Dalhousie University

Feature role for ENERGY STAR® on campus

Energy Star logo

Dalhousie University in Halifax recognizes that universities have a tremendous opportunity to influence civic life. One way the university demonstrates leadership is through a strong commitment to reduce its impact on the environment.

Dalhousie’s Office of Sustainability leads a number of initiatives, including procurement and promotion of ENERGY STAR certified products, which cover many aspects of life on campus. Activities range from “rethink” sustainability teams to a policy for natural vegetation on campus.

The commitment includes improving efficiency and reducing energy use.

Promoting ENERGY STAR procurement

Since joining ENERGY STAR as a Participant in 2009, Dalhousie has actively promoted ENERGY STAR certified products through training workshops, procurement documentation and social marketing. The activities involve key procurement staff on campus, including those working in facilities management, housing and conference services, purchasing, information technology services and the student union.

For example, the school includes ENERGY STAR clauses in Requests for Proposals for products such as vending machines, gas furnaces and windows. The Office of Sustainability is also working with the university’s facilities management group to incorporate ENERGY STAR specifications in design guidelines. The university is revising its purchasing policy to include ENERGY STAR language.

Dalhousie uses ENERGY STAR information, products, and case studies in its sustainable procurement training sessions. More than 50 people have participated in these sessions and then gone on to provide ENERGY STAR procurement training to others. The Office of Sustainability is exploring whether ENERGY STAR purchases can be tracked using the university's existing procurement tracking system.

Engaging students with ENERGY STAR

The Campus Green Guide, which is distributed to about 1,400 first-year students each year and available in many locations on campus, explains ENERGY STAR and Dalhousie's pioneering involvement in the program. As well, the school distributed posters around its campuses to increase ENERGY STAR awareness. Dalhousie also developed awareness and education initiatives for students.

Delivering the ENERGY STAR message

Dalhousie created an ENERGY STAR email signature. The Office of Sustainability features the ENERGY STAR symbol and information prominently on its Web site. Other awareness-boosting initiatives include a sleeve for purchasing-cards that features the ENERGY STAR symbol, and ENERGY STAR screen templates on LCD screens on campus.

Dalhousie is the first university in Canada to become an ENERGY STAR Participant.


The ENERGY STAR name and symbol are administered and promoted in Canada by Natural Resources Canada and are registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.