SFU wins APPA 2018 Sustainability Award

August 10, 2018
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Simon Fraser University has been awarded the 2018 Sustainability Innovation Award in Facilities Management at this year’s APPA Annual Conference in Washington D.C. The award recognizes the institution’s efforts to implement a standardized four-stream Zero Waste system uniformly across all three of its campuses.

“As SFU continues to advance sustainability into all aspects of the university, it is an honor to be recognized for innovation in sustainability by our fellow university facilities family,” says Todd Gattinger, Director of Maintenance and Operations at Facilities Services.

Introduced in 2014, SFU’s Zero Waste Initiative was launched with a strategic target of diverting a minimum of 70 per cent of waste from landfills by 2015. Within two years, SFU reached its diversion targets and has since diverted over 2,700 tonnes of operational waste from the landfill resulting in large reduction of carbon dioxide and methane emissions.

“By implementing a four-stream system, we’ve replaced the ad-hoc waste collection system we previously had in place” says Grady Ott, operations supervisor. “In doing so, we were able to unify the waste stream systems across all three of our campuses providing students, staff, and faculty a singular message of campus-wide recycling.”

By introducing packaging standards for SFU vendors, implementing a lifecycle assessment tool for procurement decisions, and engaging the SFU community on waste diversion and minimization efforts, SFU has further reduced its landfill waste production by more than 10 per cent.

“This cross-departmental project lends its success to the SFU community’s continued support and engagement,” adds Rachel Telling, acting associate director of the Sustainability Office.

“It is the responsibility of the entire community to help SFU achieve one of its 20-Year Sustainability Goals of becoming a Zero waste University, and with a dedicated group of students, staff and faculty, we are confident that we will successfully achieve this goal.”

Ott says that as stewards of buildings and lands, Facilities Services staff are always looking for innovative ways to provide quality service to the university community.

“For us, it’s about putting in place the infrastructure that supports a much broader effort to lessen our environmental footprint. Traditionally, we tend to work in the background without much fanfare or notice so to win an award like this is significant and appreciated.”

This story originally appeared in SFU News.