Polytechnique: first Montréal university to receive Sustainable Campus certification

MONTREAL, Sept. 20, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, Polytechnique Montréal was awarded Sustainable Campus certification by the Sierra Youth Coalition, a national non-profit organization that publicly recognizes universities' sustainable development efforts.

The engineer: central to sustainable development

Under its new sustainable development policy put in place this year, Polytechnique seeks to better equip its future engineers to face the challenges and issues of social responsibility that accompany their profession. Engineers are regularly called upon to make key decisions with regard to environmental preservation, collective well-being and economic viability.

A big step toward a greener campus

Attainment of this certification is the result of a consistent sequence of actions undertaken by Polytechnique in recent years. Through this process, Polytechnique aims to be an example of commitment, success and change in terms of sustainable development. "Our efforts have been rewarded, but the adventure doesn't stop here. Quite the opposite! This certification constitutes, first and foremost, an essential catalyst for the next steps," says Louise Millette, Chair of the Comité de développement durable de l'École Polytechnique (sustainable development committee — CODDEP).

For his part, Christophe Guy, Chief Executive Officer of Polytechnique, added: "We can all take great pride in being the first Montréal university to obtain Sustainable Campus certification. However, to maintain what we've achieved, it is essential that we continue along the path. Every action counts, and we all need to put our shoulders to the wheel if we want to make profound changes to our behaviours and our ways of doing things."

Concrete measures to tackle environment-related challenges

Polytechnique's concern for sustainable development is not a recent thing. With a view to minimizing its environmental impact, Polytechnique launched a series of initiatives several years ago to foster the development of a more sustainable society. To this effect, the Lassonde buildings, inaugurated in 2005, were built to meet the criteria set out by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) evaluation system. A university first in Canada!

Instilled as a key element of future graduates' education, sustainable development is a major priority at Polytechnique. For some 10 years now, Polytechnique has offered a Diplôme d'études supérieures spécialisées (advanced graduate diploma — DESS) in sustainable development. The program was reviewed this year to create a common structure among the various engineering specialties.

It is also worth noting that Polytechnique has succeeded in reducing its water consumption by 61% since 1995, despite a 37% increase in the student body. The decrease is attributable in great part to replacements and changes to plumbing fixtures and temperature-control equipment.

Also among the various initiatives implemented: the installation of 163 bicycle racks, the installation of a number of showers, free access to public bicycles, the creation of Biciklo (a bicycle repair workshop), and even the arrival of BIXI bikes at Polytechnique, all in the aim of encouraging sustainable transportation.

About Polytechnique Montréal

Founded in 1873, Polytechnique Montréal is one of Canada's leading engineering teaching and research institutions. It is the largest engineering university in Québec for the size of its student body and the scope of its research activities. With over 37,000 graduates, Polytechnique Montréal has graduated 24% of the current members of the l'Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. Polytechnique provides training in 14 engineering specialties, has 239 professors and more than 6,900 students. It has an annual operating budget of over $200 million, in addition to a $72-million research budget.

Image with caption: "Left to right : Mr Richard Hurteau, Ms Louise Millette, Mr Christophe Guy, Ms Tracey Guptill, Ms Hélène Moïse, Mr Matthieu Décoste and Mr Daniel O'Brien. (CNW Group/ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE DE MONTREAL)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110920_C5091_PHOTO_EN_3574.jpg


For further information:

Virginie Ferland
Communications and Recruitment Office
514 340-4711, ext. 2339

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