A trio of experts have been brought on board at Carleton to oversee the university’s comprehensive Sustainability Strategic Plan.
Philip Mansfield (Sustainability Program Manager), Scott Macdonald (Manager of Building Operations) and Lisa Paterick (Energy Manager) were hired over the summer and will be key members of the Facilities Management and Planning team overseeing the implementation and co-ordination of all sustainability efforts on campus.
“My role, as I see it – and it will evolve – is to see there are linkages to all parts of campus,” says Mansfield, who was the environmental manager at British train operator Southeastern before moving to Ottawa. He also holds an Environmental Science degree and a master’s in Environmental Law.
And a big part of what he’s doing at the outset is forging partnerships, doing outreach and learning about existing sustainability efforts on campus.
“Some of the first things I will be doing will be around waste management and the engagement and education side of things,” says Mansfield, referring to a 60 per cent waste recycling goal set out in the university’s Sustainability Strategic Plan.
The plan was unveiled in May and outlines a number of initiatives and short, medium and long-term targets. It’s considered to be one of the most comprehensive and leading-edge plans at a Canadian university.
“I am incredibly pleased that it includes a lot of stuff beyond what you’d expect, beyond the norm. There is a lot of short-termism in this – in terms of what we are going to do today – but there is also a lot of stuff about what we are going to do in the next 10 to 15 years,” says Mansfield.
But he won’t be working in isolation in moving the strategic plan forward. His work will be complemented and supported by Macdonald and Paterick.
As manager of building operations, Macdonald oversees a team of control technicians who make sure each building is operating as it should, taking into consideration the function of the building.
“We have academic buildings that have their own schedules, we have more 9 to 5 operational buildings and we have residence buildings where we have people living all the time, and we have athletics facilities which are open to the public, and we have labs and researchers who might need different requirements for heating and humidity than anyone else because they have sensitive equipment. So it’s managing all of that,” explains Macdonald, a Carleton Environmental Engineering grad, who has worked at Environment Canada and Minto.
He points to the recent energy retrofit of Robertson Hall, part of a major, campus-wide energy sustainability initiative that Carleton is working on with Honeywell, as an example. Honeywell has been hired to do energy audits of every building on campus and, from there, to create a long-term energy master plan for the campus which will make recommendations about where energy savings can be achieved. Robertson Hall was part of a pilot project, which has now moved onto the Athletics Building.
“You’re doing an energy retrofit in Robertson Hall but if you don’t maintain it and no one is looking at making sure that everything is running as it’s supposed to be, then these things drift back and you’re not getting that great air quality, you’re not getting those energy savings that you want because no one is managing that,” says Macdonald.
Calling the Carleton sustainability plan “forward-thinking,” Macdonald believes that students will be attracted to a university that not only cares about the environment but which has actually mapped out an action plan.
“Technology is advancing so quickly. A lighting retrofit that was not feasible due to cost maybe two months ago, has a great pay back today. Everything is going towards energy conservation and energy management and implements are getting cheaper and they’re expected,” says Paterick, who is a chemical engineer with more than 10 years of experience in the energy business.
Her first order of business is to do an energy analysis of each building on campus and set some targets. As part of this process, she says she has to determine where each building is in terms of energy consumption, and work from there.
Like Mansfield, Paterick plans to do outreach to faculty, staff and students because she sees potential for engagement. But her work will also be linked to the initiatives outlined in the university’s Sustainability Strategic Plan – which she praises as being “realistic and attainable.”
“It’s a necessity. Society, as a whole, is looking at what’s happening to the environment,” says Paterick.
“As an individual, we all turn our lights out and we recycle, but when you look at the bigger picture of a facility like this – that’s a lot of power, it’s a lot of water, it’s a lot of gas. It’s pretty easy for things to slip through the cracks. You have to have someone looking at all of this stuff, every day, from many different angles. And that’s where the three of us come in. We are all looking at this from different angles.”
Carleton’s Sustainability Strategic Plan can be found at: http://www1.carleton.ca/fmp/energy-and-sustainability/sustainability-strategic-plan/