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EKOLogy, the outdoor learning program established at East Kensington Elementary, is among the numerous initiatives that placed Surrey Schools among Canada's Greenest Employers for 2019.
The Surrey School District's commitment to sustainable practices, environmental initiatives and eco-friendly workplaces has earned the district a spot among Canada's Greenest Employers for 2019.
This is the third year Surrey Schools has been selected by Mediacorp Canada Inc. for the honour, which recognizes 75 employers across the country.
"This recognition is one we are particularly proud of," says Surrey Board of Education chairperson Laurie Larsen. "Environmental efforts take place daily on numerous fronts and at all levels in our vast school district, from our senior district staff to our youngest of students and future leaders."
Employers are evaluated for:
the unique environmental initiatives and programs they have developed;
the extent to which they have been successful in reducing the organization's own environmental footprint;
the degree to which their employees are involved in these programs and whether they contribute any unique skills; and
the extent to which these initiatives have become linked to the employer's public identity, attracting new employees and clients to the organization.
The following are some of the initiatives that make Surrey Schools one of Canada's Greenest Employers:
actively encouraging students, staff and teaching personnel to get involved and celebrate sustainability initiatives (Surrey Youth Sustainability Network, Green Teacher Network, annual Energy Conservation Cup);
establishing the EKOLogy program at East Kensington Elementary, which offers 90 minutes of hands-on outside the classroom education every day focused on environmental stewardship and indigenous history;
having energy producing features at its schools including solar walls to preheat outdoor air at four locations and solar panels at one secondary school;
use of reusable dinnerware and flatware and compostable take-out containers at head office (and programs to encourage all schools move to compostable food packaging);
e-waste, batteries, organics, and single-steam recycling of paper cardboard, glass, plastic and metal.
"As our district continues to expand and we build more facilities for our growing community of learners and educators, we are always mindful of our environmental footprint, and will continue to focus on our long-term energy management and sustainability goals moving forward," says Larsen.
The environmental honour is one the district has won previously, in 2017 and 2016, and comes on the heels of being named one of B.C.'s Top Employers for 2019.
Check here for a full list of Canada's Greenest Employers for 2019. Detailed reasons for Surrey School District's selection are here.