Student Independent Projects Environmental Studies 2015: A Comparison of Energy Efficiency Initiatives at Grenfell Campus and Other Similar-Sized University Campuses Across Canada

Tyson, Llianne (2015) Student Independent Projects Environmental Studies 2015: A Comparison of Energy Efficiency Initiatives at Grenfell Campus and Other Similar-Sized University Campuses Across Canada. Research Report. Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Exponential global population growth, driven by increasing personal consumption, has escalated the demand for energy, especially from non-renewable fossil fuels by both developed and developing economies. This ever-increasing demand for fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas has contributed to the continued rapid rise in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. GHG emissions contribute to global warming and climate change. International initiatives like the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have promoted programs to reduce GHG emissions globally. In an effort to reduce these emissions, the involvement of universities was deemed essential and was actively sought. As institutions of higher learning, universities have an important role as exemplars of sustainability. These institutions promote the public good through education of their students and through the creation of knowledge. Universities also bring together a wide variety of the academic and professional schools that can address complex issues such as global warming and climate change. To assist campuses in becoming greener, two action plans have been developed as guidelines for sustainability. These are the Talloires Declaration of 1990 and the UNEP's Greening Universities Toolkit of 2013. This paper will focus on a comparison of sustainable energy management practices among Grenfell Campus, Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador and three other universities. They are Acadia University of Nova Scotia, Algoma University of Ontario and the University of Northern British Columbia. These universities were chosen for their comparable sizes, their diverse locations across Canada and their sometimes-remarkable sustainable achievements. Energy management practices will be discussed in terms of energy conservation and efficiency in renewable energy sources, innovative building construction and design, A COMPARISON OF ENERGY EFFICIENT INITIATIVES AT GRENFELL CAMPUS 3 transportation, green IT initiatives, environmental courses and programs, environment and sustainability-focused groups and clubs as well as efforts by individuals on campus to conserve energy. This comparison was undertaken to determine the extent to which sustainable initiatives are adopted by Memorial University's Grenfell campus. Grenfell Campus began its green initiatives program well after the other campuses and lags behind in areas such as renewable energy sources, transportation and efforts by individuals on campus to conserve energy. However, it compares quite favorably in the areas of energy conservation and efficiency in building construction and design and matched other universities in the academic courses and programs offered. In addition, Grenfell has quantified its GHG emissions in an effort to become a more climate-responsible campus. Finally, Grenfell Campus could employ a combination of the Talloires action plan and UNEP's Greening Toolkit to help better inform its decisions when implementing its green projects, thereby becoming more environmentally sustainable.

Item Type: Report (Research Report)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11952
Item ID: 11952
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > Division of Social Science > Environmental Studies
Grenfell Campus > Division of Social Science > Environmental Studies
Date: 2015
Date Type: Submission

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