Ontario colleges are leading the fight to tackle climate change: Report

TORONTO, Oct. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - Ontario's colleges are playing a leading role in Canada's efforts to tackle climate change, says a new report released today.

The report, Moving to Net Zero: Colleges Leading the Way, highlights the 24 colleges' achievements in everything from leading-edge research that promotes energy efficiency to the development of programs that prepare increasing numbers of graduates for careers in areas such as renewable energy and sustainable building construction.

"We're at the forefront of the efforts to produce a cleaner economy," said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "Our colleges will play an even greater role in the years ahead as the country works to fulfil its international commitments to reduce emissions."

The report released today documents achievements in five areas: research, community leadership, college programs, transportation and campus upgrades. The examples in the report confirm that all 24 colleges are playing an active part in the effort to reduce the province's carbon footprint.

The findings in the report include:

  • Throughout the province, colleges offer more than 300 programs that prepare graduates to work in sectors that directly impact emissions reductions, conservation and renewable energy.
  • In 2015-16, more than 20,000 students were enrolled in programs that prepare them for careers that address climate change. That represents an increase of more than 20 per cent over the past five years.
  • Millions of dollars have been invested in retrofit programs and other upgrades at campuses across the province. The retrofitting projects have included weatherization initiatives, energy and greenhouse gas audits, the installation of wind turbines and solar panels, and the integration of new designs that include green roofs and pollinator gardens.

"It's clear that colleges will play a prominent role in the implementation of Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan," Franklin said. "As we continue to implement new programs and curriculum and make improvements to our campuses, colleges will help Ontario make the move to a net-zero economy."

The full report is available here.

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SOURCE Colleges Ontario

For further information: Amy Dickson, Manager, Media Relations and Communications, Colleges Ontario, 647-258-7686, dickson@collegesontario.org

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www.collegesontario.org

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