The winner of the annual Greenest School in Canada competition is W. D. Ferris Elementary School in Richmond, British Columbia.
The winning school will receive a $2,000 cash prize to put toward a new or ongoing sustainability project.
“The Ferris school community is very honoured to be chosen as Canada’s Greenest School for 2019 by the Canada Green Building Council,” said Diane Steele, Principal of Ferris Elementary in the CaGBC’s announcement. “We also want to acknowledge the hard work done by students and staff daily in schools across Canada to educate their communities about environmental stewardship.
“Ferris Elementary ticks all these boxes with waste reduction programs, building system improvements, and initiatives that positively impact student’s lives,” added Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of the CaGBC in the press statement.
The school’s approach to sustainability includes:
• Regular waste audits that have helped improve waste diversion by 80 per cent since 2007.
• By rescheduling lunch period, fermentation, vermicomposting and traditional composting projects, achieved a 95 per cent reduction of food waste.
• By monitoring usage, achieved a two per cent reduction in electrical use since 2013, despite adding to the plug load.
• An upgraded boiler has helped achieve 32 per cent reduction in natural gas use since 2013 and by recycling 250,000 bottles the school paid for the installation of two water bottle refilling stations.
• Achieved a five per cent reduction in water use.
• Participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline cleanup since 2007, and engaged students in a petition and letter-writing campaign to municipal leaders.
• Commitment to active transportation, encouraging staff and students to walk or ride to school, including hosting learn-to-bike clinics.
The runners-up of the 2019 Greenest School in Canada competition were the Career and Technology Centre at Central Memorial High School in Calgary in second place and in third place Westwood Community High School in Fort McMurray, Alta.
For the first time, all schools that submitted an entry to the Greenest School competition were given free access to Arc, a platform designed to help collect, manage and benchmark building data to help improve sustainability performance.
For a closer look at the schools and their many initiatives including, visit the CaGBC’s website.