Universities' Commitment to Going Green Highlighted in Annual Report

June 11, 2013 - Campus Bulletin

Ontario’s university campuses are shrinking their environmental footprint by reducing waste and increasing recycling, and students are helping to drive the agenda, according to the fourth annual Going Greener report to be released Tuesday by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).

The Going Greener report was released June 11 at the University of Toronto’s St. George campus. Overall, the report concludes that Ontario universities made significant progress on environmental sustainability in 2012, despite budgetary restraints.

Highlights include:

· Two-thirds of campuses in Ontario now have staff dedicated to environmental sustainability
· The majority of Ontario campuses measure emissions and energy consumption
· 86 per cent of campuses offer free or discounted transit passes
· More than 85 per cent of campuses have installed low-flow toilets, shower heads and faucets
· Local foods are available at the majority of campuses

“Ontario students are driving many of the greening policies of their universities,” says Alastair Summerlee, COU chair and president of the University of Guelph. “It’s terrific to see students playing a leadership role.”

All university executive heads signed a sustainability pledge in 2009, called Ontario Universities: Committed to a Greener World. The pledge committed institutions to environmental sustainability, with measurable outcomes and mandatory reporting.

“Whether it’s protected bike racks, discount transit passes, low-flow toilets or local food at campus cafeterias, Ontario universities and their students are showing they really care about the environment,” says COU president and CEO Bonnie Patterson.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1