Climate strategies

Survey anticipates 300 responses

Journal File Photo

The University is seeking input from students on features to be included in the upcoming Climate Action Plan (CAP).

The input is being collected through an online survey, which is tailor-made for students, staff members and faculty.

The questions in the survey came from themes and ideas that were proposed during last spring’s CAP community forum, as well as input from the Delphi Group, a consulting firm hired to aid to the plan’s development, and from the CAP Advisory Committee, which includes staff and faculty members and student representatives.

Queen’s Sustainability Manager Aaron Ball said the survey is expected to run at least another week, following which an analysis of the results will be conducted.

“We are hoping for at least 300 responses,” he told the Journal via email, adding that 200 people have already responded.

The results will contribute to the finalized Climate Action Plan, which is expected to be released this fall, Ball said.

The survey asks for participants’ opinions on possible sustainability strategies, including enforcing a standard temperature in campus buildings (20 C maximum in the winter, 26 C minimum in the summer) and a campus ban on one-use items such as styrofoam plates and cups and plastic utensils.

The introduction of a campus-wide energy challenge, an organic waste system and the consolidation of employees into fewer buildings during the summer to save energy, were also proposed strategies.

Ball said the CAP Advisory Committee will continue meeting and planning during the fall.

“In addition, we are planning another community forum-type event once we get closer to having a final draft,” he said. “At that stage there will still be some opportunity for input and suggestions on the final draft of the plan.  “Finally, as the CAP and its implementation will extend over many years, the plan is not intended to be static and will require revisions and updates to match the current times.”

The CAP was born out of Principal Daniel Woolf’s 2010 signing of the University and College Presidents’ Climate Change Statement of Action for Canada, which required the University to develop a Climate Action Plan, among other things.

Woolf’s signing followed a campaign led by Queen’s Backing Action Against Climate Change (QBACC) urging him to sign the Statement.

QBACC has one representative sitting on the CAP Advisory Committee.

QBACC Co-Director Vincent Hanlon, ArtSci ’14 said that while QBACC is happy that student input is being sought, he thinks the survey wasn’t distributed enough, with the main advertising being on Twitter and the Queen’s website.

“The number of students who will access the survey will probably be quite low,” Hanlon said.

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