“Sustainability is not something that has just become fashionable, it is something that has been in the DNA of this institution for many years,” President Alan Shepard said in his speech. He recounted the numerous accomplishments made by the university in recent years, highlighting the school’s important involvement in the UN Future Earth initiative.
The event’s guest of honour was renowned environmental activist and author Vandana Shiva. In her speech she applauded the university’s involvement in Future Earth and praised the variety and diversity of sustainable movements on campus. “The beauty of sustainability is that it cannot stand in isolation,” she said.
The gala was designed to be a model sustainable event. The food, catered by Vert la Bouche, was seasonal, local and vegan. The tables were decorated with terrarium centrepieces from the Concordia greenhouse. Reusable dinnerware was rented from R4, and the jazz band was hired from the university’s own music department. The awards themselves were handcrafted from salvaged wooden blocks and stained with eco-friendly walnut oil.
Nominators were each given a minute to present the recipients with their awards, and describe how they had worked to improve social, ecological or economic areas of Concordia.