(Quebec) For Eric Bauce, Provost development of Laval University, major budget cuts facing the university system will not prevent the institution to stay the course on sustainable development, which it unveiled its plan triennial 2015-2018 last week.
“It is certain that we have less money, but the fact of being cuts do not mean stop developing. Despite the cuts in our operating budget, we recorded an increase in our research funds and we picked the largest grant in the history of the establishment, or $ 98 million for research in the North, “explains Mr. Bauce interview with the Sun.
In short, even if it sometimes has to tighten their belts, no question of Laval University, who buys for $ 360 million in goods and services, set aside its purchasing and responsible consumption practices.
“In 2013-2014, 27% of our products and services were purchased in consideration of sustainability criteria. In terms of our suppliers, 36% of such criteria, whereas in 2010 there were only 10%, “says the Vice-President added that these rates should continue to rise.
Mr. Bauce also noted that sustainable development can also rhyme with savings. “We have achieved energy savings of millions of dollars of money that we have invested in our sustainability funds,” he continues, adding that Laval University also keeps the sake of saving energy when the time comes to upgrade infrastructure.
Employees and students who buy a parking permit also have the option to pay $ 15 more to offset their emissions of greenhouse gases, which are also result in sustainable development funds.
The University also wishes to significantly reduce its oil consumption, it is equipped with electric heating systems, gas and oil, and improve its rate of waste recovery, which was 40% in 2013-2014 .
“Thereupon, the aim is 70%. It is ambitious, but we believe it is achievable. This is something we are trying to integrate everywhere. For example, our food management contract contains clauses on recycling, “says Eric Bauce.
As for the goal of making a carbon neutral Laval University, who remains dear to the Vice President, the latter, however, refused to provide a timetable. “Let’s say it’s coming … and my target is not talking in terms of years,” he let fall, so admitting that he would achieve this at the latest in 2017.
The new three-year sustainable development plan also includes an action plan in 10 points which includes several other targets that the institution wishes to achieve by 2018.
With already over 325 in 75 training programs related to sustainable development, the University wants to see that number go to 500. It also aims to maintain or improve the percentage of its chairs, institutes, centers and research groups recognized in connection with a challenge of sustainable development policy, which is currently 57%.
The University also wants to reach the fifth place worldwide for the quality of its commitment to sustainable development, having ranked ninth last year.
Finally, in terms of travel, one of the targets that have been set to reduce by 8% the proportion of annual parking permits sold per equivalent employees and full-time students from the level 2012-2013 encouraging staff and students to opt for cycling or public transit.