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Environmental Sustainability

OVERVIEW

Edmonton Public Schools is committed to making environmentally-conscious decisions. Created in the fall of 2008, the EnviroMatters Office is an initiative of the Infrastructure department and the centre of the Division’s environmental initiative. In 2010, we developed a policy to guide and support environmental sustainability initiatives across the Division.

We promote sustainable school practices through environmental education, protection and conservation efforts. Many schools across the Division incorporate environmentally-friendly practices in their daily routines.

POLICY

Policy: Environment (EO.BP)

INITIATIVES

ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS

All new schools in the Division maintain high environmental standards by:

  • using low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) paints and green cleaning products to reduce air pollution, smog and toxic effects
  • following LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver criteria, which involves installing reflective roofing and efficient windows to conserve energy

SOLAR ENERGY GENERATION

Many of our new LEED-certified schools feature photovoltaic solar arrays mounted on the roofs and/or exterior walls. With the creation of our new Division Solar Strategy, we have also begun installing a few arrays on existing schools.  Each array is accompanied by an online dashboard to monitor energy production.

ENERGY-USE REDUCTION

We’re also reducing energy consumption through:

  • energy performance and infrastructure optimization contracts
  • modernizing old boilers and retrofitting energy efficient lighting
  • installing heat recovery systems, occupancy light sensors and utility monitors

REPORTING

The Division continues to expand reporting initiatives by:

  • developing a formal Division Energy and Environmental Strategy to encourage goal setting and achievement
  • monitoring our carbon footprint in accordance with internationally-accepted standards
  • using reporting tools to generate Division and site-level data to monitor waste diversion rates and utility use on an annual and quarterly basis

EVENTS

THE LIGHTS OUT CHALLENGE 

Every year on Earth Day, students and staff across the Division strive to reduce their carbon footprint and conserve energy. We challenge all schools and departments to turn off lights and other energy-consuming devices for at least an hour to increase awareness of our impact on the environment and help influence actions to reduce this impact.

YEAR-END LOCKER CLEAN OUT PROGRAM

At the end of each school year, Edmonton Public School students clean out their lockers before summer break. The Division EnviroMatters Office rolled out the Year-End Locker Clean-Out program to help schools collect, sort and recycle or reuse the materials cleaned out of lockers instead of tossing them in the garbage.  

CAPITAL CITY CLEAN UP

After the snow melts each spring, many schools participate in the City of Edmonton’s Schoolyard Clean Up program. Students clear litter from their school grounds, helping keep their school environments clean and safe.The program runs from March until June and schools compete to be the tidiest in Edmonton.

COMMUNITY ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTION DRIVES

Since February 2015, the Division EnviroMatters Office has co-ordinated a free electronic waste recycling drive for all Centre for Education staff and their households. The event is held for two weeks, and staff members are encouraged to bring old electronic waste from home and their surrounding community. The program is such a success that it’s now an annual event at the Centre, and the program has expanded into Division schools as a fundraising and community engagement initiative.

RESOURCES

TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

COMMUNITY RESOURCES