Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee
May 2, 2012
A meeting of the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee was held in the Board Room at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, at 6:00 p.m.
P. Murray, Chair
Tim Amirault, LDSB Student Trustee
Debbie Villeneuve, School Council Liaison Committee
Becky Corby, School Council Liaison Committee
Tracey McKenzie, County of Lennox & Addington
David Hahn, National Farmers Union, Local 316
Kathy Moulton, Hydro One
Ruth Noordegraaf, Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation, KFL&A Public Health
Linda Malcolm, KFL&A Public Health
Meg Skinner, KFL&A Public Health
D. Fowler, Manager of Facility Services
D. Hendry, Sustainable Initiatives Coordinator
J. Hendry, Energy/Environmental Technician
S. Lehman, Supervising Principal
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Melissa Buchan Buchan, Teacher, Centennial P.S.
Stana Luxford-Oddie, Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority
Joey Pugh, LDSB Student Trustee
Chair Murray called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to the meeting. She advised that Trustee Jackson had indicated that he would be arriving at the meeting late.
Chair Murray thanked Committee members for attending this evening’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee meeting. She said that their efforts and commitment to Environmental Sustainability within their organization are most appreciated, noting that their work on this Committee will assist our school communities in becoming more environmentally sustainable.
Those present introduced themselves.
Approval of Agenda
Chair Murray advised that Student Trustee Tim Amirault would present a report from the Interschool Council under the Other Business section of the agenda.
MOVED BY Tracey McKenzie, seconded by Becky Corby, that the agenda, as amended, be approved.–Carried
Approval of the Minutes
MOVED BY David Hahn, seconded by Debbie Villeneuve, that the minutes of the February 1, 2012 ESAC, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Business Arising From the Minutes
There was no business arising from the minutes.
Dan Hendry showed a clip that was shown on CKWS News regarding the 2nd Annual One Earth, One Chance Conference, that took place at Bayridge Secondary School on April 25, 2012. He stated that the purpose of the conference was to educate students on environmental issues and empower them to take action in their schools and communities.
Dan Hendry provided the following information:
Sustainable Living Project Page
Mr. Hendry advised that there is now a Sustainable Living Project page on the LDSB website. It can be accessed at: www.limestone.on.ca under the Our Programs tab. He further advised that the Sustainable Living Project is a centralized area for documenting the successes and actions of the Limestone District School Board to realize future system changes and plan for environmental sustainability. The project highlights what Limestone students, teachers and staff are doing to help progress environmental education and action in the school board.
Battery Recycling Pilot Project
Mr. Hendry reported that for the battery recycling pilot project, we use the same free service provider the City of Kingston uses. He indicated that we are currently talking to schools to set up a battery recycling pilot, and that we will learn from the pilot, and hopefully, offer it on a larger scale.
Earth Hour 2012
Mr. Hendry indicated that the Limestone District School Board had 35 sites that officially registered for Earth Hour. He said that collectively they saved about 1808 KWh, which could:
• power 139,077 CFLs (13 watt) light bulbs for one hour; or
• save 550 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions; or
• power a laptop computer for 40,178 hours.
Mr. Hendry said that the Monday following Earth Hour, each school received a personalized report.
2nd Annual One Earth, One Chance Conference
Mr. Hendry advised that the One Earth, One Chance Conference took place on April 25, 2012, at Bayridge Secondary School. He reported that 170 students from 12 schools engaged in a day of environmental stewardship and activities organized by students. He stated that the purpose of the conference was to educate students on environmental issues and get them to take action in their schools and communities.
Update on EcoSchools
Mr. Hendry indicated that site visits of the schools applying for EcoSchools certification will take place May 18, May 23 and May 24, 2012, and that we will find out in early June which schools receive EcoSchools certification.
Environmental Sustainability Staff Night at LCVI
Mr. Hendry reported that an Environmental Sustainability Staff Night took place at LCVI on April 26, 2012. He indicated that Angela Evans, an organizer of One Earth, One Chance, presented on the Bayridge Environmental Conference, and Jamie Niedbala and Anna Schukei from J.G. Simcoe Public School presented on their school’s initiatives.
Centennial Public School’s Initiatives
Melissa Buchan, a kindergarten teacher at Centennial Public School, was present to talk about some of the environmental sustainability initiatives taking place at Centennial Public School.
Ms. Buchan stated that her kindergarten class is a beautiful group of children who love the earth. She said that from their first day at school, they have been recycling and composting, noting that they take pride in doing so. She said that the children have expanded this into their homes.
Ms. Buchan advised that there is a thriving EcoClub at Centennial. She talked about the school’s Chapters Night, noting that Chapters allows schools to come in and do a fundraiser. She said that at this event, they had student activities, presentations and refreshments. She said that Earth Day was the school’s theme. She indicated that they raised money for the school’s greening projects.
Ms. Buchan stated that the school’s EcoClub is very busy, and that the school has applied for Eco Certification. She said that there is an Eco team at the school, and that administration, staff and the Parent Council are very supportive of the Eco team. She said that environmental sustainability is talked about at assemblies, and that there are messages during announcements and on bulletin boards. She commented on their waste free lunches, recycling campaign, and newsletters. She said that the Eco Kids are happy to be in this leadership role, noting that they took on goals. She said that there is an emphasis on energy conservation, noting that they challenged each class to track how they were doing with regard to saving energy.
Ms. Buchan commented on the greening projects that the school is involved in, and the Centennial Goes Green Challenge. She said that they also have a partnership with a master gardening, who speaks to the children giving them advise, who donates plants to the school, and who has the children plant them. She indicated that the school has also partnered with a number of local organizations.
Ms. Buchan commented on the school-wide composting initiative. She said that on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, the school is hosting an Eco Fair. She distributed bookmark invitations to committee members. She said that this event is both a school and community event. Ms. Buchan reported that the Parent Council is sponsoring refillable water bottles with the Centennial Public School logo on them, and Scott Waste Management will have truck bins for e-waste. She said that they have advertised that they will recycle batteries and print cartridges, at the Eco Fair.
Mr. Lehman thanked Ms. Buchan and the staff at Centennial, as well as the school community for the great work they are doing. He said that we like to bring in at least one guest from our schools to provide information about what the schools are doing, to give the committee an understanding of some of the things that are happening with our schools. He said that during the past couple of years the Board has moved forward with respect to raising awareness for individuals, schools and communities with respect to environmental initiatives.
Chair Murray thanked Ms. Buchan for attending this evening’s meeting to share information about some of the initiatives taking place at Centennial Public School.
Environmental Priorities Update
Mr. Lehman stated that at the last meeting, Committee members were asked to provide feedback with regard to the LDSB’s draft Sustainable Priorities. He asked members to work in small groups to review and reacquaint themselves with LDSB’s 10 Sustainability Priorities and then to:
• Provide information about what your organization does and its areas of expertise associated with LDSB’s Sustainable Priorities;
• Identify any possible partnerships amongst the community organizations associated with ESAC; and
• Indicate if your organization has worked on a project with LDSB previously.
Mr. Lehman indicated that approximately 30 minutes would be allowed for small group discussion, and then following that discussion, as a large group, each organization is invited to share their organizations’s mission and possible partnership opportunities among the community organizations that are connected to Sustainable Priorities.
Committee members worked in small groups, and then met as a large group. The following information was shared:
Becky Corby, Parent Council Member (First Avenue Public School) and Member of the School Council Liaison (PIC) Committee
• The School Council Liaison (PIC) Committee could take the sustainability priorities gathered at ESAC meetings to their meetings to have them filter to the School Councils
• The activities taking place at Centennial PS will be shared at First Avenue’s School Council meeting
• We can help/assist by acting as a conduit to help disseminate information as to what the Board and ESAC are doing via newsletters
Kathy Moulton, Hydro One
• We are a provincial organization, but we serve many LDSB sites
• Our best opportunity would be to partner in education (student/community engagement priority)
• Committee member is on the Choices Team, a corporate team that is trying to influence a lot of things across the country. Committee member is accountable in changing employee attitudes
• Hydro One has a community clean up project where they provide education and safety for those individuals involved in the clean up project
• Committee member could help with the climate change priority – e.g. running dishwasher and doing laundry after 7:00 p.m.
• Committee member is associated with Forestry (Right Tree, Right Place) and could provide knowledgeable speakers
Linda Malcolm, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health
• Walking School Buses Program pilot project in schools – successful, but not sustained
• We want to create a policy with the school board and parents to have a community champion for this program
• Pilot project in four schools in the Fall, each school got a handbook specific to the school and completed a school-wide survey
• Committee member referred to school buses dropping students off a couple of blocks away from the school so students could walk to the school – teaching students about healthy active lifestyles – would need to create safe routes and sidewalks
Ruth Noordegraaf, Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation
• Bring in a speaker from Halton DSB to present information to the LDSB School Council Liaison (PIC) Committee about one school in that district where 90% of the students walk to school
Tim Amirault, Student Trustee
• Interschool Council could help with communication by having members of the Interschool Council service as a direct pipeline to provide information about eco initiatives
• Gain student support and give student perspective
Tracey McKenzie, County of Lennox and Addington
• We have a Sustainability Plan that covers the environment, social and fiscal sustainability
• We are mandated by the province to do an Energy Management Plan. Committee member sees that LDSB is ahead in this area and may contact the LDSB for advice
• Lennox and Addington could act as a liaise with the lower tier municipalities about waste and recycling
Tom Carpenter, SWITCH
• SWTICH, apart from renewable energy, is about to examine its mandate and have strategic planning discussions; maybe the needs and wants and plans of the school board can be factored into those discussions
• SWITCH is available for advice on energy efficiency and new energy technologies
David Hahn, National Farmers Union, Local 316
• The committee member is involved with Frontenac County, chairing the Green Energy Task Force (facility energy in the community); we are always interested in relationships with other organizations, like the school board;
• a Renewable Energy Cooperative was developed to share green initiatives; the Cooperative is looking at the possibility of partnering to put renewable energy intake on roofs
• The National Farmers Union, over the last 10 years, have made it its mission to promote and revitalize its food system; our approach has been to roll out and build partnerships and networks with stakeholders in the area of food
• We hold “Feast to Fields” and “Food Down the Road” events; for the last three years we have been doing a new farm project to rebuild capacity to produce more local food
• Suggestion that the Board might want to do a one-day workshop, inviting interest groups and local food groups together, with the theme being “Local Food in Our Schools”
• Helping gain exposure of the local food system
• Good at building local networks
Mr. Carpenter indicated that if the school board is interested in energy alternatives, SWITCH might be able to come up with some ideas. He said that everybody has the same goal as seen in the “One Earth, One Chance” news clip.
In response to a question from Mr. Lehman regarding the Board’s possible involvement with SWITCH, Mr. Carpenter suggested that a subcommittee of ESAC could be established to share areas regarding ESAC member organizations’ interests and their priorities. The subcommittee could suggest or recommend directions for large scale environmental sustainability discussions and partnerships with the school board.
Trustee Jackson stated that it would be helpful to strike a short-term ESAC working group to explore what the subcommittee Mr. Carpenter has suggested would look like. He said that he Chairs the LDSB Property/Operations Committee and individuals and organizations have started to approach the school board about ideas for possible collaborative partnerships for the use of school properties. He said that we need to develop a framework for requesting and evaluating larger scale property partnerships. He noted that the first stage would be to get a better level of awareness out in the public that the Board would be interested in exploring these revenue creating partnerships.
Refillable Water Stations
Manager Fowler indicated that the Board is trying to promote refillable water stations. He said that there are 16 installed within the Board. He advised that one of the things the Board does to promote refillable water stations, is that we encourage schools to request them through the enhanced projects program. He reported that last year, four refillable water stations were installed under this program. Manager Fowler stated that we hope to install another three or four stations this year, indicating that we try to consider schools that are replacing their existing water fountain. He said that the stations allow the Board to keep track of the water used, and thus how many bottled water they divert. He reported that 8 of the Board’s 11 secondary schools have a
refillable water station.
Election of Community Co-Chair
Trustee Murray called for nominations for the position of Community Co-Chair.
MOVED BY Tom Carpenter, seconded by Tracey McKenzie, that Ruth Noordegraaf be elected to the position of Community Co-Chair.
Ms. Noordegraaf accepted the nomination.
Trustee Murray called for nominations three times. Hearing no further nominations, Trustee Murray asked for a motion that nominations be closed.
MOVED BY David Hahn, seconded by Kathy Moulton, that nominations be closed.
Trustee Murray congratulated Ruth Noordegraaf on being acclaimed to the position of Community Co-Chair.
Ms. Noordegraaf thanked ESAC members for electing her to this position, indicating that the Kingston Coalition of Active Transportation is pleased to be part of the ESAC.
Interschool Council Letter
Student Trustee Amirault distributed a letter, on behalf of the Interschool Council, to the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee, concerning bottled water in LDSB. He said that the environmental and ethical issues associated with the production and sale of bottled water were brought to the Interschool Council through the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association. Student Trustee Amirault stated that the unethical issues associated with the production and sale of bottled water, particularly in developing nations, do not align with students’ values, and therefore, the Interschool Council is recommending that the LDSB re-evaluate the sale of bottled water in its schools.
Student Trustee Amirault indicated that the students believe that it would be beneficial to begin this process by promoting education about the aforementioned issues, and that it is critical for the Board to work with schools in providing alternatives to bottled water, such as refillable water stations. He advised that the Interschool Council recognizes the difficulties with the complete elimination of bottled water usage/vending. However, they would like to see the Board limit the distribution and sales of bottled water, thereby reducing its usage.
Mr. Lehman stated that this letter is timely. He further stated that we did receive a student letter from the Environmental Club at one of our high schools with a similar request as to what Student Trustee Amirault brought forward on behalf of the Interschool Council. He reported that staff had conducted an investigation, and currently our contract provider for cafeterias and vendors has the right to sell bottled water in plastic containers within our schools. He indicated that the Board is entering into discussions with that provider. He said that the Board is working on the eventual elimination and selling of plastic water bottles, as that is part of the Board’s sustainable plan. Mr. Lehman stated that he would bring back a staff report regarding this
matter, to the next ESAC meeting.
Mr. Lehman stated that part of the sustainability plan is refillable water stations. He indicated that in speaking with our secondary schools, one thing that they are doing for incoming grade 9 students, is providing them with a refillable water bottle. However, we would like refillable water stations installed in schools, but there is a cost factor to do so.
In response to a question, Student Trustee Amirault stated that as a result of P/PM 150, things have changed. He said that soft drinks are still sold in high school vending machines, but they are in diet form. He further stated that a few juices had to be removed from vending machines because of the sugar content. He said that the Interschool Council talked about the elimination of bottled water in high schools in a manner that would not negatively impact the health of students.
In response to a question, Mr. Lehman stated that we are cognizant of our contract provider’s concerns, commenting on some of the challenges associated with eliminating bottled water sales.
Communication to the PARC Facilitator
Mr. Carpenter brought forward a concern regarding the potential closing of small neighbourhood schools, where children walk to school. He indicated that active transportation is one of the LDSB’s sustainable priorities. He said that he is bringing this matter up as he has some environmental issues.
Trustee Murray stated that the next ESAC meeting is in November. She said that the PARC Report will be completed before the November ESAC meeting, and therefore, if the request is for ESAC to consider formalizing a statement to the PARC, members of ESAC may want to explore this via a subcommittee of ESAC. She said that Debbie Villeneuve, Trustee Jackson and she are part of the Central Kingston Intermediate and Secondary Schools PARC, and therefore, they should not be part of that discussion.
Trustee Murray stated that a public meeting of the Central Kingston Intermediate and Secondary Schools PARC is being held on May 15th, at QECVI, 145 Kirkpatrick Street, Kingston, at 6:45 p.m., if anyone would like to attend the meeting, to provide input at that time.
Trustees Jackson and Murray, and Debbie Villeneuve declared a conflict of interest as they are members of the Central Kingston Intermediate and Secondary Schools PARC.
Trustee Murray withdrew from the chair, and Ms. Noordegraaf assumed the chair.
Following discussion, the following motion was put forward.
MOVED BY David Hahn, seconded by Tom Carpenter, that the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee communicate to the PARC Facilitator, that the Board, when evaluating the future of its schools, give careful consideration to its own environmental sustainability draft priorities, with particular attention to: climate change and energy, environmental leadership, student and community engagement, and transportation.–Carried
Ms. Noordegraaf withdrew from the chair, and Trustee Murray resumed the Chair.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Environmental Sustainability Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, November 7, 2012, at the Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, at 6:00 p.m.
MOVED BY Debbie Villeneuve, seconded by Kathy Moulton, that the meeting adjourn at 8:40 p.m.–Carried