Fostering Sustainability

George Brown College, Toronto, Ontario (on-going)


Fostering Sustainability is working with George BrownCollege to implement its environmental sustainability “Green Plan”.  The goal of the Green Plan is to reduce the College’s overall ecological footprint. It also includes plans for integrating environmental sustainability principles into the curriculum.


This project began with Fostering Sustainability carrying out an environmental review of the College’s facilities and operations to determine baseline data and benchmarks in terms of the current state of the greening.  Based on results of this review, the environmental sustainability program and action plan (Green Plan) was developed for the College that promotes the use of environmentally sound management practices campus wide.


The Green Plan sets priorities and goals, in the following areas: Energy Management and Climate Change; Water Consumption; Waste Management and Minimization; Green Purchasing and Materials Selection; Food Services and Campus Shops; Site Management and Landscaping; Transportation, Parking and Mobility; Academics and Curriculum.


Fostering Sustainability is now working closely with the College’s Green Team to develop and implement the College’s Green Plan.  The mandate of the Green Team is to align college-wide “green” initiatives with the college’s strategic plan, to ensure that the college moves towards more sustainable campus practices and to provide a forum to leverage extra curricular activities related to sustainability with academic offerings. 


Glenlyon Norfollk School (GNS) is a co-educational day school located in Victoria, British Columbia. Fostering Sustainability was contracted to carry out an Environmental Sustainability Audit Report in 2015. The purpose of the report was to provide a foundation upon which GNS could build on past successes and articulate future goals for environmental stewardship and sustainability at the school. The school will be able to use the findings of this assessment as the basis for monitoring its environmental impacts and setting targets for reducing the school’s eco-footprint into the future. In particular, the report’s findings will inform GNS as it enters a new phase of the its Campus Transformation Plans and new Beach Drive Campus, setting the stage for development of a new long term vision for the school.

From a practical perspective, GNS is scheduled to undergo an evaluation by the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS). The results of this Environmental Audit provided information required by two of the CAIS guidelines:
• Effective Practice 2.4: The school advocates and demonstrates positive practice with respect to environmental issues.
• Effective Practice 10.17: The school has an environmental responsibility plan that is congruent with the school’s mission and vision.

   Recent Projects:



St. Margaret’s School (SMS) is an all-girls, independent day and boarding schoollocated on 22 acres in a suburban area of Saanich, B.C.  One of the school’s key Strategic Plan goals related to Global and Environmental Stewardship states that “Our educational programs have an international and environmental focus”.  In 2015, the school asked Fostering Sustainability to evaluate the school’s baseline environmental impacts (Environmental Audit Report)  and make recommendations for how it can continue to work to reduce its “ecological footprint”, i.e., by managing energy consumption (electricity, natural gas and fuel), water consumption, waste generation, paper consumption, and to “green” operations and purchasing practices.


St. Margaret’s also asked Fostering Sustainability to provide a summary of existing best practices to integrate environmental sustainability principles into the school’s curricular, co-curricular, outdoor education and student and residential life programs. This was important as the school’s STEM-focused curriculum (acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), is an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary educational philosophy that resonates with the need for students to take a systems view of the world in order to truly grasp the challenges of sustainable development. As part of the Environmental Audit Report a number of recommendations were made regarding ways that SMS could build a greater culture of conservation and environmental stewardship at the school.


From a practical perspective, SMS is scheduled to undergo an evaluation by the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS). The results of the Environmental Audit provided information required by two of the CAIS guidelines:


It is hoped that the results of the Environmental Audit will assist the school to develop a future cohesive plan to integrate environmental sustainability considerations into all of the school’s operations and student life.

southridge school, surrey, BC (2014)

In 2014, Fostering Sustainability was contracted by Southridge School, a co-educational independent school in South Surrey, B.C., to carry out an Environmental Audit. One of the purposes of the audit was to help it prepare for an upcoming Accreditation Review by the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS).  Another reason was to inform the process as the school develops a new vision for the future and long term campus master plan. 

The school had already begin work to investigate ways that it could become a “Green community of learners”, assessing the school’s environmental curricular and co-curricular offerings. This Committee generated several ideas that members of the school community can undertake on a daily basis to do their part as environmentally responsible citizens.

Building on this early work, Fostering Sustainability was asked to take this inquiry to the next level and carry out an Environmental Audit to:

Provide information to help meet the requirements of CAIS National Standards and Guidelines, especially those Effective Practices related to environmental responsibility;

- Assess the school’s environmental impacts and make recommendations for how it can continue to reduce its ecological footprint;

- Summarize existing accomplishments and initiatives to date in terms of “greening” the school;

- A baseline that can be used to review and monitor environmental performance of facilities and operations;

- Benchmark information to compare Southridge’s environmental performance with other similar independent schools;

- Identify gaps and opportunities for environmental improvements.

It is hoped that the results of this audit will catalyze further integration of environmental practices into the school's day to day operations and planning for the future, and that it will help support an environmental perspective as the school fulfills the following principles and initiatives in its most recent Strategic Plan:

We will be collaborative stewards of Southridge.” 

"We are the guardians of our campus and resources for future generations.” 

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