Sustainability

An Okanagan College commitment

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Cdn green building award

From its fresh water lakes to its sunny dry climate – including Canada’s only desert – the B.C. Southern Interior is home to some of the most unique environmental characteristics in the country.

With so much to offer, and so much to protect, it’s only natural that Okanagan College would do its best to preserve what is here, and create a climate – and culture – that reflects that commitment to sustainability at each of its campuses.

In the mid-2000s, Okanagan College took on a bold vision to construct a building that would set the tone for the region.

The result is The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation located at the Penticton campus.

Built to meet the Living Building Challenge – a set of building standards that exceeds LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum – the $28-million building has achieved worldwide recognition with honours including the Green Good Design Award from the European Centre for Architecture and the Chicago Athenaeum, along with the Canadian Green Building Award from the Canadian Green Building Council, among others. 

Meanwhile, the College launched numerous other initiatives indicative of a new global view of sustainability – one that encompasses “human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods and a better world for all generations”, as defined by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

And in 2011, Okanagan College became the first community college in B.C. to earn a silver rank in the AASHE’s STARS® program.

Okanagan College’s commitment to sustainability continues to inform:

-    Building construction
-    Utility conservation – from water to heat and electricity
-    Internal practices in printing, recycling trade shop materials, encouraging fuel-efficient vehicles
-    And the College’s Diversity Working group that ensures inclusivity, equity, accessibility and respect

The rewards of such an approach have catapulted Okanagan College onto the world stage, and worked as a daily reminder to students of not only the responsibility, but also the ability each one of us has to protect and preserve.

To get the latest news, check out the College's Sustainability blog.

Dig deeper into Okanagan College

More information is also available here:

Construction and Design

Energy Management

Green Landscaping

Waste Management

Water Conservation