As this new fall semester kicks off so too does one of the biggest sustainability campaigns to ever hit Concordia University. The battle against bottled water has come to a head this year - Concordia's exclusivity contract with Pepsico is due to expire in December 2010 and the support for a bottled water campus and a better (more environmentally and socially responsible) beverage contract has come pouring in from students, student associations, faculty members, staff and Concordia's own Environmental Advisory Committee.
The fight for water rights is echoed around the globe. This July, after more than 15 years of debate, the United Nations General Assembly formally recognized access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right. This is a gigantic step forward in the battle to halt the privatization of water, the stuff of life that sustains us all. Indeed, the recognition that water is a necessity to life and should not be commodified (as bottled water, for example) like so many other natural resources represents a pivotal shift towards global sustainability. This shift in ideology is reflected in bottled water sales across North America – for the second year in a row sales have gone down, by 1.0% in 2008 and by 2.5% in 2009. Add to this the increase in sales for reusable drinking bottles and it is clear that the trend towards taking back the tap is on the rise.
With the expiration of our Pepsico beverage contract Concordia could become the 8th campus in Canada and the 1st university in Quebec to boast a bottled water free campus. It is an incredible opportunity to reconsider the way that the university sources its beverage products and to apply Concordia's own environmental policy and honour our committment to sustainability:
“Wherever feasible in terms of financing, sourcing and availability, the University shall attempt to purchase goods that are ecologically benign, including items that are energy efficient, locally produced, made from post-consumer recycled and/or renewable materials, are recyclable, non-toxic and/or organic, should they meet or exceed the requirements as specified by the departmental end users. The University shall also work to consider life cycle costs and impacts when assessing products and equipment for procurement and, when possible, will tender to suppliers that are local and/or committed to environmental sustainability.”
Concordia University Environmental Policy, page 2, paragraph 5.
To sign the petition for a bottled water free Concordia:
For more information visit:
To get in contact or join the campaign:
TAPthirst (Tap Drinkers Against Privatization)