Cape Breton University Hosts Eco-Challenge as Part of AUCC Open Doors. Open Knowledge

On November 20, Cape Breton University’s (CBU) Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy & the Environment (Verschuren Centre) is hosting an eco-challenge for close to 40 local high school students, beginning at 9:30 a.m.  It will be a morning filled with learning and engagement, where students will be introduced to the environmental sustainability initiatives currently in place at CBU and hear about plans for the future. The event is taking place to celebrate the Association for Universities and Colleges in Canada (AUCC) Open Doors. Open Knowledge initiative.

“The Verschuren Centre believes sustainability in energy and the environment will only be achieved through partnerships. Collaboration with industry, government and our community is key to achieving our goals and we are looking forward to showing these future leaders how partnerships help to put our ideas to work,” says Ross McCurdy, Chief Operating Officer, Verschuren Centre.

Students with interests in environmental and physical science, technology, and energy for sustainable communities will have a chance to gain exposure and insight into applications of these fields by participating in this interactive experience. The activities will introduce the transformation of CBU to an Energy Self-Sufficient Campus using biomass heating, wind power, geothermal heat pumps, solar thermal domestic hot water heating, and energy efficiency measures including lighting and conservation.

Topics such as sustainability, local energy resources and geothermal energy are a few of the many subjects that will be discussed with the students throughout the morning by CBU staff. 

“Facilities Management at CBU has, for some time, been actively engaged in advancing several operational sustainability initiatives. There are many benefits to these programs that are not readily seen but make a huge difference in how the campus functions. It’s great to share these practices with students and heighten their awareness, knowing full well they will be the future scientists and leaders who will lead the way in expanding the practices that have been demonstrated to them today,” says Donnie MacIsaac, Director of Facilities Management.

One year after opening, the Verschuren Centre is active in its goal of finding innovative solutions to challenges concerning environmental sustainability. Currently, there are Research Chairs in Environmental Remediation and Mine Water Management in place, partnerships have been formed and are evolving, and infrastructure is expanding to meet the needs of a community and campus striving towards sustainable prosperity. 

Throughout November, Open Doors. Open Knowledge events are taking place at universities across the country. Themed Putting Ideas to work for Canadians, this year’s AUCC events will showcase how university and business partnerships are driving innovation and enhancing quality of life in Canada. The Verschuren Centre and CBU have a number of collaborative projects in place that will be highlighted during the eco-challenge.