Mohawk College sets plan to hit net-zero emissions by 2035


Published November 17, 2023 at 5:45 pm

Hamilton’s Mohawk College has launched an “ambitious” plan to bring the campus to net-zero carbon emissions by 2035.

The college’s plan, which also includes new Climate Action education programs, was announced on Nov. 16 at the Fennell Campus. It announcement marked the fifth anniversary of The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation, the first of its kind in Canada to be registered as completely carbon neutral.

“This plan is truly transformational and will involve all aspects of Mohawk College’s operations and activities as we further commit ourselves to leadership in climate action,” said Mohawk College President and CEO Ron J. McKerlie.

“The Climate Action Plan sets ambitious targets to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero in direct operations by 2035. It commits us to educate and engage every student in sustainability. And it challenges us to expand our support for industry and community partners as we invite them to join us in this imperative work,” he continued.

This is just the latest move toward environmental sustainability from Mohawk. It became Ontario’s first college to commit to an environmental management plan in 2011. This plan already included carbon emission reduction goals. The plan has since seen the college reduce emissions by 70 per cent of their 2007 level.

Additionally, the Joyce Centre houses the Centre for Climate Change Management and the Bay Area Climate Change Council. Finally, Mohawk also hosts the Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery, a broad coalition of Ontario post-secondary institutions working toward a sustainable future.

The climate plan announced on Nov. 16 focuses on three key goals;

  • Achieving net-zero in operations and demonstrating sustainability on campus.
  • Supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy through education, skills, and training.
  • Leading and supporting industry and our local region on the path to decarbonization.

The program is also informed by what the college called “Two-Eyed Seeing,” a collaborative effort to see the world and the college’s efforts through both Indigenous and Western perspectives simultaneously.

Another element of the plan, designed to ready future graduates for a green economy, is Mohawk’s new School of Climate Action. According to the college this new school will feature, “a portfolio of programs for a new generation of learners to support the emerging green economy. The college is proposing to offer a number of new diploma and degree programs geared specifically to climate action and the green economy.”

The school “will serve as a powerful hub of innovation, research, and education at Mohawk College, refocusing and expanding the college’s efforts to address the most pressing challenge of our time,” according to Academic Vice President Dr. Cebert Adamson, “We look forward to welcoming students into a new portfolio of climate action-focused diploma and degree programs for the Fall 2025 semester.”

Finally, Mohawk announced a Gina Fraser Chair in Skilled Trades for the Green Economy. Fraser and her late husband, Ronald, established the Fraser Foundation to support Medical Research and Science. Following Ronald’s death in 2003, Fraser also established several endowments to “support young people in realizing their educational dreams” She died in 2021 at age 92.

“We are so grateful to Gina Fraser for this legacy gift which supports important research at Mohawk College in perpetuity,” said Mohawk College Foundation Executive Director Lorna Somers,“Long before there was a skilled trades crisis or City School by Mohawk, Gina Fraser supported programs in the McQuesten neighborhood that introduced young people to the automotive and construction trades. She was passionate about trades and youth in her community.”


inthehammer's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising