Carbon Neutral Building Project
Walker Environmental Group
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 past few years, WEG has conducted a building operations greenhouse gas inventory for the WVEC, as well as 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.
The Carbon Neutral Building Project at the Wine Visitor + Education Centre (WVEC) was launched in January 2013 in partnership with Walker Industries and Carbonzero. Integrated Municipal Services Inc. (IMS), a division of Niagara’s Walker Industries, created a carbon neutral building service with the vision of making sustainable living and building operations more accessible and practical for small- to medium-sized businesses and organizations.
Over the 2012 spring and summer, IMS worked with Niagara College students and stakeholders and conducted a building operations greenhouse gas inventory for the WVEC, which has been reviewed and audited verified by Canadian carbon offset provider and registry, Carbonzero.
With the purchase of carbon offsets, the WVEC has earned its Carbonzero certification as carbon neutral and is also registered on the Canadian Standards Association’s Canadian CleanProjects Registry. The price of the offsets is covered from revenue generated through the College’s participation in the provincial government’s Feed In Tariff (FIT) program. Five hundred solar panels are installed at the Welland Campus, generating thousands of dollars in revenue each year.
In 2013 (for the 2012 fiscal year), the Rankin Technology Centre also became carbon neutral through the same program. Greenhouse gas inventories will be conducted at the WVEC annually to ensure the building remains carbon neutral while providing valuable information in terms of how the carbon footprint of each building can be reduced. In addition, this program will continue to provide students with a valuable learning opportunity, which can provide them with the necessary skills required for a successful career in the environmental sector.
The Carbon Neutral Building Launch hosted a number of notable guests including Minister of the Environment, Jim Bradley; Vice President of Walker Industries, Mike Watt; Business Support Manager for Walker Environmental Group, Kirsten Groody; Chief Operating Officer of Carbonzero, Dan Fraleigh; Academic Chair of the Niagara College School of Environment and Horticultural Studies and Niagara College President, Dan Patterson.
This project also led Niagara College to win the Niagara Sustainability Initiative “Greatest Progress” Award at the 2013 Evening of Recognition.
If you are interested in reading more, check out the Building Operations Carbon Reduction Plans that were completed by Walker Industries:
- Wine Visitor & Education Centre Building Operations Carbon Reduction Plan
- Rankin Technology Building Operations Carbon Reduction Plan