Western holds two sustainability driven award competitions each year and in 2016, the ideas and initiatives of Centre for Environment and Sustainability graduate students were acknowledged by the university through the W.I.S.E. competition and the Western Green Awards. The Ideas for Sustainability and the Environment (WISE) Competition was established to foster innovative and high-impact ideas that reduce or eliminate today’s most pressing environmental concerns. The aim of the competition is to generate ideas and initiatives among Western’s students around the topic of sustainability, and officially recognize the winning ideas. Jessie Spasov, of the Master's in Environment and Sustainability program and her roommate teamed-up and were recognized as finalists in this year's competition. The Western Green Awards recognize an individual or team that initiates or supports an activity with positive environmental outcomes, encourages participation and involvement, works together with others, groups and organizations to meet their goal, or demonstrates an environmentally friendly effort/campaign. The purpose of the award is to help raise awareness of sustainability at Western University through the acknowledgement of community members (student, faculty, and staff) who have made positive contributions. This year, members of the Environment and Sustainability Society (ESS), composting team walked away with 1 of 3 awards given annually. Graduate student team members Megan Moore, Emily Lomax, Nicolette Francis, Jesslyn Buckingham, Tori Ervick (all of the MES program) and David Pipher (PhD Chemistry and Collaborative Environment and Sustainability program) joined forces to develop a comprehensive proposal to implement composting at The Spoke, a popular student eatery and pub on campus, with the aim to bring increase composting activity on campus. For their efforts, the ESS team was awarded $1,000.00 prize. Western News Article
Centre for Environment and Sustainability DispatchES newsletter
Master's Students Take Trophy at Building Sustainability Case Competition
On March 1st, a team of four graduate students from the Master's of Environment and Sustainability program (M.E.S.) travelled to Newmarket Ontario, to present their critical analysis of York Region's strategic plan to become a net-zero carbon municipality by 2051, at the first York Region Building Sustainability Case Competition. Led by York Region's Environmental Services Department, the goal of the competition was to provide students with a practical, unique and applied learning opportunity that would generate creative ideas "from a fresh perspective to current sustainability topics that York Region and other municipalities will face in the months, years and decades to come." Teams were specifically charged with determining what components an ideal long-term Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan for York Region might entail.
Six teams from five Ontario universities rose to the challenge, including one from the Centre for Environment and Sustainability's M.E.S. program. Each team was given a week's time to review the case, research and analyze data and package the immergent creative solutions into a twenty minute presentation. Students presented their ideas in a preliminary round to a panel of judges consisting of some of York Region's top administrators. The M.E.S. team was one of two then selected for the "Lightning Round". These teams presented a second time and responded to follow-up questions from a second set of stakeholders who collectively judged the Western team as having provided the top analysis in the competition. (Pictured L-R) M.E.S. students Ryan Mallany, Kelsey Taylor, Elizabeth Johnson, Ailey Roberts and team supervisor Ian Colquhoun were presented with the first York Region Building Sustainability Case Competition trophy. Each student was also presented with a plaque in recognition of their achievement.