Environmental Stewardship

One of the five pillars in our 2015-2019 Strategic Plan is Sustainability. Within this pillar, one of three key strategies is to model sustainability, smart energy use and sound environmental practices for students. And we’re well on our way!

The OCDSB is committed to sustainable initiatives across the Operations, Maintenance, Design & Construction, and Energy Management and Conservation divisions.  The following is a brief overview of the areas that support the District’s goals. To read more in depth, please view our Multi-Year Energy Management Plan 2017-2020.

Waste & Recycling

Through ongoing promotion from Facilities and increased efforts by the schools in the recycling and composting programs, our diversion rates have increased and the overall refuse being generated has been reduced.

Green Clean

The District continues in its efforts to use green cleaning products so as to minimize the adverse effect cleaning products can have on the environment. Permissible products are “EcoLogo”, “Green Seal”, or “Environmental Choice Program”.


We continue our struggle to overcome the devastation caused by the Emerald Ash Borer infestation. In the last year four years we have had to cut down over 1000 dead trees. We have inoculated approximately 400 Ash trees to keep them healthy. The District has planted 349 new trees of various species at 49 different sites. Another 300 new trees have been planted through donations and programs from The City of Ottawa.

In addition we have started an ‘Adopt-a-Tree / Create-a-Forest’ program. Seedlings are provided to the schools who care for the seedlings until they are of size suitable for planting. They are then planted at a location at the MacSkimming Outdoor Education Center. Last year 300 seedlings were delivered to the schools which resulted in 167 trees being planted at MacSkimming.

Fleet Vehicles

Efficiency improvements within the fleet started with the replacement of 20 leased compact cars with Hybrid subcompact cars cutting the fuel consumption in half. The process of right-sizing of vehicles for the individual trades is now ongoing. Instead of simply replacing large old vans with identical newer ones, large old vans are being replaced with more efficient mid-size work vehicles. Considerations are being made on the use of electric vehicles in the future.

Electric Vehicles (EV) Charging Stations

With the introduction and public acceptance of Electric Vehicles, Facilities is rolling out some trials on EV Charging stations at the Facilities Stittsville Depot and 133 Greenbank. Costs associated with the installation of the charging equipment are being funded through GHG funding and other incentives. Future sites will be considered as trials are completed.

Water Bottles

In support of the environmental initiative to reduce the amount of single use water bottles consumed within our schools, water bottle filling stations were installed throughout the District in 2011. To date an equivalent of over 5 million 16 oz. water bottles have been filled using the water bottle filling stations.

Carbon 613

Carbon 613 is a made-in-Ottawa target-based sustainability program where member organizations are plugged in to a local network, supported in setting a green gas reduction target, and celebrated for progress made towards environmental results. As a key member of Carbon 613, the District will be revered as an environmental leader in the Capital Region.

Energy Evolution

The District is working in collaboration with The City of Ottawa and other major stakeholders on the development and implementation of the Energy Evolution initiative to reduce city-wide greenhouse gas emissions.

New Construction

New buildings and additions continue to be designed and constructed to LEED-like standards. The District receives energy efficiency rebates through programs like the High Performance New Construction (HPNC) incentives for investments into upgraded building components. A continued focus on improving new building construction designs to set targets towards a net-zero energy performance.

Lighting Upgrade

Lighting on the exterior of buildings is being systematically changed to LED to improve the efficiency and take advantage of the extended lifespan. LED lighting is also being introduced inside buildings along with occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting, where feasible, during renovations and new construction.

Green Energy

The District owns green energy installations at several locations. One type of installation is a solar hot water heating system which is installed at a high school. There are 13 small (10 kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) MicroFIT arrays on the roof of 13 individual schools.

The District also has larger solar PV systems under a lease agreement at 28 schools through the FIT program.  These arrays generate 50 to 250KW depending on the size of the installation.

As part of a new initiative this year, five (5) sites will have net-metering solar power generation systems installed by spring of 2018. Further installations are being planned as future funding becomes available.

Environmental Stewardship Program

As part of the environmental stewardship program, many schools were actively participating in EcoSchools program last year with 53 schools achieving certification. We will continue to promote participation in the EcoSchools program with the expectation that more schools will come on board next year.

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