NSI Evening of Recognition celebrates achievements and new initiatives

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            Crowdsourcing Sustainability project launched

GTA Construction Report staff writer

The Niagara Sustainability Initiative (NSI) marked its third annual Evening of Recognition May 28 at White Oaks. The event celebrated another year of local leadership in regional sustainability initiatives.

The event highlighted the environmental efforts of 15 local organizations and marked the release of NSI’s 2013 report as well as a new project, Crowdsourcing Sustainability.

Master of Ceremonies Erin O’Hosk, NSI’s board chair, introduced the evening’s theme of Sustainability Driven by Business Leaders in Niagara to a crowd of 150 community and network members.

The celebration focused on municipalities, businesses and institutions partnering with NSI through the Carbon Project.

NSI and the Carbon Project support these organizations in voluntarily and publicly reporting their carbon footprint. With an understanding of their environmental impact, these organizations can then identify opportunities to make meaningful and measurable emissions reductions.

NSI provides tools and resources, including monthly educational events, as well as community recognition for these voluntary resources.

At the event, Mike Morrice, executive director of Sustainability CoLab, described NSI’s role in the formation of a new national not-for-profit organization supporting the creation of similar environmental organizationsacross the province.

NSI’s executive director Katrina Kroeze took the stage with two partnering organizations, as well as a member of the organization’s board and a volunteer to reflect on the previous year.

Throughout, speakers highlighted projects tackled by partners with the aim to reduce the impact their operations have on the environment.

Three awards were presented to acknowledge NSI partners’ successes.

Brock University’s electricity reduction projects throughout 2013 received the Most Impactful Initiative Award. The Most Engaged Partner Award went to Walker Industries for its tenth anniversary celebration of the company’s Earth First program.

The Greatest Progress Award went to Quartek Group, which has reduced its carbon footprint by five per cent from its 2012 emissions.

The evening marked Crowdsourcing Sustainability’s launch, a new NSI project with funding from Ontario Trillium Foundation in collaboration with Niagara Research.

The goal of this interactive web‐based platform is to build relationships among, and increase awareness about environmental organizations and efforts in the Niagara region. The website ‘pins’ this environmental information on a regional map, which is then separated based on categories.

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