The Wine Visitor + Education Centre is Officially Certified Carbonzero.

Wine Visitor and Education Centre at night

The Wine Visitor + Education Centre, home of the NC Teaching Winery at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.

The Wine Visitor and Education Centre (WVEC) is home to the very first teaching winery in Canada, and can now add another first to the list: the first Carbonzero certified educational institution.

The WVEC underwent a building operations greenhouse gas inventory analysis over the spring and summer months to make this project possible, and it is this analysis that has resulted in the Carbonzero project and certification.

Integrated Municipal Services Inc., a division of Walker Industries, created a carbon neutral building service, intended to provide an alternative to sustainable building that is more accessible and practical for small- to medium-sized organizations. The inventory identified that the WVEC has an annual carbon footprint of 507.00tCO2e; 95% of the carbon foot-print is from natural gas consumption and only 5% is from electricity consumption. Niagara College purchased 507.00tCO2e of ISO 14064-2 Verified Emission Reductions from Integrated Municipal Services Inc. to offset to the emissions from the WVEC making it carbon neutral.

The concept of purchasing Verified Emission Reductions, colloquially referred to as carbon credits, is to off-set carbon emissions with projects that are carbon emissions reducing. These are often wind farms, solar installations, or energy efficiency retrofits. In purchasing these credits and applying them to the emissions of the WVEC, Niagara College is able to maintain a zero-balance and reduce the net climate impact of the building.

To learn more about sustainability initiatives at Niagara College, visit