Red Deer Polytechnic has signed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Accord, the post-secondary institution announced Monday.
The SDG Accord aims to provide a framework where post-secondary institutions can collaborate and report on their contributions to sustainable development around the world.
The Accord’s 17 goals include the responsible use of resources, equality, sustainable economic growth and commitment to innovation. RDP joins 34 other Canadian post-secondary signatories to the SDG Accord.
“The signing of the SDG Accord is a meaningful day in the history of Red Deer Polytechnic. It is our way of demonstrating our commitment and contribution to their achievement and allows us to highlight the ways that we are making a difference toward global sustainability,” said Stuart Cullum, RDP president.
“As a polytechnic institution, we are dedicated to supporting the work of our industries and communities, through our education, training and applied research programming as well as how we develop and operate our campus and serve our community of faculty and staff.”
RDP embraces its collaborations as ways to spark innovation, to grow the economy and expand academic opportunities, according to a press release issued by the post-secondary institution.
“With the Polytechnic’s Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing, we are a part of a network of Technology Access Centres that help entrepreneurs and small-to-medium-sized businesses bring innovative ideas to life, which align with the SDG Accord,” said Cullum.
“Applied research in the Energy Innovation Centre and Alternative Energy Lab supports the diversification of Alberta’s economy, while providing valuable learning opportunities for students.”
Red Deer Polytechnic has facilities that have been recognized nationally and internationally for sustainability: the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, Alternative Energy Lab and Four Centres are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified. The Polytechnic’s Studio Residences – where the signing of the SDG Accord took place – was named a Clean50 Top Project for 2022 for contributions to a sustainable low-carbon Canadian economy.
Jim Brinkhurst, RDP vice-president of finance and administration, and CFO, said the polytechnic has “progressively evolved” efforts to reduce energy consumption and costs, while increasing our on-campus renewable energy generation.
“Along with 4,200 solar panels, a combined heat and power unit, rainwater recapture, and upgrades to LED lights on campus, Red Deer Polytechnic will continue to explore ways to fulfill our vision of becoming a net zero institution by 2031,” said Brinkhurst.
Additionally, the International Education department and Indigenous Initiatives department are active in the polytechnic community and help support a diverse population of learners through a variety of initiatives and services, RDP said. The polytechnic also distributes more than $1 million in scholarships and bursaries annually, helping to reduce barriers for students to obtain a postsecondary education.