Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia has long been recognized as one of Canada’s premier post-secondary institutions. Recently, Acadia has also been recognized as a leader in environmental sustainability in research, education, operations and outreach.
Through research in areas such as tidal energy, municipal sustainability, water policy and ecosystem toxicity, faculty at Acadia are investigating solutions to environmental challenges and making a significant contrbution to a sustainble future. Known also for excellence in education, Acadia also provides students with diverse educational opportunities to explore complex environmental issues through degree programs in Environmental Science and Environment and Sustainability Studies.
Leading by example, Acadia has taken action to become more sustainable in all areas of campus operations. For example, energy use and emissions have been reduced through energy efficiency programs and improvements to infrastructure; the recently completed new biology building is LEED certified; and trayless dining was implemented to reduce energy, water and waste.
Acadia is also well known for its close ties to the community through outreach and service activities. Faculty, staff and students are engaged in collaborative work in the local community and beyond. Visitors are welcomed to the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens for educational activities and enjoyment of the natural environment.
Finally, the Arthur Irving Academy for the Environment, a centre for scholarship, education and advocacy on environmental issues has made a significant contribution to sustainability on campus and in the commuity. The "Academy" has recently expanded its outreach role with the creation of the Nova Scotia E2 Challenge program. Developed in partnership with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, Nova Scotia Power Inc. and the government of Nova Scotia the program is intended to help provincial residents and communities reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
Nova Scotia Power Inc.
Nova Scotia Power is committed to meeting the current and future electricity needs of our province by building a cleaner energy future that will benefit Nova Scotians, both in terms of the economy and our shared environment. Nova Scotia Power is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in capital projects that are creating jobs and energizing the provincial economy.
We’re building wind farms and contracting electricity from independently owned wind farms across Nova Scotia, which on windy days can provide 15% of the province’s total electricity. We’re investigating ways to extend the life of our existing generation infrastructure, which our customers have already paid for, by co-firing locally grown biomass which is sustainable and carbon neutral. We’re converting a decommissioned power plant on the Halifax waterfront into our new environmentally sustainable, energy efficient, LEED-standard headquarters. And we’re tidal energy pioneers, having deployed North America’s first commercial-sized, open-centre tidal turbine in November 2009.
Nova Scotia Power is proud to be meeting and beating legislated caps on emissions of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury. And, we are well on our way to 25 percent renewable generation in 2015 and 40 percent in 2020.
We have 1,900 dedicated employees focused on building a reputation for customer service and leaving a legacy of cleaner energy.
Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities
The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM) has made sustainability a priority and taken a leadership position in raising awareness among its 55 municipal units. In 2004, it created the Sustainable Practices Committee to address priority sustainability issues, such as energy conservation and greenhouse gas reduction. The committee became involved in a number of climate change initiatives and created a guide to help municipalities reduce energy use from their operations.
In 2007, UNSM stepped up its efforts to help municipal governments in Nova Scotia respond to the threat of climate change by establishing the Municipal Sustainability Office (MSO) and creating a new staff position to promote sustainability and liaise with governments throughout the province on key environmental issues. UNSM’s initial emphasis on reducing energy and greenhouse gas emission levels remains a priority, as it recognizes the key role municipalities have to play in climate protection.
The goals of the MSO are to encourage Nova Scotia municipalities to engage in sustainability initiatives and to increase their ability to capitalize on sustainable opportunities. The MSO is committed to building capacity and positioning Nova Scotia municipalities as leaders in sustainability. The MSO endeavours to meet its goals by: 1) developing practical projects and resources, 2) raising awareness and providing educational opportunities, and 3) building capacity through partnerships.
UNSM is a not-for-profit organization mandated to represent the provincial interests of municipal governments across Nova Scotia. UNSM’s total membership is 440 elected officials representing all 55 municipalities. For more information on UNSM, visit www.unsm.ca
Nova Scotia Environment
Nova Scotia Environment is responsible for delivering effective and efficient regulatory management for the protection of our environment.
We have a staff of more than 250 employees working from offices throughout Nova Scotia.
Almost 70 per cent of the department's resources support inspections and monitoring activities. Among the items we are responsible for are air quality, drinking water and many other facets of everyday life.
Nova Scotia Environment consists of five main divisions:
- Environmental Monitoring & Compliance is responsible for the majority of field operations relating to environmental protection
- Environmental Science and Program Management promotes sustainable management and protection of the environment and natural areas
- Environment and Sustainable Prosperity Partnerships provides information and business management for the department
- Policy and Corporate Services provides policy planning and development for the department
- Communications provides advice and manages communications with the public
Nova Scotia Environment is also home to the Climate Change Directorate.
The Climate Change Directorate leads and supports government's commitment to take significant measures to adapt to the expected impacts of climate change and to meet legislated targets to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
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