Kelowna campus of Okanagan College. Photo: Contributed

Okanagan College to host sustainability discussion

The event will engage in sustainability issues around the globe

Okanagan College will host a regional event with global implications.

Building on Progress: Climate Action across Local, Regional and Global Levels will open the doors to dialogue in Sept., as a way of engaging the Okanagan region in sustainability discussions happening across the globe.

On Sept. 13 and 14, Building on Progress will showcase Okanagan projects that focus on climate action, especially healthy energy systems and sustainable communities, as an affiliate event to the Global Climate Action Summit to be held in San Francisco, California.

“The event is designed to build momentum achieved by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which calls on the world to communicate, educate, improve policies and strengthen resilience efforts,” said Dr. Rosalind Warner, Okanagan College political science faculty member. “We are at a critical juncture in terms of adopting and implementing necessary policies to effect change.”

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Okanagan College partnered with the Global Empowerment Coalition of the Central Okanagan (GECCO) to organize the affiliate event, which will connect local participants with international Global Climate Action Summit discussion through live-streamed video. Panel discussions will also be held with regional experts in private, public and energy sectors. The community can also follow the dialogue on social media using hashtags #StepUp2018 and #GCAS2018.

The College locations will also serve as inspiration for participants: the Kelowna Trades Complex and Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Penticton were both built to LEED Platinum standards. In 2016, the Centre of Excellence was named the greenest post-secondary building in Canada by Corporate Knights magazine.

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“Okanagan College is a leader in sustainable construction technologies, evidenced through the quality of our programs and the innovation behind our physical spaces,” said Amy Vaillancourt, chair of the sustainable construction management technology program. “Building on Progress is an opportunity to showcase for College students and the community to learn about the value of sustainable construction practices, and what small steps they can take to make a lasting difference.”

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The event will run Sept. 13 in Kelowna and Sept. 14 in Penticton, with sessions running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. An expo will include exhibits from local businesses and organizations in the sustainability field. The event is free and no registration is required.

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