The Grade 5 class of Robbie Veenhof at Saanich’s St. Joseph’s Elementary School was among the three winning entries of the Cool It! Leadership Challenge organized by the British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA) (Twitter/BCSEA).

Three Greater Victoria schools claim climate awards

Awards handed out by British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association

A trio of schools in the Capital Regional District (CRD) including one from Saanich received recognition for their efforts towards climate sustainability.

Selkirk Montessori (Victoria), St. Joseph Elementary (Saanich) and Macaulay Elementary are recent winners of the Cool It! Climate Leadership Training program offered by the British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA).

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Program participants first learn about climate change, then participate in a four-week challenge to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint at home with their families with the reported actions converted into measurable greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions.

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“When it comes to reducing our community’s carbon footprint, young people definitely play an important role,” said Larisa Hutcheson, CRD’s general manager, parks and environmental services. “The Cool It! program is a great way for students to better understand how their household can reduce energy use and champion positive behaviour change at home and amongst their peers.”

A total of 19 classes participated in the program. The District of Saanich and the City of Victoria sponsored additional 10 workshops in their communities for a total of 39 participating classrooms. During the challenge, 921 students committed to 16,995 actions that reduce energy and carbon emissions at home. Projected GHG savings totaled 936 tonnes of CO2, if annualized.

Since its launch in 2017, more than 90 classes in the region have participated in the program, with support from the CRD and member municipalities, with participating students have reported taking more than 17,000 actions.

CRD’s board declared a climate emergency in February as it aims to accelerate climate action across the region. According to a provincial database, the region emits more than 1.5 million tonnes of C02e.


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