CMU is Climate Smart certified
"Climate change is such a monstrous issue, but understanding the part we play allows for informed, constructive decision-making so that we can be part of the solution."
On Earth Day 2020—with combined pride, humility, and great excitement—CMU is pleased to announce that as of this month the university is officially Climate Smart certified. This certification marks a significant milestone in CMU's effort to address its role in climate change, and sets the university on a path towards continuous improvement in the stewardship of the resources, people, and planet entrusted to its care.
Climate Smart certification is based on a quantified commitment to greenhouse gas emissions reduction, reflecting standardized measurements of sustainability discerned at a global scale. To become certified, CMU was required to identify and measure its overall greenhouse gas emissions footprint and based on that data, develop an action plan with emission reduction strategies in the areas of heating, transportation, and electricity over the coming period.
CMU President Cheryl Pauls says, "CMU President Cheryl Pauls says "Climate Smart certification for CMU happened through the good will and good work of students, staff, and faculty coming together across habits of everyday life and education."
CMU's pursuit of this designation began in 2018, initiated first by James Magnus-Johnson of the CMU Centre for Resilience, and brought to fruition this year by Julene Sawatzky, Campus Planning and Facilities Development Manager:
"A portion of my role in the Operations department includes development and oversight of sustainability initiatives, in coordination with academic departments, students, and others. So it was natural for me to pick up the baton here. Climate change is such a monstrous issue, but understanding the part we play as an institution allows for informed, constructive decision-making so that we can be part of the solution."
To determine our baseline greenhouse gas emissions rate, CMU had to calculate annual emissions from a wide spectrum of sources: energy (utilities like lights, heat, and computers), fuel, waste (everything from paper to kitchen scraps), and other sources. Sawatzky says it has been a truly educational process for all involved:
"Determining CMU's baseline emissions has provided a way for us to think critically about everything we do, from day to day operations to large capital projects. Two particular areas of impact this process revealed were how we heat our buildings and modes of travel—whether that travel was to and from work, or for official programming. This has led to new discussions and opportunities to build meaningful reduction plans moving into the future."
We are delighted to have this certification that so clearly affirms CMU's long-standing commitment to sustainability and creation care.
"Being Climate Smart certified means we understand and are tracking our greenhouse gas emissions from year to year, such that we can now actively work together with students, staff, faculty, and the broader community to find inventive avenues toward being more responsible stewards of creation. Our hope is that this certification sets CMU on a measurable path that embodies our care for the earth through the stewardship of our campus and the people who flow through it," Sawatzky says.
To learn more about CMU's reduction plan for constructive decision making, access CMU's 2018 baseline report here. To learn what certification could do for your organization, check out Climate Smart's impact video, here.
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU's Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, and graduate degrees in Theology and Ministry, Business Administration, Peacebuilding and Collaborative Development. CMU has 1,600 students, including those enrolled in degree programs at its Shaftesbury Campus and Menno Simons College Campus. CMU is a member of Universities Canada.
For information about CMU, visit cmu.ca.
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing
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Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N2