Sudbury Catholic District School Board
January 07, 2008

Sudbury Catholic Board Launches Year Two of Dearness Conservation Program and Challenge

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board “kicked off” year two of its Dearness Conservation Program and Challenge on November 14, 2007 at a media launch held at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School. The School Conservation Challenge was created by the Sudbury Catholic District School Board to increase the participation in the Dearness Conservation (DC) initiative that was introduced into all of the Board’s schools in 2001.

Since the inception of the DC program, the Board has been able to achieve substantial utility savings by educating teachers, students and staff and providing them with the necessary resources through this program. Mark Gervais, Energy Coordinator for the Sudbury Catholic Board is very proud of the cost saving measures of the DC program. “Our Board has saved $125,000 per year with the implementation of the energy conservation initiatives of the Dearness Conservation Program,” states Gervais. “This means that over the last six years the Board has realized more than three-quarters of a million dollars in cost savings.”

In 2006-2007, senior administration decided that a “Conservation Challenge” would be an excellent way to enhance the effectiveness of the program in addition to acknowledging the “Environmental Champions.” The selection of the School Conservation Champion involves a point system based on three categories;
(i) an unannounced site visit by the SCDSB’s Facility Services Department during the school year (ii) an interview with the principal from each participating school
(iii) submission of reports dealing with Lifestyle Conservation Campaigns and other relevant materials. Schools will be awarded points based on the above three categories.

The school that attains the most points will be deemed the winner of the Sudbury Catholic District School Board’s 2007-2008 School Conservation Challenge and will be awarded a Grand Prize of $500.00 and the right to display the “SCDSB School Conservation Challenge Champions” banner for a year.

The Dearness Conservation Program is geared toward both secondary school and elementary schools. The program consists of an in-school presentation/workshop and its mandate is to incorporate all of the Board’s students in its conservation efforts.
Eric Foster, Managing Director of the Dearness Environmental Society speaks to St. Benedict CSS students re the impact of and solutions to climate change during a slide show presentation.The DC launch consisted of two components: (1); A viewing of the widely acclaimed environmental movie trailer, An Inconvenient Truth followed by a “Changes” and “Choices” presentation by Eric Foster, Managing Director, Dearness Environmental Society. (2); Following the presentation, Suzanne Burwell, Educational Resources Manager for the Dearness Environmental Society guided students through a trade show which focussed on efficient technologies. Students learned about energy and water saving technologies, how to perform technical audits, and how to run campaigns to achieve energy, water and waste reduction.

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board will be presenting workshops in all of its four secondary and twenty elementary schools over the next two weeks and is inviting all SCDSB Dearness Schools, Classes and Clubs to participate in the “Conservation Challenge.”
Catherine McCullough, Director of Education for the Sudbury Catholic District School Board supports the board’s new initiative with respect to the far reaching positive effects and implications this program will have on students and the environment. “The SCDSB School Conservation Challenge provides our students with an opportunity to integrate the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations into their lives in an authentic manner,” states McCullough. “This Conservation Challenge invites all students to become responsible citizens and stewards of creation by respecting the environment and using the earth’s resources wisely.”
For more information on the SCDSB School Conservation Challenge please contact Mark Gervais, Energy Coordinator at the Sudbury Catholic District School Board.

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