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Sustainability Policy

Classification number LCG 1115
Framework category Legal, Compliance and Governance
Approving authority Board of Governors
Policy owner Vice-President, Administration
Approval date October 1, 2014
Review date October 2017
Last updated Editorial Amendment May 30, 2022; February 18, 2020


As an institution of higher learning, the University values the opportunity to play a vital role in supporting principles of sustainability. The University seeks to be both a model and catalyst of change by demonstrating stewardship of the natural and built environment in a manner that is socially, environmentally and economically responsible.

This policy reaffirms the University's commitment to the sector-wide pledge, Ontario Universities: Committed to a Greener World and reinforces our responsibility to the environment and the well-being of the province. Additionally, this policy will set forth the goals we strive to meet in order to reach the highest possible standards of sustainability on our campus and in our day-to-day activities related to academics, student and staff engagement, operations, facilities, planning, administration, and community outreach. Furthermore, we aim to leverage the synergies from our partnership with Durham College as they will be instrumental in the development of broad-reaching and successful sustainability initiatives, throughout our shared campus environment and beyond.

In particular this policy will:

  • Foster a culture of sustainability throughout our campus and broader community by playing a positive and proactive role in sustainability leadership; and
  • Ensure that our commitment to sustainability is reflected in our organizational behaviours and policies through the application of effective, long-lasting solutions which integrate the ecological, social and economic facets of sustainability.


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Scope and authority

This policy applies to all members of the University including faculty, staff, and students, as well as contractors and service providers and to all areas of the University that support teaching, learning, research and services.


The University is committed to supporting and implementing the following sustainability goals:


  1. Develop programs and policies that minimize resource and material demands of University activities.

  2. Adopt effective waste management strategies that reduce the volume of waste generated and sent to landfill. 

  3. Identify opportunities to reduce water consumption, implement water conservation measures where possible and establish programs that promote the efficient use of water and identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption, implement energy conservation measures where possible and establish programs that promote the efficient use of energy among faculty, staff and students.

  4. Ensure that University procurement policies and procedures incorporate an assessment of environmental impact of purchases throughout their life-cycle and encourage the use of producers and suppliers who follow environmentally responsible practices.

  5. Establish systems to monitor and measure our environmental performance. 


  1. Promote a healthy and productive environment by providing students, faculty and staff with safe, functional, and sustainable facilities.

  2. Integrate sustainable features into new and existing building design and application.

  3. Build and renovate facilities in accordance with energy efficiency and sustainability principles.

  4. Use ecological landscaping methods and preserve green space.

Culture and Education

  1. Share knowledge and engage with students, staff, faculty, and community members to promote eco-literacy and ensure effective participation of the University community in green living practices.

  2. Develop a team program in order to build a network of sustainability-focused individuals across the University.

  3. Identify and pursue opportunities to incorporate the principles of sustainability and environmental literacy into course curriculum.

  4. Ensure representation and active participation by the University on relevant steering committees and associations in order to promote awareness of sustainability issues and determine how they can be addressed.

  5. Further partnerships with the local community and government organizations to progress environmental objectives.

  6. Communicate with the outside community about the University’s environmental performance and activities.

Policy Administration

In addition to the specific areas of focus the University will:

  1. Prepare and regularly update a sustainability plan with specific goals and objectives.

  2. Develop new projects and monitor existing projects that contribute to sustainable development.

  3. Consider activities carried out by or on behalf of the University in light of their life cycle, including their economic, environmental and social footprints.

  4. Establish sustainability indicators to enable accountability, to communicate specific goals and to monitor and report on progress.

  5. Report annually on progress to the University community.

Relevant legislation

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Related policies, procedures & documents

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