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Red Deer Polytechnic receives Blue Skies Award

Award from Parkland Airshed Management Zone
Red Deer Polytechnic was recognized on June 22, 2023 for its measures to improve air quality in the region. (Contributed graphic)

Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP) was awarded a Blue Skies Award from Parkland Airshed Management Zone for taking exemplary measures to improve the air quality in the region.

“As Red Deer Polytechnic, we are proud to be recognized for our innovation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to environmental health and the sustainability of communities,” said Mandeep Parmar, director of campus management, in a statement.

“Through our Green Campus Master Plan, we are committed to a broad scope of sustainability, which includes enhancing air quality, and becoming a net zero energy institution by 2031.”


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RDP’s Green Campus Master Plan is comprised of six sustainability pillars that include emissions reduction, energy generation, energy storage, waste reduction, energy efficiency and educational opportunities. These pillars build upon previous RDP sustainability initiatives to conserve energy.

In recent years, RDP has upgraded lights to more efficient LEDs, created the Alternative Energy Initiative, and installed 4,200 photovoltaic solar panels and a one megawatt (MW) Combined Heat and Power unit on the main campus.

In addition, the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre received Gold Certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a worldwide building certification program. The Alternative Energy Lab is also a LEED-Silver facility.

In an effort to achieve net zero, RDP is exploring additional initiatives such as ground mount solar, energy efficient projects, the enhancement of waste management and water conservation, and integration of environmental sustainability into all campus projects.


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“As we work toward becoming a net zero energy institution, RDP will save an estimated 14,000-megawatt hours of electricity from the grid each year, compared to our usage in 2018,” said Eryn Beddoes RDP project manager, Facility Infrastructure and Engineering.

“This equates to more than 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent saved from being emitted into the atmosphere which contributes to improved air quality. As a net zero carbon institution, we would save an additional 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year. These emissions are equivalent to powering more than 2,000 homes for one year.”

The Blue Skies Awards Ceremony was held in Red Deer on June 22.

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Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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