Sustainability manager appointed

University District

Former infrastructure task force program co-ordinator Gail Wood first to fill new position

Sustainability Manager Gail Wood said she hopes she can help link green initiatives across campus.
Sustainability Manager Gail Wood said she hopes she can help link green initiatives across campus.

On Apr. 21 Gail Wood became Queen’s first Sustainability Manager.

Wood said the position was created in order to encourage a cohesive sustainability movement across campus.

“There are lots of groups on campus as well as a lot of sustainability,” she said. “Students are active, but these groups are not housed under a single umbrella.”

Wood has taught environmental studies courses at Queen’s, and until recently, was Program Coordinator for Queen’s University Infrastructure Programs Task Force.

“It’s been a long-term interest right from school,” she said. “I’ve always been interested in environmental issues.”

As sustainability manager, a position that falls within the domain of Queen’s Physical Plant Services, Wood will work in conjunction with the Sustainability Office.

“The position resides there,” said Wood. “It is a sign of the university’s commitment to sustainability.”

Wood said with the creation of this position comes a new way to bring the different aspects of sustainability from across campus together.

“This is a focal point for sustainability on campus,” she said. “I am really pleased to see the widespread activities at Queen’s.”

Vice-Principal (Operations and Finance) Andrew Simpson said the Sustainability Office has a strategic plan in place.

“One of the first tasks of the Sustainability Office will be to develop a strategic framework and a Sustainability Policy from which an action plan for sustainable initiatives will be written,” he told the Journal via e-mail.

Simpson said the new plan will be formed on a long-term basis.

“It is expected that the Action Plan would include a three-year time frame for targeted goals and objectives.” Simpson said the new initiatives will require input from the Queen’s community.

“This process requires consultation with students, faculty and staff in support of the mission of the University.”

Simpson said the main function of the office is to oversee the progress of sustainability initiatives across campus.

“In the broadest sense, the office will ensure that sustainability issues are at the forefront of everything we do at Queen’s,” he wrote. Simpson said the ongoing construction projects at Queen’s will be one aspect of Queen’s life that will be influenced by the Sustainability Office. “The Sustainability Office will help ensure that sustainable design continues to be at the forefront of construction projects on campus,” he said. “Sustainable design, a long-standing practice at Queen’s, balances a project’s impact on the environment with its cost, functionality and serviceability.”

Simpson said one of the main reasons for the new position of Sustainability Manager is to aid in the distribution of knowledge about sustainable initiatives.

“The students, staff and faculty at Queen’s are involved in a large number of sustainability initiatives across campus and many are not well known,” he said. “The Sustainability Manager will serve as a contact and resource to both coordinate and increase awareness about existing sustainability initiatives as well as to facilitate new sustainability opportunities and initiatives.”

Eco-friendly Options

The Tea Room

The Tea Room colour-codes all of its product packaging to ensure the items are recycled properly. It also uses biodegradable mugs and napkins—with vermicomposting units on site and offers a travel mug discount. The Tea Room is located in the Integrated Learning Centre at the corner of Division and Union Streets.

The Earth Centre

The Earth Centre sells eco-friendly home and personal products, such as cloth shopping bags, shampoos and soaps, cleaning products and energy-efficient light bulbs. The centre also provides information about how to live a more eco-friendly life.
The Earth Centre is located in the basement of MacGillvary Brown Hall, at Barrie and Earl Streets.

Coffeeco

Coffeeco serves a delicious and varied array of all-organic coffees and teas. It also use biodegradable takeout cups and serves stay-in drinks in china mugs. Coffeeco is located at the corner of Division and Johnson Streets.

—Angela Hickman

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