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Numerous initiatives towards sustainability are underway in 2008 within the BCIT School of Transportation.

  • BCIT is the only school in BC to teach how to use of water-based, less toxic paints, in the Auto Collision Repair Technician and Refinishing Technician Foundation programs.
  • At the ATC, Bob Rorison implemented the transition to using non-toxic citrus cleaners in the Aerospace program.
  • Waste management is carried out within stringent Transport Canada regulations in specific areas, and students learn responsible handling and disposal. The ATC and Marine campuses also teach WHMIS (hazardous materials handling), so students can help workplaces meet legal requirements and keep employees safe.
  • At Marine campus, students learn safe oil transfer procedures to avoid spills and environmental damage. This is taught in only five locations in Canada, and BCIT is the only Western location.
  • The Warehouse Operations program teaches students how to use propane and electric forklifts, and electric stackers and pallet-movers.
  • By increasing online program information, the School has cut project paper use by two-thirds, saving trees and ink.

For years, the School Operations Plan has addressed the need to reduce carbon emissions. BCIT asked Ballard to speak to Automotive students about fuel cells almost 5 years ago. Around the same time, the School began exploring the possibility of developing a research centre to advance the state of practice in low-emission and no-emission transportation technology. This centre would offer public demonstrations, teaching and research on electrics and hybrids, and potentially a hydrogen fuelling station.

The School of Transportation is helping prepare students for a brighter future. The GM Insight hybrid is taught upon in the Automotive Service program, and GM brought the most current hybrid technology to the BCIT Open House, including a hybrid SUV with huge battery system. Eric Fry, part of the Ford ASSET program, transfers his substantial electric vehicle troubleshooting skills to BCIT students.

Exporting green transportation

Through international partnership, BCIT helped reduce environmental impact in China. One international project aimed to improve transport services to the poorer interior provinces by promoting more efficient and less polluting intermodal transportation.

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BCIT also hosted an international sustainability forum in 2005 where 25 delegates from Guangzhou Construction Commission met with Vancouver delegates to share sustainability and environmental insights on topics including green transport and urban water reclamation.