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By Costa Maragos Posted: May 10, 2018 6:00 a.m.

The Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) program was honoured at the annual sustainability awards. (l-r) Dr. Charles Hopkins, UNESCO Chair at York University in Reorienting Education for Sustainability, Jennifer Billan - VSSN Coordinator, Dr. Yvonne Harrison - VSSN Director, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan His Honour the Honourable W.Thomas Malloy and Carol Reyda - Co-coordinator of RCE Saskatchewan and Project Manager, Construction at U of R.
The Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) program was honoured at the annual sustainability awards. (l-r) Dr. Charles Hopkins, UNESCO Chair at York University in Reorienting Education for Sustainability, Jennifer Billan - VSSN Coordinator, Dr. Yvonne Harrison - VSSN Director, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan His Honour the Honourable W.Thomas Malloy and Carol Reyda - Co-coordinator of RCE Saskatchewan and Project Manager, Construction at U of R. Photo courtesy of Jill Forrester

The University of Regina has made its mark at the RCE Saskatchewan annual Sustainability Awards.

RCE Saskatchewan (Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development) has recognized 23 projects that are making the province more sustainable.

Of the 23 projects, five originated at the U of R. They are:

  • The University of Regina Sustainable Solid Waste Management Workshops-Meatless Mondays in Luther Cafeteria
  • URSU Threads – free used suits for students
  • Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) at Luther College
  • Meatless Mondays at the Luther College Cafeteria
  • The evaluation of a decentralized greywater reclamation system for a sustainable campus community.
RCE
Team members behind the project U of R Sustainable Solid Waste Management Workshops selected for an RCE sustainability award.
(l-r) Hoang Lan Vu (PhD student), Bahareh Fallah (PhD student), Conglian Pan (MASc student), Damien Bolingbroke (MASc student), Amy Richter (PhD student), and Dr. Kelvin Ng, Associate Professor in Environmental Systems Engineering. Missing: Priscila Dickinson (undergraduate research assistant).

“The award winners this year were fantastic. Because much of the work for sustainability is done on the side of people’s desks without much institutional support, this is even more impressive,” says Dr. Roger Petry, Associate Professor in Philosophy at Luther College.

Petry is a co-coordinator of RCE Saskatchewan, along with Carol Reyda, Project Manager, Construction at the U of R.

The Sustainable Solid Waste Management Workshops were conducted under the leadership of Dr. Kelvin Ng, Associate Professor in Environmental Systems Engineering.

The team organized two public workshops on sustainable solid waste management in 2017. The workshops raised awareness and participants formed action plans to deal with sustainable solid waste management.

The project is financially supported by the Faculty of Engineering and the U of R’s Sustainability and Community Engagement Fund.

The University of Regina is a founding member of RCE Saskatchewan. The organization has been recognizing stand-out sustainability projects for ten years. Other founding members include:

  • University of Saskatchewan
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic
  • First Nations University of Canada
  • Luther College
  • Campion College
  • City of Regina
  • City of Saskatoon


The tenth annual RCE sustainability awards ceremony was hosted by Macdonald School in the community of Stockholm, SK and attended by the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan His Honour the Honourable W. Thomas Malloy.

Macdonald School has implemented an outdoor experiential education program for its students that consists of development and natural outdoor spaces designed to promote students going outdoors. The school's learning centre includes an outdoor classroom, natural trails, tipis, a greenhouse and flower gardens and a mental health gazebo.

Says Petry: “All of the 23 projects awarded educate, encourage and engage others in local action that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. I think we are at a tipping point where Saskatchewan is moving to a new sustainable system. Very exciting.”

The RCE program in Saskatchewan, one of 164 RCE regions around the world, is part of a global initiative of the United Nations University. RCEs actively advance the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the world’s governments in 2015 to guide development until 2030.