The University of Winnipeg

March 04, 2005 12:52 ET

Going Green: UWinnipeg To Create Kyoto Compliance Task Force

Announcement to be made by President Lloyd Axworthy & Ambassador for the Enivonment Karen Kraft Sloan at QUEST: North Conference Saturday Attention: Assignment Editor, Education Editor, Environment Editor, Energy Editor, Science Editor WINNIPEG/MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - March 4, 2005) - The University of Winnipeg will announce its intention to join a growing number of educational institutions committed to embracing sustainable practices and policies that embody the spirit of the Kyoto accord.

At 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, 2005 at the University's OmniTRAX/Broe QUEST: North conference, President Lloyd Axworthy will call for the development of a comprehensive sustainability plan for the campus. Axworthy, on behalf of The University of Winnipeg, will also announce a plan to encourage all members of the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada to develop their own green plans and work towards Kyoto compliance. Karen Kraft Sloan, newly appointed Canadian Ambassador for the Environment, will be on hand for the announcement. Manitoba Minister of Energy, Science and Technology David Chomiak and Stan Struthers, Manitoba Minister of Conservation will witness the announcement.

"University of Winnipeg students have pushed hard on the issue of sustainability," said Axworthy, "and we've risen to their challenge calling for this University to become a leader in sustainable practices and policies. Our students know that their future-if it is to be healthy and sustainable-requires that we make important environmental decisions today."

Dini Silveira, UWinnipeg student and co-coordinator of the SUNSET (Sustainable University Now, Sustainable Earth Tomorrow) project, was quick to express her support for the plan. "The University of Winnipeg has a long history of being an incredibly socially-conscious campus. Today's students have been redoubling efforts to get UWinnipeg into a position of national leadership in terms of social and environmental responsibility," said Silveira. "The University's Kyoto announcement is an important step in helping us realize this goal."

The University will rely heavily on the support and input of environmentally-minded student groups, such as Eco-MAFIA (Ecological Males and Females in Action) and SUNSET, in the development of a comprehensive sustainability plan.

Key to the University's sustainability plan will be the development of a campus green house gas (GHG) emission reduction strategy. A coordinator, along with a special task force, will be appointed to outline the steps required to move The University of Winnipeg toward a truly healthy and sustainable campus. The plan is seen as a way to acknowledge the importance of the Kyoto Protocol and the University's obligation to be a leader is sustainable practices and policies.

Some anticipated task force initiatives include:
-register The University with the GHG Challenge Registry operated by the Canadian
Standards Association;
-review the University's compliance with the Manitoba Sustainable Development Act,
including the Green Procurement Guidelines and the Financial Management Guidelines;
-work with the Association of Universities and Colleges and the Association of Canadian
Community Colleges to develop a national framework to help Canada's post-secondary
education institutions achieve GHG emission reductions and other key sustainability
objectives; and,
-partner with community organizations, non-governmental organizations, and appropriate
public and private sector representatives to develop a climate change action plan for the
University neighbourhood which could include education, volunteer, infrastructure, and
other components that link community organizations in addressing the common issue of
climate change.

The University of Winnipeg's OmniTRAX/Broe QUEST: North conference takes on the issue of climate change in the north as a kind of early warning system for the rest of the globe. Guest speakers include:
-Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Conference
-Jack Anawack, Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs, Foreign Affairs Canada
-Dene National Chief Noeline Villebrun, Vice-Chair Arctic Athabaskan Council International
-Ross Gelbspan, Pulitzer Prize-winning editor and author of The Boiling Point and The Heat Is On
-Thor Jakobsson, Marine Meteorology & Sea Ice Service, Reykjavik, Iceland

For a complete list of QUEST: North events, speakers, and bios, visit (Visitors can also post their thoughts on climate change on the new QUEST: North blog.)
QUEST: North takes place on March 4 & 5 at The University of Winnipeg and is free and open to the public.

Located in the heart of downtown, The University of Winnipeg is a compact, diverse, multicultural academic community committed to access and excellence. Ranked by our graduates in Maclean's magazine University Graduate Survey (November 15, 2004) in the Top Ten of all Canadian universities when asked about their "Entire Educational Experience," UWinnipeg is home to more than 8,700 full- and part-time students.

Contact Information

  • Katherine Unruh, Director of Communications, The University of Winnipeg
    Primary Phone: 204-782-3279
    Secondary Phone: 204-786-9939