NC among Canada’s top environmental organizations

Niagara College has been recognized as one of Canada’s top environmental organizations by a leading resource for the environmental profession.

Environmental Careers Organization (ECO) Canada has listed Niagara College among the top organizations in Canada that demonstrate environmental leadership by employing certified Environmental Professionals.

“Organizations with certified Environmental Professionals on their staff demonstrate the highest level of commitment to the environment” said Michael Kerford president ECO Canada. “These are experts who are experienced knowledgeable and stay current with industry practices and standards.”

ECO Canada listed top environmental organizations in six categories including environmental consulting civil engineering and construction oil and energy utilities government administration and higher education. Niagara College joins the University of Toronto the University of Calgary Nova Scotia Community College and Seneca College in the higher education category.

“Incorporating environmental sustainability into all of our operations is among our main strategic priorities” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “Having a skilled and knowledgeable sustainability staff is key to our success as we pursue our sustainability goals and implement environmentally responsible initiatives college-wide.”

Among NC’s sustainability staff coordinator Taryn Wilkinson and engagement assistant Gina Pannunzio – both graduates of NC’s Environmental Management and Assessment graduate certificate program – hold an Environmental Professional in Training (EPt) credential from ECO Canada.

“This is important” said Wilkinson “because it combines education and work experience to demonstrate environmental skills and knowledge through a nationally-recognized organization.”

Niagara College’s Environmental Management and Assessment (EMA) graduate certificate program is among 19 ECO-accredited programs in Canada – an indication that the program’s learning outcomes align with ECO’s occupational standard for the environmental industry. Fees are waived for Niagara College EMA graduates who pursue an EP certification and the accreditation also reduces the work requirement for certification from five years to four.

Niagara College has instituted several goals and initiatives in support of environmental sustainability. In 2011 the College set five sustainability targets for the next five years: to cut paper consumption by half achieve a 65 percent diversion rate for waste (achieved in 2012) achieve a 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a five percent reduction in water use. The College has banned the sale of bottled water on campus and incorporated several renewable-energy technologies into its operations including geothermal heat and solar power and two Niagara College buildings have earned Carbonzero certification as carbon neutral facilities. NC has also identified the ongoing incorporation of sustainable practices and technologies as a key priority in its 2013-2016 Strategic Plan which can be viewed online at www.niagaracollege.ca/strategicplan.

In November 2013 Niagara College earned a Bronze rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) through its Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) a transparent self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

ECO (Environmental Careers Organization) Canada is Canada’s largest resource for environmental jobs training and Environmental Professional (EP) certification. ECO Canada helps students and professionals explore find and advance their environmental careers and provide employers with resources to find and keep the best environmental practitioners. Since its foundation in 1992 ECO Canada has kept its finger on the pulse of the environmental sector through labour market research to inform educators and governments and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the Canadian environmental sector. Its vision is to build the world’s leading environmental workforce.

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences advanced technology media applied health and community safety supported by unique learning enterprises in food wine beer horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit NiagaraCollege.ca.

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For more information contact:

Michael Wales
Senior Communications Officer
Niagara College
905 735-2211 ext. 7773
905 328-4101 (cell)
mwales@niagaracollege.ca

Jennifer Schultz
Marketing Coordinator
ECO Canada403 476-1953
jschultz@eco.ca