Sustainable Workplaces

What City of Hamilton Corporate workplace initiatives can be implemented to lower the City's carbon footprint?

Project Description: In March of 2019, the City of Hamilton's Board of Health declared a Climate Emergency. This declaration is a symbolic gesture, recognizing the need for additional action against Climate Change in the City of Hamilton. A corporate taskforce is in the process of being assembled to work toward the City becoming net zero carbon by 2050 and to work toward adapting to future climate impacts to increase resilience as a City.

To reach these targets, a number of initiatives must be taken. Corporately, we must take a number of actions to reach our targets. This will include adopting new building technologies, greening our fleet, and improving infrastructure to adapt to extreme weather events and increased freeze thaw cycles.

Infrastructure improvements are not the only initiatives necessary to achieving our climate goals. Behavioural changes are also critical to achieve our goals and targets. Processes within workplaces can make a difference to lowering our carbon footprint. Simple actions, like turning off lights, turning computers off when not in use, conserving water, green procurement, waste diversion and employee travel have the potential to reduce the City's carbon footprint significantly.

This project will challenge residents to audit/complete a feasibility study of a City of Hamilton corporate workplace within the city to recommend initiatives/actions and provide a business case that can be applied to workplaces to lower the City's carbon footprint. These actions may be transferable to other work places. Residents in future semesters could build on this information to adapt to other facilities and potentially implement actions throughout the organization.

Areas that could be covered are:

1. Energy and Water Conservation
2. Reduction of waste/ waste diversion
3. Green Procurement
4. Procedures/Behaviours (eg. work from home, online meetings, sustainable travel)

City Staff:  Shelley Rogers, Coordinator - Air Quality and Climate Change

Deliverables:  Primary Research (ie. conducting surveys and/or collecting data), Secondary Research (i.e. review of literature and finding information from books and online), Feasibility Study, Business Case

Location: City wide

City Strategy Priority: Economic Prosperity and Growth, Healthy and Safe Communities, Clean and Green, Our People and Performance

Availability: Fall semester 2019 (September - December), Winter semester 2020 (January - April), Fall semester 2020 (January - April)

Staff participation: Two hours/week

Number of groups: This could be condensed into one group depending on number of residents, subject experts with availability, other similar projects and scope.