Workshop focuses on sustainability at SFU

June 15, 2006, volume 36, no. 4
By Diane Luckow



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A growing interest in improving sustainability at SFU recently attracted 50 university and community participants to a workshop at the Burnaby campus.

The half-day event resulted in a plethora of priorities for the university's new sustainability advisory committee.

Foremost among these is the desire to create a university sustainability policy that would institutionalize sustainability. Other recommendations included developing a more comprehensive sustainability purchasing policy, hiring a full-time staff member dedicated to sustainability issues and integrating sustainability language and requirements into staff and faculty job descriptions.

“For the most part, people wanted to see something really tangible - large initiatives that would make a major impact on sustainability at SFU,” says Candace Bonfield, planning and communications coordinator for SustainableSFU, formerly called the Sustainable Campus Coalition.

Recommendations touched every area of campus, such as food-related programs that would increase organic food choices on campus, a campus-wide composting program and departmental volunteers who could initiate and promote sustainability projects. More SFU research into sustainability was another suggestion.

The next step, says Bonfield, is to take the recommendations to the sustainability advisory committee and create a set of realistic projects that can be addressed one at a time.

“We're already working on a composting pilot project,” she notes. Facilities management will handle the logistical work - acquiring bins and picking up compost, while SustainableSFU will promote the project. She expects to have three composting pilot projects in place by September at Hamilton residence, atsome or all of the university cafeterias and at the Cornerstone building.

To learn more about the workshop results, visit www.sfu.ca/~sustain/.

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