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

Instructor(s): Zobia Jawed, McMaster University

Department: Faculty of Engineering

Students: 2-5

Project: SEP 700 / M.Eng. Project in Engineering

Deliverable(s):  A final report that will give direction and business cases to implement actions to lower the City’s carbon footprint, using the Lister Block as a starting point.

Location: City wide

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