In 1919, the Ursuline Sisters established Brescia University College upon several guiding principles. The University would be a place where women would be educated and empowered to become leaders. A place of spirituality, connectedness and hope. And, a place where students, faculty and staff would hold a deep respect and appreciation for the environment and the natural space where Brescia’s campus was built. In 2021, in honour of the University’s founders and in a community effort to help create and sustain a greener world for the women leaders of tomorrow, #BresciaGoesBlue.
On March 22, 2021, the United Nations designated “World Water Day,” Brescia renewed its dedication to environmental sustainability, through a commitment to recognizing access to water as a basic human right and by banning water bottle sales on campus as of September 2021. In recognition of this initiative, Brescia has been awarded Blue Community certification, and becomes the first university in Ontario, and only the second university in Canada to receive this designation.
1 M Plastic water bottles are sold around the world every minute
400 Years it takes for plastic water bottles to degrade
22 M Pounds of plastic are dumped in the Great Lakes each year
During an average academic year, Brescia’s community consumes and recycles approximately 20,000 plastic water bottles. When observing this statistic, and understanding that plastic water bottles take 400 years to degrade, the University recognized it had a responsibility to help lead in the efforts to protect our water sources - as an educational intuition - and encourage others to follow.
The Blue Communities Project was established in 2009 by the Council of Canadians, the Blue Planet Project and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). It is an initiative that has expanded around the world and is designed to bring cities, schools, religious communities and faith-based groups together to adopt the principles that treat water as a common good that is shared by everyone.
We, at Brescia, are encouraging our fellow education institutions and communities across Canada to join us in banning water bottle sales and to take the pledge to become a Blue Community. This initiative will not only change our world, but lessen your environmental footprint within your community. Are you ready to “go blue"?
A special thank you to all of those who have celebrated Brescia's launch of becoming a Blue Community. With your support, the University is enabled to inspire our students to actively make positive sustainable changes not only on campus, but around the world.
“As Chancellor of Brescia, I am enormously proud of the decision for our university to become a Blue Community. By taking this step, Brescia is showing leadership in the protection of water here in Canada and the promotion of the human right to water everywhere.”
“I am happy to congratulate Brescia on becoming the first university in Ontario to join Blue Communities. London’s City Council recently passed a motion to become a Blue Community as well and it’s encouraging to see a community leader such as Brescia formalize its commitment to protecting one of our most important resources: water. ”