The Talloires Declaration
The University of Guelph is a signatory of the Talloires Declaration, which aspires to advance environmental sustainability in higher education through teaching, research, operations and outreach. Since its inception in 1990, the declaration has been signed by more than 350 university presidents and chancellors in more than 40 countries.
Since 2006, more than 1,000 students, faculty, staff, and executives have signed a Sustainability Pledge to encourage critical thought and transformative action around personal environmental practices.
U of G’s commitment to sustainability is woven into a number of key planning and policy documents, including:
The University of Guelph Integrated Plan (April 2009)
Guelph’s Integrated Plan is an internal document that governs operations. Section 3.2.4 (Environmental Stewardship) formally states our commitment to “integrating environmentally responsible practices” into our teaching, research and institutional services.
“What we do, what we build, and what we operate must respect and protect the natural foundation we share with the larger community and the world as a whole. An overarching principle of environmental stewardship and sustainability should be incorporated into our business practices and plans.”
University of Guelph Campus Master Plan (2002)
In its vision statement, the Campus Master Plan states that the campus environment will “demonstrate excellence in design and environmental stewardship.” The plan includes a commitment to explore and develop strategies to reduce energy and water consumption, as well as to improve waste management and materials recycling, land use efficiency, emission control, and the management of storm water. It calls for best practices to be employed in building design, site development and management, and utility design.
Other key plans and policies related to sustainability are discussed in the sections below on energy, water management, transportation, building, recycling and hazardous waste management. They include:
- University of Guelph Community Energy Plan
- University of Guelph Transportation Demand Management Plan
- Hospitality Services’ Local Sustainability Plan
- 2007 University of Guelph Solid Waste Reduction Work Plan
Environmental Health and Safety Policy
The Environmental Health and Safety Policy states that “The University is committed to the conservation and improvement of the environment by minimizing environmental impacts arising from its activities and promotes and supports environmental management policies and environmentally responsible practices at every level and every department.”
The Sustainability Office
The University’s Sustainability Office was created in 2004 to encourage students, staff and faculty to participate in environmental sustainability initiatives at U of G.
Alumna Gillian Maurice, B.Sc. (Env.) 2000, B.A. 2003, is U of G’s Sustainability Co-ordinator. Guelph’s sustainability website is a resource for the campus community that provides information on key green initiatives, from the 3 Rs (reducing, reusing and recycling) to composting, energy and transportation. The Sustainability Office’s Energy Awareness Program encourages students, faculty and staff to adopt energy conservation habits.
For more information about this report or sustainability initiatives at the University of Guelph, please contact: