2019 Evening of Recognition Award Winners

The Kingston community is a significant source of meaningful and positive change as we all work together to ensure a sustainable future. The purpose of these awards is to recognize those efforts and bring together the many champions and leaders in our community for a much-deserved celebration of the significant progress that, collectively, we have made this past year.



Organizational sustainability champion

Queen’s Hospitality Services

Queen’s Hospitality Services has made extensive efforts in 2018-19 to champion food security, environmental stewardship, sense of community and climate action. Examples include: 

  • Increasing and promoting plant-based food options at Queen’s 

  • Buying local/seasonal produce

  • Launching the Housing & Ancillary Sustainability Working Group

  • Combating student food insecurity via Swipe It Forward Queen’s initiative 

  • FoodRescue.ca/Soul Food /Loving Spoonful participant 

  • Launching Eco-Beverage card

  • Eliminating plastic straws at retail locations and national brands  

  • Installing sauce pumps to eliminate single-use packets 

  • Tray-less dining at West Campus

  • “Green Your Event” catering options – e.g., bulk juice


Sustainability champion

Yessica Belsham

Yessica has voluntarily organized and ran various grassroots events including Earth Day Kingston Celebration, Día de los Muertos Kingston Festival, Kingston's International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples and has been a part of helping a wide range of other events in Kingston with a growing number of community partners and community groups. Her sense of community is inspiring and her dedication for reaching diverse, populations and creating accessible events is humbling. Since 2014 she has kept alive Kingston's community global drum circle as a partnership of Ollin.ca and Canadian Mental Health Association. She embodies the quote "be the change you wish to see in this world".

Photo of student Lily Griffith

Photo of student Lily Griffith

youth sustainability champion

Elginburg Grade 4/5 Class

Grade 4 and 5 students at Elginburg and District P.S. gathered signatures on petitions that asks city council and the provincial government to ban the manufacture and commercial use of plastic bags and all polystyrene used for food and drink. polystyrene. The students singled out bags because of the volume of it in the waste stream and coloured polystyrene, because of how difficult it’s to recycle. The students collected about 1,600 signatures for their petition to city council brought to council by Councillor Kiley on April 16th and 2,000 signatures for their petition brought to Queen’s Park on April 17th by MPP Des Rosiers. They engaged many local businesses and organizations who put the petition in their location to attain more signatures.


Greatest GHG reduction: sustainably.eco

St. Lawrence College

With 50.9 GHGs reduced, here are a few of the projects they have implemented to achieve this:

  • The new building is targeting LEED Gold certification. To be certified, this building will consume 57% less energy and will have 64% less GHG emissions, when compared to a conventional building construction. 20% of materials used had recycled content and 35% was regionally sources.  100% of the wood selected was sustainably harvested and 90% of the construction waste was diverted from landfills.

  • St. Lawrence College was recently recognized as a STARS Bronze Institution!

  • SLC has more than 1,600 roof-top solar panels on Kingston and Brockville campuses, the largest solar roof-top installation of any post-secondary institution in Canada

Trailhead Winning 2019 Award EoR.jpg

Greatest % GHG Reduction: sustainably.eco

Trailhead Kingston

With a 17% reduction, here are a few projects they have implemented to achieve this:

  • Trailhead has purchased 5.0 tCO₂e of carbon offsets to mitigate 61% of its GHG emissions for 2018, in support of the Niagara Escarpment Forest Carbon Project (NEFCP).

  • They had an amazing 29.2% reduction on its carbon footprint since baseline year (2014), which is beyond the committed target of 20% by 2024.

  • Trailhead has successfully reduced its use of natural gas (17.9%), water (4.8%), and electricity (10%) since its baseline. Equivalent to power 5.9 homes and heat 2.7 homes per 1 month.


Innovation - sustainably.eco 

Stone Mills Cleaning Services

The owner, Rachel Melbourne, has implemented many innovative initiatives for a small business to become sustainable. Including going completely paperless for contracts quotes and payment systems and only using environmentally safe products in day to day use. All cleaning tools are washable and reusable, no paper towel are used in day to day operations, and she is the first member to becoming a living wage certified employer. Rachel has also purchased 5 tonnes of carbon offsets to make her business carbon negative for 2018. Stone Mills is a great example that you can make a tangible difference no matter the size of your business.


Leadership - sustainably.eco

Tara Natural Foods

Tara Natural Foods is a leader both in the program, and community. They have earned the following sustainably.eco badges: community, food recovery, vegan, organic, and local. They have the most badges out of any member in the program with a total of 6, and are the first member to achieve the organic and local badges.

Tara Natural Foods has implemented a refrigerator heat capture project. By capturing and distributing waste heat from the refrigeration units during winter months, Tara has significantly lowered its use of natural gas by 57% since baseline year, a total of 1.5 Tonnes of GHG which is equivalent to heat 4 homes per 1 month. Tara has also reduced the use of water by 52% and electricity by 1%, resulting in an amazing 32.7% carbon footprint reduction since baseline (2015) and a 9% reduction compared to 2017. They are committed to diverting over 90% of their waste from landfill.  

They are actively engaged with a wide variety community groups and activities, some focusing on disability, youth, art, and more, and donates 122 kg of food quarterly to the local Food Rescue Program.


Engagement - sustainably.eco

J.E. Agnew Foods

J.E. Agnew Food Services is really "walking the talk" when it comes to engaging their staff and the community. 

The Agnew family his very invested in the well-being of their employees, offering them reduced rate bus passes through the Transpass Program, and by forming a 5-person Green Team that meets biweekly to develop, and implements sustainability projects for both the Agnew office, and the 15 Tim Hortons.   They have even set up recycling targets for both staff and customer waste diversion.

J.E. Agnew is also a large supporter of the community. In September of 2018, They became the second Tim Hortons owner in Ontario to partner with Food Rescue and have since have donated over $100,000 dollars in food, provided 40,117 meals to community organizations, AND saved 84 tonnes of GHGs from entering the atmosphere. They sponsor SK's community-wide "Pitch-in Kingston" event to help clean-up and beautify the city and work closely with St. Lawrence College applied energy students and staff to come up with creative environmentally friendly solutions. 

Agnew has taken sustainability into account in its recent renovations and upgrade projects. They have donated used tables and chairs to the Kingston Community Health Centre and Canadian Mental Health, ensured all e-waste was properly recycled, upgraded office lighting to LEDS's and continue to keep sustainability on the forefront in their decision making.