March 26, 2008


Non-essential electronic devices to be turned off this weekend to mark Earth Hour


Hamilton, ON - McMaster University is joining the global initiative to get people to think about the environment. Staff, students, and faculty are being encouraged to reduce energy consumption on campus in concert with this weekend’s Earth Hour by shutting off computers, printers, and non-essential devices at the end of business on Friday and for the duration of the weekend.

Earth Hour seeks to get as many people as possible to turn out their lights for an hour.

And while turning off the lights throughout the 300-acre campus is not possible, the University still wanted to be involved.

“For safety, logistical and research reasons, we are unable to turn off all lights on campus,” said Karen Belaire, vice-president, Administration. “We thought that turning computers, printers and photocopy machines off for the entire weekend would be an appropriate contribution. What’s important is that everyone’s participation will spark awareness and get people on campus sharing their ideas for energy conservation.”

“It’s a small savings but an important step in the right direction,” says Tony Cupido, assistant vice-president, Facility Services. “Any equipment—from computers to coffee machines—these are the sorts of things we want people to turn off.”

In addition, he says, McMaster will be asking its general contractors to turn off as many lights as possible at such campus construction sites as the new Engineering building and the McMaster Innovation Park.

The McMaster Student Union and its environmental service, MacGreen, are coordinating efforts to get as many students as possible to participate, says Ryan Moran, president of the Student Union.

“Whether it’s a matter of encouraging students to turn off all the lights in a student’s place of residence, or simply encouraging students to turn off computers and smaller electronics, all efforts made in support of Earth Hour are appreciated,” says Moran.

McMaster University is committed to sustainability and to the environment through its campus plan, and events such as Earth Hour are opportunities to reinforce and further entrench those values.

McMaster University, a world-renowned, research-intensive university, fosters a culture of innovation, and a commitment to discovery and learning in teaching, research and scholarship. Based in Hamilton, the University, one of only four Canadian universities to be listed on the Top 100 universities in the world, has a student population of more than 23,000, and an alumni population of more than 131,000 in 128 countries.


For more information, please contact:

Jane Christmas

Manager, Public & Media Relations

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 27988

Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager: Broadcast Media

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 22869