February 26, 2020
HEC Montréal’s Hectare urbain was honoured at the awards ceremony for the Trophées des campus responsables francophones on February 19, in Paris. The School’s urban agriculture project was the winner in the “Positive social impact” category.
The Hectare urbain consists of a living laboratory including a forest garden, all grown using permaculture principles. The green spaces of the project are all located around and on the roof of the School’s Côte-Sainte-Catherine building.
The project also includes a pedagogical dimension, as part of efforts to integrate the School into the surrounding community. It was hailed for its innovative approach, and its mentorship program aimed at introducing local elementary school students to permaculture particularly impressed the jury.
Johanne Turbide, Director of Sustainable Development and Secretary General of the School, emphasized the importance of this recognition for the Hectare urbain:
“The Hectare urbain and its mentorship program for local schools respond to essential issues in today’s society, including developing values and skills that will lead to actions and ongoing commitment to sustainable development. The many opportunities for intergenerational dialogue it offers will help us find collective solutions to the environmental challenges facing us today.”
Once again this year, the award ceremony was hosted by the French ministère de la Transition écologique et solidaire. The awards, now in their sixth year, are an initiative of the Réseau des campus responsables, a network of universities throughout the French-speaking world. Its goal is to support and encourage campuses to integrate sustainable development into all their practices, and not just teaching.
These Trophées des campus responsables are the French-speaking equivalent of the Green Gown Awards, in the English-speaking university community. This award in fact automatically makes the Hectare urbain eligible, in the same category, for the International Green Gown Awards, to be presented in July of this year.