Meeting the sustainability challenge

What started as a toss of the gauntlet by Marc Nantel at last spring’s Day of Reflection has become a new Niagara College tradition aimed at promoting sustainability through a bit of healthy competition.

At Day of Reflection Nantel, associate vice president of research, promised to ride his bike to work from his Oakville home, and challenged vice president academic Steve Hudson to do the same. Nantel made good on his promise on August 9, when he cycled 90 km from his home to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, and Hudson met the challenge at this year’s Niagara Day.

Under the new NC Sustainability Challenge devised by NC’s sustainability committee, by completing the challenge, Hudson received a special green jersey and won the right to challenge someone else. He immediately challenged Jacquie Miller, assistant to vice president of corporate services Teresa Quinlin, to reduce the paper consumption in the corporate services office.

“We saw this as an opportunity to keep the momentum going and get more people involved,” said Taryn Wilkinson, NC’s environmental project coordinator.

Miller’s paper consumption will be monitored over the next month. Once she’s met the challenge, it will be up to her to issue a sustainability challenge to a colleague.

What can you do?

You haven’t been issued a challenge but want to get involved? Why not complete the challenge alongside the person who was challenged? The more people participating, the greater the impact of the challenge. If you are completing the challenge alongside the person challenged, let us know by emailing Taryn Wilkinson at, and your name will be added to the list of participants.

How it works:

  • Upon completing your challenge, you will have the opportunity to select an individual or group you would like to challenge. You may challenge any Niagara College employee(s) who has not completed a challenge previously or does not currently sit on the Sustainability Committee.
  • The person who just completed their challenge and is challenging another employee(s) will get to select the challenge they want this person to complete.
  • The scope of your challenge can vary, keeping with the theme of sustainability and its three pillars: environmental, economic and social. You can also keep with the theme of our five target areas: electricity, carbon emissions, water, waste and paper consumption.
  • The challenge you wish to issue must be approved by the Chair of the Sustainability Committee and the Sustainability Coordinator to ensure it aligns with the college’s sustainability goals.
  • You may also go above and beyond your challenge! If you are challenged to not use the lights in your office for two weeks, do three weeks instead. We will be highlighting all challenges and achievements on our sustainability website.
  • Challenges will be issued on the first of the month and you will have the duration of the month to complete your challenge.
  • Upon completing your challenge you will receive a NC Sustainability Challenge jersey. You will also have the opportunity to autograph the NC Sustainability Challenge Jersey that will be on display.

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