Conference Schedule

ScheduleCampus Sustainability Conference 2016
Saturday, March 12th                                   

Gzowski College, Lower Level, Trent University

 

Time Event Location
9:30am Check-in, Registration & Refreshments Atrium
10am Opening Remarks: Barb Wall-Potter, Charles Hopkins,  Bob Paehlke, Julie Davis Room 114
12pm LUNCH! Make sure to browse the GYC Competition Finalists and vendor tables… Atrium
1pm Workshops #1
“Exploration” with Charles Hopkins Room 103
Linking Science and Indigenous Knowledge for Sustainability Room 110
Divestment and Re-investment Campaigns at Trent Room 112
The Rotten Reality of Food Waste and Climate Change Room 106
Student Strategies for Creating Sustainable Campus Food Systems Room 115
Campus Sustainability Features at Fleming’s Frost Campus Room 111
Trent Garden Walking TOUR! Room 105
2pm Workshops #2
Caregiver Burnout Room 112
Reducing Your Personal Greenhouse Gases Room 108
What They Do At Waterloo – University of Waterloo Campus Sustainability Initiatives Room 106
Bringing Climate Justice to Campus Activism Room 105
Campus Food Production: the Trent Market Garden Room 103
Corporate Sustainability Initiatives at Fleming College, Sutherland Campus (Peterborough) Room 110
Opportunities for Re-Investment at Trent– Robin Dines from Trent’s board of governors, Toby Heaps from “Corporate Knights”, Calvin a student from Fossil Free Trent, David Newhouse, Indigenous Studies chair with Asaf Zohar, director of MA in Sustainability Studies moderating. Room 114
3:00pm Tea/Coffee/Refreshment break! Atrium
3:15pm Panel Discussion: “Student Leadership on Campus” Room 114
4pm Closing Remarks, GYC Competition Winners Announced, Door Prize! Room 114

 

Workshop Descriptions

Workshop Descriptions – 2016 Campus Sustainability Conference

Workshop Description of workshop
Exploration  Following his keynote address, Charles Hopkins will lead this workshop which will engage participants in discussions of what could, should and is being done to create an effective response from higher education. Examples of issues that could be raised and considered include: “Should Higher Education even become a tool in implementing national policy?” and “What additional undertakings could be done to build upon the current successes of Greening the Campus?” The issues and the discussion will arise from the participants and Hopkins will share observations from his international engagements. The workshop format will be a participatory exploration of crucial philosophical and practical questions concluding with a compilation of answers/suggestions for both personal and institutional consideration and action.
Caregiver Burnout and Sustainability – Fleming College Caregiver burnout is a term used in the medical field to describe various symptoms from over stress including apathy, insomnia, low concentration, and poor performance.  However, caregiver burnout is becoming prevalent in sustainability careers.  Using writing exercises, role-playing, and creativity, this workshop will supply participants with tools and techniques to combat over-stress in the environmental field, and build a positive, productive attitude.
TRACKS – linking science & indigenous knowledge for sustainability Making TRACKS: Weaving Indigenous and Western scientific knowledges in
environmental science engagement TRACKS is a youth program operated in partnership with Trent University’s Indigenous Environmental Studies/Sciences and the Kawartha World Issues Centre. Using fun, hands-on activities we work to explore environmental science from both Western and Indigenous perspectives.Join us for activities and conversation around the importance of including Indigenous
knowledge and perspectives into environmental science disciplines. While our focus is
around education, we’ll be discussing reconciliation and relationship building between
Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and send you off with some basic tools and
strategies to decolonizing your environmental perspective and approach.
Our workshop will be a combination of conversation circle, hands-on activities, and
strategizing around ways that Indigenous and non-Indigenous environmentalists can
work together, bringing new perspectives to sustainability work by including the best of multiple knowledge systems.
Reducing your personal greenhouse gases What is the difference between a kilowatt and a kilowatt-hour? Did you know that residences are the major source of greenhouse gases in Peterborough? Is it better to replace all my light bulbs with LED’s or to turn the apartment temperature down 1 degree? How much difference does it make if I take a bus or drive a car? This workshop will give enough basic knowledge (also provided in a handout) to make these decisions. You will then work in pairs or small groups to determine how best to reduce your personal greenhouse gases. Bring pencil, paper, a calculator and the desire to help the planet.
Divestment and Re-investment at Trent University and beyond Interested in learning about the divestment campaign at Trent? In this informal workshop we will talk about the past and present divestment campaigns at Trent, the national divestment movement, and how students can learn more and get involved. There will be lots of time for question and answer.
Garden TOUR Come along for a walking tour to Trent’s very own rooftop gardens. They grow food for our on campus, student-run cafe the Seasoned Spoon. There’s a great view of the campus from the gardens!
What They Do at Waterloo: U. of Waterloo Campus Sustainability Initiatives  Come learn from students all the way from University of Waterloo who will be sharing their experiences about the barriers and successes of creating a sustainable campus. The will discuss their goals, how we have achieved them on at Waterloo campus and the resources they’ve used/how they go about funding/planning and structuring environmentally driven programs on campus.
Bringing Climate Justice to Campus Activism Fatin is here with us from Toronto, Ontario where he is a Studio Y Fellow at the MaRS Discovery District.
Workshop topic: The Paris Climate Agreement at the end of 2015 gave a resounding global call for a phase out of fossil fuels and accelerate our transition into a clean energy economy. This workshop will track the climate justice movement in the last few years through multimedia and personal narratives. We will discuss how to incorporate anti-oppression frameworks, intersectionality, and indigenous solidarity into climate activism. How can you engage with climate justice in a meaningful and impactful way ?
The Rotten Reality of Food Waste & Climate Change “Food connects us each and every one of us. It is the source of life, after all! But have you ever wondered what happens to the food that does not make it to the grocery store, or that you scrape off your plate? This workshop will look at how food waste comes to exist and the damage it is doing to our planet. Through hands-on activities we will get creative (and maybe dirty) in exploring how we can each reduce the food waste in our food system, stores, schools and homes.” In this workshop will explore how we use youth engagement, popular education and anti-oppressive models to engage our community on environmental topics and in our workshops. The Seeds for Justice Facilitators Collective peer-to-peer model encourages dialogue and an understanding of both local and global issues while inspiring hope and change!
Campus Food Production: the Trent Market Garden This worshop discusses on-campus food production at Trent, focusing on our on-campus Market Garden as a case study. Presenters will discuss the project’s first production year, barriers encountered so far, and plans for this upcoming growing season. This case study will be framed within a larger discussion of campus and community gardens across Canada.
Student Strategies for Creating Sustainable Campus Food Systems This workshop will encourage participants to be creative and use art materials to map and/or draw what they are talking about. We will bring these all together to serve as a visual record of our efforts. The presentation will talk about the WHAT of campus food system change at Trent since 2012 (new contract, actual changes thus far). The WHO of campus food system change (actors and their roles). The HOW and WHEN of change – political opportunity structures and policy windows, framing issues and perseverance. The WHY is likely self-evident but I will touch on some key points, and critique the assumption that “local food is good food” with reference to scale having no inherent qualities.
Panel: Opportunities for 
Re-Investment Trent
As support for the divestment movement continues to grow nationally and internationally, many are considering an important question: Where will institutions re-invest their divested funds? In this panel, speakers will discuss the possibilities that they envision for re-investment at Trent.
Fleming College Sustainability – Frost Campus This workshop will highlight the current sustainability initiatives that Fleming’s Frost Campus implements. This includes the Green Roof, Living Wall, Butterfly Garden/Xeriscaping, Community Garden, Bike Loan Program, Free Market, Waste Strategy, Vermicomposting, Wind turbine, Geothermal heating, Frost Organic garden and the New Technology Wing in general. We will follow this overview with what specifically our program (Ecosystem Management Technology) has been doing with regards to future sustainability practices. Specifically, we will highlight our annual conference we organize, a platform for community members to come together and discuss a differing environmental issue each year. The session will end with a question period talking about how other campuses might implement similar initiatives and how sustainable campus initiatives might be further improved upon.

Trent to Keep Fossil Fuel Investments – Sustainable Trent will Continue Mobilizing for Divestment

Trent University’s Board of Governors has rejected fossil fuel divestment after more than a year of deliberation.

On May 8 2015, the Board of Governors, led by the Investment and Pension Committee, announced that the university will not divest from fossil fuels after a “careful” review of the proposal, including recommendations from Sustainable Trent.

Trent will continue to invest in coal, oil and gas companies while catastrophic climate change looms closer, pipelines rupture, oil-burdened trains explode, and the tar sands continue to encroach on Indigenous lands.

While fossil fuel companies poison the air we breathe and contaminate our waters, pumping CO2 into the air while climate change rages onward, Trent thinks it’s reasonable to keep supporting these corporations through its investments.

The membership of Sustainable Trent is extremely disappointed by the Board’s decision to not pursue divestment from fossil fuels, as doing so would have been both the moral and financially responsible thing to do.

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By continuing its investment in fossil fuels, Trent is continuing to profit off of climate change, oil spills, human and Indigenous rights violations, and environmental destruction. Trent is also making itself vulnerable to the carbon bubble, and risks losing money on its investments.

This decision comes despite the wide support of the Trent community. Trent students voted for divestment by a wide majority of 76% in the 2013 student elections. The Board’s decision ignores the over 1300 people who signed a petition calling on Trent to divest, and the over 50 faculty who signed an open letter urging divestment. Numerous organizations also supported Sustainable Trent’s campaign, such as CUPE Local 3908 and the Trent Central Student Association. The Board’s failure to heed student voices and take a democratic approach demonstrates that Trent students cannot count on the BOG to act in their best interests.

Instead of divestment, the Board chose to invest 10% of the endowment fund in a “socially responsible investment” fund predicated on the United Nations Principles on Responsible Investment. This new endowment category will “be available for designation by university donors”, and “may accommodate some fossil fuel investments.”

Sustainable Trent acknowledges that establishing an endowment category for responsible investments is a baby step in the right direction. The positive thing about this approach is that socially responsible investing can consider a lot more than just fossil fuel companies – it deals with all kinds of ethical issues ranging from human rights to environmental protection.

Still, it falls very short of what is needed. Roger Lohmann, Associate Professor of Anthropology, sums it up well: “10% is something, and I applaud that at least this recognizes that socially responsible investing exists and is desirable. However, it’s deeply troubling that the BOG apparently thinks that directing 90% of our financial backing to business practices that are likely to be socially irresponsible makes good financial or ethical sense.”

We would be more impressed if Trent decided to invest the entire endowment fund according to responsible investment principles. That at least would be a bolder move. We would be even more impressed if Trent made this move AND embarked on divestment from fossil fuels. That would be easy since fossil fuel investments are by nature socially irresponsible. But a mere 10% of the endowment is not a change to the status quo. It sounds more like the appearance of an ethical stance than a true effort to change how the university invests its money.

Trent has missed out on an opportunity to be a strong leader in environmental sustainability and social justice among universities in Canada. Concordia University recently set a precedent by becoming the first university in Canada to partially divest from fossil fuels, committing to divesting $5 million out of its $130 million endowment. Trent could have one-upped Concordia by showing more bold leadership and divesting its full endowment fund.

The membership of Sustainable Trent will keep pushing until the Board of Governors and Investment and Pension Committee commit to full divestment from fossil fuels. We do not accept this decision to invest in companies that are actively destroying the land and the future of the Trent’s own students.

A volunteer-run student organization at Trent University that advocates and takes action for environmental justice and sustainability.