On being a UVic sustainability champion

2017 Staff Sustainability Champion Award winner Bentley Sly
Bentley in the native plant garden, David Turpin Building courtyard

UVic 2017 Staff Sustainability Champion: Bentley Sly, Facilities Management

Bentley Sly came to UVic as the Manager of Grounds in October 2006. During his time here at UVic he has spearheaded many sustainability initiatives and has acted as an important connecter between the Sustainability Action Plan and Operations. He was an active participant in developing the first Sustainability Action Plan in 2009.

Bentley’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of UVic’s surrounding ecosystems is demonstrated through his passion for working with various faculty and consultants in developing thorough management plans.

For example, In 2008 Bentley drove the need to engage an ecological consultant to work with him on several important Hobbs Creek-Mystic Vale watershed studies. In 2015, this work resulted in a 5-year stream course remediation plan. In addition, Bentley worked alongside the Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability and Environmental Studies with the CRD, Oak Bay and Saanich municipalities in developing a long-term sustainable restoration plan for Hobbs Creek, an integral step in maintaining the this special ecosystem.

Bentley’s diligence in matters of restoration and ecological diversity is also demonstrated in his work with Dr. Valentin Schaefer, Head of Restoration of Natural Systems of Environmental Studies, in furthering the development of an Invasive Species Management Strategy for UVic. Bentley’s passion goes beyond the call of duty as Manager of Grounds. For several years, he participated on an academic advisory committee for the School of Environmental Studies, working on the development of the Restoration of Natural Systems program in Continuing Studies.

One of Bentley’s major contributions to Sustainability at UVic was he single-handedly lobbied for the creation of a Waste Reduction Unit on campus. During the first couple of years of his time at UVic he noticed a major gap in waste management across campus. Back then, it was inconsistent, unmeasurable and was managed by multiple departments. In 2008, he secured funding to undertake a gaps analysis study, resulting in the recommendation for all waste and recycling collection and disposal be consolidated and managed by one area of responsibility.

After presenting an extensive business case and implementation plan, the Waste Reduction Unit was then created in 2009. The formation of the Waste Reduction Unit brought forth the consolidation of waste and recycling campus wide, the installation of an additional 800 recycling bins on campus (in the form of recycling stations) and the expansion of the composting program. Today, the Unit has noticeably increased the campus waste landfill diversion rate from around 50% to 70% and continues to develop and expand its services with support from the campus community.

Bentley’s work with Finnerty Gardens is also noteworthy, as he has contributed to the overall recognition of the green campus as highlighted in the 2016 Campus Plan update and elsewhere as noted by alumni, visitors and the campus community.

Bentley’s enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to natural areas, facilities and the campus community are impressive. He is always eager to be of assistance. UVic is honoured to present Bentley Sly with the 2017 Staff Sustainability Champion Award.