Hillfield Strathallan College
Hamilton and Burlington
Hub: Sustainability Leadership Program
Hillfield Strathallan College has worked to embed a culture of sustainability throughout the school by integrating it into academic programming and strategic plans.
“We see a lot of sustainability projects with favourable returns – there are even some instances, like lighting projects, where the cost of the initial investment can be recouped in as little as 3 months.”
— Chris Kwiecien, Director of Operations, Hillfield Strathallan College
Benefiting from Doing the Right Thing
Hillfield Strathallan College (HSC) has worked to embed a culture of sustainability throughout the school by integrating it into academic programming and strategic plans.Over the last few years, HSC has undertaken an array of sustainability projects from students leading an application for Ontario’s microFIT Program to get solar panels installed on school property that generate renewable energy for the province’s electricity grid to updating the parking lot and internal lighting to LED systems.
As HSC’s Director of Operations, Chris Kwiecien is responsible for overseeing many of the school’s sustainability initiatives and is proud of how the school uses environmental sustainability as a lens in making operational decisions. And while Chris feels that investing in more sustainable options is the right thing to do, it’s often also the smart thing to do.
When HSC replaced 14,000 fluorescent tube bulbs with LED bulbs for the exterior walls and security lighting, it saw a return on investment in 3 months.
Even though HSC was making continual improvements in sustainability, they were not tracking their progress over time. HSC joined the local Green Economy Hub — the Sustainable Business Initiative — in 2018 to get help to measure their emissions baseline, so they could set longer term goals and targets and identify areas for improvement.
Moving forward, HSC is working with the Sustainable Business Initiative to assess and implement enhanced school bus idling practices and policies throughout its fleet service. This will decrease emissions and save money as school bus routes and activity travel are a significant contributor to HSC’s carbon footprint.