While PI/KHS has always tried to operate in an environmentally conscious manner, we have been motivated more by Inuit values and worldview than quantified measurements of our programs and organization’s energy footprint. In preparation for the construction of a green energy building, it became essential that we build more technical training and awareness regarding energy use.
Our staff, project supplies, and participants often travel thousands of kilometers for workshops and activities. Our facility keeps the lights on by burning diesel fuel.
In 2021, we partnered with the company Blue Sky Engineering to coach us through understanding how energy use is measured and assessed, how much energy our building and practices consume, and how this compares with other similar institutions at a national scale. Understanding this data give us a critical starting point for realizing and contributing to new energy solutions.
Throughout the summer and fall of 2021, we sourced information about our organization’s energy use and interpreted the results into strategies to ensure action and change from year-to-year through attainable impact reduction goals through the creation of a Climate Action Strategy.
Having benchmark data (and knowledge of what this data actually means) allows our staff to assess the green energy options presented to us, and judge the efficacy of costly future infrastructure against other potentially less costly and more impactful organizational changes such as the prioritization of digital programming, minimizing staff travel, etc.
The final Climate Action Strategy will help us outline our environmental targets and create short and long term strategies for meeting them through a combination of green infrastructure, technology and operational best practices. As our new Kuugalak campus will be highly integrated with both its surrounding environment and land use activities, we have to structure the programming and research (and by extension, spatial and technological blueprints) for our new building around these very real concerns.
SCOPE OF WORK
The objective of this project was not only to quantify our current carbon footprint, but to shape a long-term vision and strategy with actionable steps to reduce environmental impact and climate change. This climate action strategy is in step with plans completed by the Municipality of Cambridge Bay and the Inuit Tapiritk Kanatami (ITK) and interwoven with PI/KHS' strategic priorities (as set out in our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan).
Our work towards this plan is taking place through four steps:
Step 1 – Background document review including information and research and assessment of applicable arctic and Indigenous climate mitigation plans.
Step 2 – Energy data collection and assessment for both the existing facility and PI/KHS programs.
Step 3 – Interviews with staff, directors and the lead of the Green Technology Feasibility Study.
Step 4 – Development of the Climate Action Strategy.
In pursuing our carbon inventory, we sought to consider and incorporate the following activities:
Assessing existing constraints to our organizational energy efficiency (energy infrastructure, shipping requirements, etc.) at a territorial and municipal level.
Reviewing current territorial/municipal initiatives to reduce energy consumption.
Reviewing existing and updated municipal strategies/policies to lessen energy use and environmental impact, and assess potential impact on our organization.
Reviewing the energy use and efficiency of the existing facilities for our organization. Assist with the collection of required data for a chosen form of energy assessment of our facilities. This includes helping to compile required information for the Canadian Conservation Institute's National Museum survey to assess annual energy consumption of heritage facilities across Canada.
Measuring the carbon footprint of our organization’s programs, travel and non-facilities-based activities.
Reviewing our projected programming and initiatives throughout the current strategic plan (2019-2024) to assess short-term changes that can be made to reduce environmental impact.
Working with staff and board at our organization to outline a Climate Action Strategy.
Creating a final document/report outlining existing energy consumption/carbon footprint, and sets goals for emissions reduction over the next 10 years. This document will take into account the results of the Green Building Technology Feasibility study being conducted in tandem with this project.
Providing plain language results, reports and materials that can easily be converted into a Communications portfolio for our organization to share via website, social media platforms, and public-facing marketing materials.