Trent University to Host Water Bottle-Free Convocation Ceremonies


Special Green Initiatives Planned for Trent’s Convocation Ceremonies June 3, 4, 5

Friday, May 22, 2009, Peterborough

Trent University is pleased to announce that this year’s 2009 Convocation ceremonies on June 3, 4 and 5 will feature several new green initiatives designed to reduce the event’s impact on the environment.

Water Bottle-Free Convocation
By eliminating the use of commercial bottled water at the ceremonies, Trent will reduce the negative environmental and social impacts of 5,000 single-use water bottles, which have been consumed at previous ceremonies. In lieu of bottled water, the University will set up a water station at an Information Table to provide tap water in recyclable or biodegradable cups to all guests of Convocation. Graduates will each receive a take-home gift of a stainless steel water bottle which will be filled with tap water for their use during the outdoor ceremonies.

“The Trent community is renowned for its commitment to environmental initiatives, and Convocation organizers have shown real leadership this year by developing green alternatives so that everyone involved can reduce their environmental impact,” explained President Bonnie Patterson. “This is will be an exciting moment for Trent as it holds one of Canada’s first bottled water-free university convocations while promoting the use of public transit.” To date, the University of Winnipeg is the only university in Canada that has banned bottled water on campus.

“I am thrilled that Trent is going green and bottle water-free for its 2009 Convocation,” said Maude Barlow, the national chairperson of the Council of Canadians and the inaugural senior advisor on water to the president of the United Nations General Assembly. “It shows a deep commitment to the environment that is a model for all students and is totally compatible with the exemplary environmental leader that Trent has become on the Canadian university scene. I am even more proud now to be honoured at this year's Convocation.”
Trent will be presenting Ms. Barlow with an honorary degree during the morning ceremony on Wednesday, June 3.

“I would like to congratulate Trent University for their environmental leadership and particularly for their initiative to choose clean, safe tap water and reusable bottles for their Convocation,” stated Wayne Stiver, vice-president of Water Utility Services in Peterborough. “Peterborough Utilities takes pride in meeting or exceeding all provincial drinking water quality standards and thousands of tests annually ensures the drinking water quality for our customers.”

Free Passes for Peterborough Transit
In addition to the bottle-water free initiative, for the first time in Trent’s history, graduates and their families are being actively encouraged to reduce emissions by travelling, free of charge, on Peterborough Transit to and from the ceremonies. This option will also benefit guests by alleviating parking concerns on campus.

Green Pledge
To demonstrate their commitment to the environment, Trent students are also encouraged to take the Green Pledge, where they pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job they consider and will try to improve those aspects of any organization for which they work. Graduates who take the Green Pledge wear a green ribbon on their gown. This initiative was started in 2005 and is coordinated by the student-run group Sustainable Trent.

Trent University has been a leader in the environment since its inception in 1964. One of Canada's top universities, Trent is renowned for striking a unique balance between outstanding teaching and leading-edge research. The University is consistently recognized nationally for faculty who maintain a high level of innovative research activity and a deep commitment to the individual student. Distinguished by excellence in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences and increasingly popular professional and graduate programs, Trent is dedicated to providing its students with an exceptional world view, producing graduates who are ready to succeed and make a difference in the world. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River. Together with its satellite campus in Oshawa, Trent draws excellent students from throughout the country and around the world.


For more information, please contact:
Marilyn Burns, director, Marketing and Communications, (705) 748-1011, ext. 6184
Shelley Strain, sustainability coordinator, Trent University, (705) 748-1011, ext. 7157