RRC among Canada’s Greenest Employers for Seven Years Running

By: Samantha Duerksen


All the world is green at Red River College.

The college has been one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for seven consecutive years, according to the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project.

After winning the title on April 22, 2017, RRC continues its sustainability initiatives full throttle with a promising year ahead.

Laura Hnatiuk and Whitney Crooks hold up a Pitch In sign which is part of the recycling program on campus. / Samantha Duerksen

The Office of Sustainability created a new position called Resource Reduction Specialist mid-November, according to the RRC website. This adds a third member to the small office.

Whitney Crooks, former sustainability coordinator, will take on the new role. Laura Hnatiuk will fill Crooks’ previous position.

“Our biggest challenge is that there is just so much do,” said Crooks. “We just expanded to three which is very exciting because it gives us the opportunity to focus a lot more on different programs.”
Crooks said as the Resource Reduction Specialist she has a two-year term to focus on plug-load energy reduction and paper usage reduction. Plug-load energy is energy used by products that are powered through an AC plug.

She said she will be working with departments, students, and staff across the campus to meet the reduction goals.

Sustainability projects at the college have been successful in the past. In 2016, RRC received NSERC’s Synergy Award for Innovation for partnering with Manitoba Hydro in building sustainable infrastructure, and developing a zero-emissions electric-battery transit bus in partnership with Winnipeg Transit.
Taryn Borgford, a 22-year-old digital media design student at RRC, thinks that sustainability efforts on campus are noticeable.

“It’s better than a lot of public spaces I’ve ever seen,” she said.  Borgford says sustainability is important to her, and that she tries to bike to school when she can.

Whitney Crooks, Resource Reduction Specialist at RRC, at her office holds items for the pop-up market that are eco-gift wrapped. / Samantha Duerksen

This week, the Office of Sustainability is doing their first ever pop-up market that will have local vendors and eco-gift wrapping. Around twenty vendors will be at the Notre Dame campus on Wednesday, and the Roblin campus Thursday. Crooks said vendors will include honey made from the college’s Bee Apiaries project, as well as kimchi, cupcakes, and upcycled wool products made by a library staff member.