Calgary’s Lord Shaughnessy High School wins CaGBC Greenest School competition

The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and the Canada Coalition for Green Schools has announced that the Career and Technology Centre (CTC) at Lord Shaughnessy High School in Calgary, Alberta, is the winner of the annual CaGBC Greenest School in Canada competition.

The CaGBC Greenest School jury, comprised of green building industry experts from across the country, chose the CTC at Lord Shaughnessy for its “amazing Energy and Environmental Innovation program,” that presented unique environmental strategies in both curriculum and physical building changes and updates. The CTC program works to actively involve students in all programs in the sustainability of the school. Their hope is that, “by learning about, with and in the environment, students will learn how to become change makers in both their community and their future industries.”

As the 2016 Greenest School in Canada winner, the CTC at Lord Shaughnessy will receive a $2,000 cash award to use for a green project and will be submitted as the official Canadian entry into the Greenest School on Earth competition, awarded annually by the Center for Green Schools. Winners of the international competition also receive an additional $1,000 to put toward a new or ongoing sustainability project.

“This award really is a tribute to the amazing work of passionate staff and students that make this school such a great environment in which to learn,” says Adam Robb, co-teacher of the Energy and Environmental Innovations Program at CTC. “We will use this recognition to help show other schools the amazing impact that greening your school can have on both students and staff. At the CTC we value all types of learners and we are here to show that environmental initiatives can not only be a way to engage learners, but also to have them feel more comfortable and open to learning.” 

Having placed second in the 2015 competition, significant improvements were made to the CTC program in order to win this year. Among the many highlights of their program:

  • Having students tend gardens and grow greens that are used daily in the culinary department, and build aluminum frames for living aquaponics walls that students construct, assemble and sell.
  • Piloting a hands-on version of Social Studies that looks at historical and current events through a natural resources lens.
  • A student-run plan to develop an economic strategy to invest in mass solar installation. Their current proposal, which is now awaiting approval, would see 20 per cent of the Calgary Board of Education’s (CBE) electricity come from solar, with just 6.6 per cent of the roof space owned by the CBE needed to implement this strategy; payback period estimated at 14 years.
  • A Student Wellness Committee that focuses on providing spaces throughout the school that act as relaxing, environmental retreats in an effort to reduce anxiety and depression.
  • Students who are developing a prototype air quality tester to look at optimal levels of C02 in classrooms as well as optimal audio conditions to maximize student learning.

“I would like to congratulate the CTC at Lord Shaughnessy and their dedicated staff and students on winning the 2016 Greenest School in Canada,” says Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of the CaGBC. “I’m encouraged by the breadth of CLC’s program which demonstrates real leadership and innovative thinking. CLC’s efforts as well as those made by the many green schools across the country show how sustainability can be woven into the infrastructure, culture and curriculum for inspiring future innovators.” 

The runners up of the 2016 Greenest School in Canada competition were:

For a closer look at the schools and their many initiatives including videos and photos, visit the CaGBC’s website here.

Launched in 2014, this the Greenest School in Canada competition seeks to showcase kindergarten to Grade 12 schools across the country that truly exemplify how sustainability can be woven into the infrastructure, culture and curriculum of a school. The competition is part of a series of initiatives from the CaGBC and the Canada Coalition for Green Schools.