A new face to sustainability

Wilfrid Laurier University has appointed Claire Bennett as the new co-ordinator of the sustainability office — an office devoted to creating environmental and sustainable awareness at Laurier.

“My goal, basically, is to create a very natural environment of sustainability for the whole Wilfrid Laurier campus, not just for students but staff and faculty as well,” explained Bennett on her new position. “I just want it to become part of the daily routine instead of certain events there and here.”

Bennett is in the midst of creating a 2011 sustainable action plan that includes sustainable guidelines for construction projects, larger recycling programs in residences and academic workshops and talks given by local professionals.

As well, Bennett hopes to work with human resources to create orientation packages for new students, faculty and staff.

“I want it to be accessible for everyone,” Bennett added. “I’m not trying to make anyone’s life difficult; I want it to be available and easy.”

According to Bennett, much of her plan is based on the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) in which Laurier received a “bronze” rating last fall.

For three years Bennett worked as an environmental health and safety coordinator in the alternative fuel system industry and is experienced in environmental design and law, planning and administration.  

In addition to her work experience, she is also pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Waterloo in environmental planning. “I’m basically hoping for not even just awareness, but just for people to want to come involved,” continued Bennett. “I hope we can make it that sustainable choices are right at people’s fingertips.”