This is a more sustainable production option than the use of wild-sourced fish to feed the farmed fish.
  • "The federal government is investing more than $5.5 million into multidisciplinary research led by Memorial that focuses on techniques and technologies to aid in oil spill response in Canada." Some of the projects being funded include Analysis of technical effectiveness of using dispersants to treat oil spills in Canadian waters, Understanding interactions between oil, dispersants, exopolymers and particles for improvement of marine oil spill response, Improved decanting and oily waste management strategies for marine oil spill response, and Development of improved adsorption technologies for oil spill response. This research will help to manage wastes and prevent their release into the environment.
  • "Dr. Jose Lam, professor of entrepreneurship in Grenfell’s business administration program, and Dr. Lakshman Galagedara, hydrologist with the Boreal Ecosystem Research Initiative, have been conducting a feasibility study on innovative and value-added dried fish and aquatic products for domestic and international markets... Expanded food production would also allow for new opportunities in the tourism industry." Some fisherman can now sell directly from their boat while others have lobster boil ups on the beach.

Public Engagement:

  • New greenhouse on-campus adds 26 new gardening plots for students, staff, and other groups to plant vegetables and fruits. This greenhouse also provides education on sustainable growing in the province.
  • $10,000 donation from the Office of Public Engagement’s Accelerator Fund will construct a demonstration model of an earth-sheltered greenhouse. This is "a structure adapted to cold climate sites often built into the side of a hill using the earth for insulation." This greenhouse will contribute to food sustainability and food production.
  • Multiple businesses ran by Memorial students take top prizes at Social Innovation Challenge. "Greenspace seeks to improve food security in the province by using shipping containers and other post-consumer materials to create low-cost urban farms." "Seaside Apparel uses recycled plastic bottles and cotton scraps to create clothing that’s ethically manufactured in co-operative facilities." These businesses focus on using recycled materials and help to reduce waste.
  • "Project Succseed uses hydroponics to grow affordable, fresh produce for use in rural communities." The hydroponics system uses mostly recycled materials and can be used year-round. There are five people participating in the pilot and will provide produce for their families. Extras left over will be sold at the local convenience store in Rigolet.
  • Collaboration between Marine Institute and Indonesia (the INVEST Co-op Indonesia project) will help to "increase production, productivity and access to markets and financial services through integrated production, financing and marketing co-operatives." " The project aims to strengthen the position of small-scale aquaculture producers of seaweed, milkfish and shrimp in four regencies in South Sulawesi: Takalar, Jeneponto, Bantaeng and North Luwu." Experts will also provide technical assistance on good aquaculture practices, food safety and quality, and waste management.

Administration:

  • Twice a week, members of Grounds and General Services, Facilities Management, collect the compost containers and deliver them to MUN's botanical garden. This is part of Memorial’s pilot composting program. Before this program, none of the food waste was composted. The program now helps to improve "the university’s waste management and is helping to fulfill Memorial’s core value of sustainability."
  • new waste management program through Aramark at the R. Gushue Dining Hall on the St. John’s campus has provided Memorial students the opportunity to divert waste from the landfill to a composting program. Students compost leftovers from their plates into composting bins. The Hall is also working on food portion management and giving students a proper portion where they can get more if they wish. This helps to reduce food waste. The Hall is also working on eliminating straws unless requested, using reusable cutlery, glass and dishware, compostable napkins, and more.
  • The Waste Management Committee at Grenfell introduces the third addition to the composting garden, a large wooden box backyard composter. Some of the funds for the creation of the composter came from recyclable collection. This composter will help to battle against food waste on the campus. The committee also hopes to bolster the recycling program on-campus and expand the program to include paper collection.
  • The Labrador Institute received ResDa funding for waste management study with the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay (pg. 28).
  • The creation of the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI), a partnership between MUN, Dalhousie, and UPEI, will focus on solutions for safe and sustainable ocean development. This could help to ensure sustainable management of natural resources (pg. 7).
  • Grenfell Campus provided course-based opportunities for students such as an environmental science course thst involved a student panel on electronic waste products.
  • ITS is working to reduce paper consumption (pg. 39)