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Ontario Student Teams Earn Top Honours for Environmental Efforts

2012-03-14
Toronto, ON – Two Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) post-secondary teams have been named 2012 Scotiabank & SIFE Go Green Challenge Regional Champions by national charitable organization Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) and proud program supporter Scotiabank.

SIFE is a team-based program that encourages post-secondary students to address relevant economic, social and environmental issues by developing projects that empower others to improve their quality of life and standard of living.

“We are proud to support this important educational initiative as part of our flagship environmental program, Scotiabank EcoLiving,” said Kaz Flinn, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for Scotiabank. "Canadians are increasingly interested in reducing their impact on the environment and this competition speaks to students’ eagerness to develop new and innovative ways to help them do just that. I would like to congratulate this year’s competitors for their efforts and their imaginative projects.”

Student teams from across Central Canada showcased their environmental-focused entrepreneurial projects to panels of industry professionals on March 12 in Toronto. The SIFE teams from St. Lawrence College and the University of Windsor stood out to the judges because of their dedication to helping local business green their operations. Projects implemented by these teams include:

SIFE St. Lawrence College has used green practices to make their local food bank more sustainable. They replaced five chest freezers with a commercial walk-in freezer and received approval for the installation of solar panels to generate green energy for the food bank while providing income through the sale of excess energy back to the Ontario grid. The team increased the food bank’s ability to feed the 16,000 people living under the poverty line, and this project has resulted in $38,000 in annual operating savings and diverted 8,894 kg (19,609 lbs) of carbon emissions.

SIFE Windsor has partnered with local businesses and their school’s IT department to ensure the proper disposal of electronic waste. This includes refurbishing unwanted computers for donation to local disadvantaged children. This year, the project has diverted 6,804 kg (15,000 lbs) of electronic waste from landfills and has provided 94 computers to be donated to local youth.

“These teams are making a difference in their local communities and beyond through their environmental education projects,” says Amy Harder, President of ACE, “They are a perfect example of how our SIFE teams are building a greener Canada.”

The end goal of this annual challenge is for SIFE teams to provide others with the knowledge required to make positive environmental decisions, both in their personal and professional lives. Teams have been provided the necessary tools and training from ACE and Scotiabank EcoLiving to develop and implement their projects. These teams will now move on to the national level of competition taking place on May 8 at the 2012 ACE National Exposition in Calgary, Alberta.

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About ACE
Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) is a national, charitable organization that is teaching and igniting young Canadians to create brighter futures for themselves and their communities. By implementing entrepreneurial projects and ventures with real impact, ACE students make a meaningful contribution to their communities today, while also discovering their potential to achieve an even greater impact as the leaders of tomorrow. ACE delivers a team-based program called Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) and an individual-based program, Student Entrepreneur. SIFE projects allow students to apply business concepts learned in the classroom to develop and implement community outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. The Student Entrepreneur program has been credited with enhancing the success of students operating their own businesses, creating jobs and encouraging economic growth.

In the past year alone, ACE students ran over 500 projects, created over 640 jobs, directly impacted over 94,500 people, logged 287,000 volunteer hours and generated over $12,000,000 in economic opportunity. ACE is currently established on 60 post-secondary campuses across Canada.

About the Scotiabank EcoLiving Program

The Scotiabank EcoLiving Program launched in June, 2010. The website, www.scotiabank.com/ecoliving, is a unique online consumer resource that provides home greening options together with government rebate and financial savings information all in one place – providing an easy-to-use resource for Canadians to learn about, plan and compare green home improvement options. The website includes project planning tools and a financial calculator to allow visitors to compare products and rebates, plan and finance their projects and see the savings that can result from each energy efficient renovation. The EcoLiving magazine is available twice yearly in Scotiabank branches and the Scotiabank EcoLiving Awards recognize innovation in residential energy efficiency.

Source: Media Release courtesy of ACE and Brookline Public Relations.