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September 26, 2018

The 2018 Greenest Schools in Canada Announced

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Ottawa, ON – September 25, 2018 – As part of World Green Building Week, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and the Canada Coalition for Green Schools are happy to announce the winners of the annual CaGBC Greenest School in Canada competition: Lacombe Composite High School in Lacombe, AB, and Trinity College School in Port Hope, ON. Through solar arrays, geothermal greenhouses, urban beekeeping and decreasing natural gas consumption, these two schools are exemplary demonstrations of sustainable learning environments.

This year the CaGBC Greenest School jury, comprised of green building industry experts from across the country, were so impressed with the submissions that they were unable to choose just one winner. They determined that both Lacombe and Trinity College stood out from other submissions for their exemplary commitment to sustainability and impressive environmental awareness programs for students and staff. As the 2018 Greenest School in Canada winners, both schools will receive a $1,000 cash award to put toward a new or ongoing sustainability project.

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Despite being in a smaller Alberta community, Lacombe High School weaves sustainability throughout the school’s programming in a variety of ways. Highlights include:

  • An EcoVision environmental club which over the past 15 years has raised funds for 32 solar arrays totalling six kW, along with a portable solar array and solar cars for the classroom; a 42-foot, energy-efficient geodesic tropical greenhouse with geothermal heat storage; outdoor gardens with 40 raised beds, 125 fruit trees, 10 picnic tables, birdhouses, bat houses and evergreen trees; and an urban beekeeping program with three hives and 20+ Lacombe residents.
  • Complete composting of about 25kg of organic waste from its kitchen per month, using three thermal composite systems and half a dozen vermi-composite systems.
  • An Adopt a Garden initiative where the school gets community members to help take care of its gardens over the summer months, and local groups are invited to speak about environmental topics in classes.

“Lacombe Composite High School EcoVision is a club where student leaders plan projects that improve the environment, enhance their educational opportunities and encourage community collaboration,” says Steven Schultz, Teacher at Lacombe Composite HS. “Educational and environmental innovation like what we’ve demonstrated to receive this honour, is impossible without student leaders that are willing to dream, risk and fail – but try again.”  

For Trinity College School, sustainability is at the forefront of everything they do – including physical building changes and upgrades, and a comprehensive curriculum. Highlights include:

  • A five-year sustainability plan focused on reducing environmental footprint and the creation of a healthy, sustainable community, which provides opportunities for students to develop the knowledge and skills that foster sustainability literacy as part of academic and co-curricular activities.
  • A decrease in natural gas consumption by 23 per cent over five years, an achievement it attributes to window replacements and upgrades to its building automation systems and boilers.
  • Significant efforts to manage its annual energy consumption through: regular electricity audits, a major lighting retrofit, and a 220kW solar PV installation with another 180kW planned.
  • A “Farm Field Forest” initiative that runs three days a week, enabling students to build a greenhouse and shed and work on a half-acre farm that harvests vegetables for the school’s dining room and the local community health centre.

“On behalf of the students and staff of Trinity College School, I must say that we are thrilled to be recognized by the CaGBC with the awarding of the Greenest School in Canada 2018 award,” says Stuart Grainger, Headmaster, Trinity College. “We truly believe our success is due to our collective commitment to weaving sustainability initiatives into virtually every aspect of our learning community, including our curriculum, our campus and our school culture. Trinity College School teachers and student leaders regularly educate our community on the importance of caring for our planet, while also imparting and practicing healthy habits that will guide us all in building a sustainable future.”

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

“I would like to congratulate Lacombe HS and Trinity College for being named the 2018 Greenest Schools in Canada,” says Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of the CaGBC. “Both schools had impressive submissions that set them apart this year, incorporating both physical green building and curriculum changes. For example, Lacombe’s 32 solar panel array and portable solar for classrooms encourages renewable energy, and their 42-foot energy-efficient greenhouse is used as a learning lab for students in how to grow sustainable, healthy food. Among its efforts, Trinity College has undertaken major school energy retrofits, a planned installation of a 400 kW solar photovoltaic array, and achieved 70 per cent annual waste diversion. These schools set a great example for their peers and surrounding communities, and will positively impact the current cohort of students, as well as nurturing the next generation of green building leaders for years to come.”

The runners up of the 2018 Greenest School in Canada competition were:

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.

In addition to the Greenest School in Canada competition, CaGBC encourages Green Apple Day events in Canada at any time of the year, as a contribution to the larger initiative started by the U.S. Center for Green Schools. Green Apple Days gives parents, teachers, students, companies and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe and productive learning environments through local service events.


About the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC)
CaGBC is the leading national organization dedicated to advancing green building and sustainable community development practices. As the voice of green building in Canada, we work closely with our national and chapter members in an effort to make every building greener. The CaGBC reduces environmental impacts from the built environment through project certification, advocacy and research. CaGBC established the LEED® green building rating system in Canada and developed the country’s first Zero Carbon Building Standard in May 2017. For more information


About the Canada Coalition for Green Schools

CaGBC joined the Global Coalition for Green Schools as a founding member in 2013, and went on to form the Canada Coalition for Green Schools ( that same year. The Canadian coalition is comprised of members of the green building industry contributing their time and expertise to support communities in the transformation of their schools.


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