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Environmental Innovators at Providence

Part II: Providence Hires Environmental Consultant

By Thomas Kaethler

Let me introduce you to Daniel Lepp Friesen, Environmental Consultant based in Winnipeg ...

TK: So how does Providence’s current environmental impact break down in comparison to other Educational institutions?

DLF: Well, per square foot per student, it is pretty similar. You are heating your campus mainly with electricity and natural gas. The ground source (geothermal) heat pumps to heat and cool the Reimer Centre are a good step forward, though they are becoming more and more common.

TK: How will the new projects at Providence move our school toward more sustainable operation?

DLF: Right now, Manitoba’s energy use is about 40% petroleum, 30% electricity, and 30% natural gas. The petroleum is used primarily for transportation, The wind energy project, if deemed feasible, will add to Manitoba’s already green electric generation sector. The final ‘pie slice’, natural gas, is used primarily for heating in the province, and the Biomass furnace will address the reduction in use of this fossil fuel by replacing much of the natural gas with biomass fuels for heating.
Biomass fuels are any biological materials like wood or hay that can be burned for heating. The rotting biological material releases gases that are reabsorbed by new plant life, making biomass fuels renewable.

TK: What types of projects seem most feasible for Providence’s future environmental considerations?

DLF: There are three ways to impact our global energy footprint: reduce demand, increase efficiency, and increase the generation of renewable energy. Reducing demand means what people can do: turn off the lights, take shorter showers, drive less, walk and bike more, turn up the thermostat in summer and down in the winter.
Increasing efficiency means making a technological change to an existing building or situation. This includes steps like increasing the insulation levels and installing efficient windows on all of Providence’s buildings. The final step is increasing the development of renewable energy resources

TK: What is the most common misconception you encounter in your environmental consulting?

DLF: That we don’t really have to do anything. We are living in a time of complacency because we have access to cheap energy. Denmark has developed entire neighborhoods which are heated using biomass.

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Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada, R0A 1G0
Phone: (204) 433-7488 or (800) 668-7768
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