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Energy and climate change

We’re committed to doing our part in addressing climate change. The College continually pursues strategies to:

  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Decrease greenhouse gas emissions
  • Implement water-saving initiatives
  • Improve waste management

We’ve upgraded lighting, made building envelope improvements, completed retrofits with water-saving fixtures and installed waste management stations across campuses.


Adding to Nova Scotia’s energy supply 

To help Nova Scotia continue its clean energy transition, we’re participating in the province’s Solar Electricity for Community Buildings pilot program. We’re producing solar power on our campuses and feeding it into Nova Scotia’s energy grid. The Centre for the Built Environment at Ivany Campus has a 39-kilowatt solar array on its roof. 75-kilowatt solar arrays are installed at Annapolis Valley Campus, Shelburne Campus and Strait Area Campus.

A field of solar panels.
Solar panels at Shelburne Campus.

Bidirectional EV charging: A first in Atlantic Canada

NSCC works with partners like Nova Scotia Power to integrate clean energy technologies in the province's power grid. The first bi-directional electric vehicle charger in Atlantic Canada, and one of the first in Canada, was installed at Annapolis Valley Campus in 2021. Read Nova Scotia Power's article, Bidirectional charging: A first in Atlantic Canada.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

The following graph depicts the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 37% since 2008. It also shows our goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.

A graph showing NSCC's greenhouse gas emissions.

Reducing water use

This graph depicts a reduction of water consumption at NSCC by 52% since 2008. It also shows our goal of a 55% reduction in water consumption by the year 2050.

A graph showing NSCC's water usage.

Waste management 

With over 10,000 NSCC students entering industry every year, demonstrating good waste management practices to the workforce of tomorrow provides endless benefits for our province. At NSCC, we aim to manage our waste well -- through reduction and waste diversion.

Our waste reduction journey was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Single-use items have seen a resurgence due to public health guidelines. Moving forward, we’ll resume waste audits at our campuses once a semester to better understand how to manage our waste streams.

Our waste management goals:

  • Reduce waste disposal to 15 kg per person each year by 2023
  • Reduce waste disposal to 10 kg per person each year by 2030
  • Eliminate single-use plastics on campuses by 2030

Waste reduction 

For years, we’ve focused on waste diversion as our primary waste management benchmark. Now, we're also measuring the amount of waste (e.g., landfill trash, compost and recyclables) generated per person (students and staff) each academic year.

Waste diversion 

Through our daily operations, we generate 230 tonnes of solid waste every year. Our recycling and composting programs enable us to divert 75% of this waste away from provincial landfills.

Waste management stations

By removing garbage cans from classrooms and offices through the Pack it In - Pack it Out campaign, students and staff are encouraged to dispose of their waste in central waste sorting stations.

Waste station at Ivany Campus.
Our Ivany Campus cafeteria features shadow boxes above the waste sorting station, to assist students with proper waste disposal.