The Future Looks Green at Grebel

Monday, October 17, 2022

Two Grebel students walking through garden outside student housing

“When our students think about the future, climate change is their single greatest concern,” noted Conrad Grebel University College President Marcus Shantz. “Grebel must respond in ways that generate hope and inspiration for our students.”

“This is a critical time to decide how much we want to reduce the harm that is currently befalling our planet,” explained Maya Morton Ninomiya, who is in 4th-year Health Studies. “As a student, I am surrounded by people who have the ability to influence the next generation. Educating on climate change and instilling passion in students is an extremely potent and necessary opportunity that we must take advantage of.”

Grebel has a history of early adaptation for environmental changes, much of it spurred by student activism and encouragement. “We are now obliged to act on a larger scale than we have in the past,” added Shantz. With a goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Grebel assembled a Green Team of faculty, staff, and students and conducted a third-party environmental audit. A list of projects emerged, ranging from major items like replacing windows to modest ideas like planting native plants. Grebel’s first priorities are to replace a 50-year-old heating and cooling system and install more electric vehicle chargers. A newly established Green Fund will support these projects.

“It is so inspiring to see the passion our students have to fight climate change as we work together to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Grebel’s Director of Operations Paul Penner. “Our students, administration, board, and alumni are committed to implementing the suggestions that come from our Green Team.