Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 50.53
Liaison Taryn Wilkinson
Submission Date Aug. 10, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Niagara College Canada
EN-9: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Taryn Wilkinson
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Management Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “supportive”?:

A brief description of the institution’s supportive sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

Walker Environmental Group (WEG), a division of Niagara's Walker Industries, created a carbon neutral building service, intended to provide an alternative to sustainable buildings that is more accessible and practical for small- to medium-sized organizations.

Over the spring and summer, WEG conducted a building operations greenhouse gas inventory for the Wine Visitor and Education Centre and the Rankin Technology Centre which has been reviewed and confirmed by Canadian carbon offset provider and registry, Carbonzero. WEG utilized interns from our very own Environmental Management and Assessment post-graduate program to help conduct the greenhouse gas inventory.

Niagara College is registered on the Carbonzero Registry as well as the Canadian Standards Association’s Canadian CleanProjects Registry.

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “collaborative”?:

A brief description of the institution's collaborative sustainability partnership(s):

Niagara College, General Motors, Earth Force and the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) hosted the first annual GM GREEN event to run an outdoor education event focusing on watershed awareness. The General Motors Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (GM GREEN) program encourages a collaborative approach to provide youth an opportunity to engage and understand local water issues. Employees from St. Catharines Powertrain facility, staff and students from Niagara College and Earth Force mentored young individuals and exposed them to water and benthic invertebrate sampling techniques, to address water quality issues in Niagara. The inaugural event took place in 2015, and it is intended this program will continue on an annual basis.

As per our GM GREEN Partnership Pact that outlines the responsibilities of all stakeholder involved, Niagara College contributes the following:

Training: Niagara College staff will attend an Earth Force Train-the-Trainer event for training in the Earth Force service-learning/action civics model and teacher professional development approach. Niagara College staff will identify formal and non-formal educators to participate in the GM GREEN program. They will make educators aware of Earth Force training opportunities in their region. Partners will also lead Earth Force training for new partners and educators as needed.

Direct Service: Niagara College staff will coordinate all aspects of GM GREEN events with mentors, educators and students including: training mentors, educators and students in proper monitoring procedures, identifying locations for water monitoring events, providing historical information on the watershed, connecting educators to other local water quality resources, and working with students to assess water quality data and understand its importance.

Support: Niagara College staff will participate in an annual planning meeting with Earth Force staff and GM mentors at the beginning of the school year to establish a plan for coordinating student participation in GM GREEN events and integrating educators' use of water quality data into the Earth Force process. Partners will also help educators facilitate the full Earth Force process during the year through trainings and class visits, building additional community partners into the process as needed.

Reporting: Niagara College staff will report to Earth Force on GM GREEN program activities and financial status as per request - at least biannually (June and December). Reporting will include: number of students and educators reached, hours of training provided, equipment used, attendance of media and special events (Presentation, Field Trip, or student action project event).

Media: Niagara College staff will assist in populating press release and media advisory templates and will provide event details to Earth Force at least two weeks before water monitoring occurs. Partner Organization staff will also commit to following up on media received and providing details to Earth Force.

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “transformative”?:

A brief description of the institution's transformative sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

Niagara College has proudly partnered with the Niagara Sustainability Initiative (NSI), a local not-for-profit organization that is focused on improving environmental and economic performance by engaging the community to reduce carbon emissions, enhance sustainability and improve economic performance. NSI has a mandate that connects government, industry, community and academia to advance the environmental and economic performance in the Niagara Region. It is NSI's goal to help the public and private sectors of the Niagara Region achieve this transformation to contribute to an environmentally and economically sustainable community.

Niagara College reports annually on Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions as part of the Carbon Project. The Carbon Project is a voluntary program where partners of NSI commit voluntarily to manage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their carbon footprint. NSI is able to provide Niagara College with services, tools and networking opportunities with other partners in the Niagara Region on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, employees of Niagara College actively participate in the NSI Ambassador program and regularly meet to discuss reporting structure and assist in strategic planning to help the Carbon Project to continue to benefit their members.

NSI hosts also internships for Niagara College students studying in the Environmental Management and Assessment, Post-Graduate program to gain valuable experience in a real world setting. NSI has also hired many Niagara College graduates, and continues to work closely in support of all sustainability goals.

A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with distant (i.e. non-local) communities:

The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.