Sheridan College commits $30M to Mission Zero initiatives
April 29, 2013 - Ontario’s Sheridan College hopes to become a ‘living laboratory’ for energy sustainability and conservation through two ‘Mission Zero’ initiatives and a $30.6-million investment over the next seven years.
By Alyssa Dalton
The initiatives are now underway—Sheridan’s Integrated Energy and Climate Master Plan (IECMP) aims to decrease the college’s overall energy and carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, while Zero Waste Sheridan (ZWS) will guide the transition to a zero-waste campus, with 2020 as the target year.
“New regulations stemming from the Green Energy Act require public institutions in Ontario to create a five-year energy plan by 2014,” said Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, Sheridan’s president and CEO. “Sheridan has spent the last two years creating and refining a 20-year plan, and has done so fully one year ahead of schedule. Not only have we achieved this important milestone, but we’ve also already begun to take action.”
The first year entails a $3.4-million investment in a series of sub-projects, including gaining control of energy use through building automation, energy conservation measures and infrastructure to distribute heating and cooling systems. While the first year will net approximately $83,000 in savings, Sheridan is projecting savings of close to $2 million in 2015, $3.5 million by 2017 and $5-6 million per year starting in 2020.
By the end of the 2013 fiscal year, Zero Waste Sheridan expects to save $230,000 annually and reduce carbon emissions by 200 metric tons.
“Sheridan’s Mission Zero initiatives are all about transitioning and aligning our business operations with sustainability,” said Elaine Hanson, the director of Sheridan’s Office of Sustainability. “Designing a 20-year sustainability plan with a full range of conservation and renewable supply options, such as photovoltaics or biofuels, provides the strategic foundation which balances Sheridan’s desire as a public institution to increase efficiency and align with the province’s energy and climate strategy.”
“Best of all, we’re giving people ownership over the outcome,” she added.