Sustainability logo final (2)

 Download PDF of Carleton’s Sustainability Strategic Plan

Carleton University has embraced sustainability in many forms and in many aspects of operations – in research and academic programs. To ensure a cohesive and structured approach that will – in itself – be sustainable, the next step is a sustainability strategic plan for campus operations.

At Carleton University, we believe that sustainability means to live, learn and grow within our campus community in a manner that protects and strengthens our physical and social environments such that the students, staff and faculty of future generations can continue to develop and enjoy our campus community.

So how are we doing on implementing our plan?

We identified 5 key recommendations:

Develop A Green Revolving Fund.
This fund will allow for the funding of sustainability focused projects that meet specific cost-savings criteria and have a positive environmental impact on campus life.


The Green Revolving Fund has been established since 2013, with over 50 project entries submitted for review.

Most recently, in 2014/15 the Fund allowed for the implementation of three projects; the implementation of a student led program for Intelligent Indoor Climate Control in the Canal Building, the installation of Building Energy Dashboards and the roll-out of Computer Sleep Software. The Fund is open for new submissions from October 2015.


Create a multi-stakeholder Sustainability Advisory Committee on campus operations.
The advisory committee would report and make recommendations to the Vice-President (Finance and Administration).


The Carleton Sustainability Advisory Committee has been established and meets bi-annually to provide coordination of the sustainability agenda, enhance the ongoing development of Strategic Plan and Policies and develop the integration of environmental initiatives and programs across research, teaching and professional services.

Develop a Green Team Program across campus.
A Green Team Program will build a network of sustainability-focused individuals across the university.


Currently Carleton has over 10 Eco Reps, across a wide range of services and buildings, focused on workplace sustainability initiatives. Eco Reps are also focused on the implementation of the Green Workplace Certification program, allowing a workplace to be certified Green.


Within residence, students are engaged through the Team Green program. Students who volunteer within this program engage fellow residents on green behaviors and champion energy saving throughout the year.


Measure progress and evaluate programs using key sustainability metrics.
For areas related to facility design and operations, the Green Globes Assessment System is the most effective tool. For general university operations, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has developed a set of metrics that can be used to assess and measure sustainability.  Read more about Green Globes at Carleton…


All new and buildings with major renovations from the previous 6 years have been assessed under Green Globes. The plan target of at least 3 Green Globes has been met, and surpassed! On average our buildings are receiving a 4 Globe rating. All planned building are also being assessed at the concept stage, to enable best practice sustainability design to be fully integrated.

In addition to Green Globe reviews all building on campus have been reviewed using the Environmental Sustainability Assessment Tool (ESAT) to provide for an ongoing review and assessment of all buildings energy and wider sustainability practices.


Conduct public consultation and engage the community.
Best practice indicates that the success of the sustainability strategic plan will depend on the level of engagement and buy-in from the staff, faculty and students involved. It will be critical to have the engagement of senior administrators to ensure that resources are made available and support is allocated where needed.


We communicate Carleton’s commitment to sustainability in numerous way, through promotions at events, and through a mix of communication channels and programs. Events for students include during Move In, Student Expo, Orientation week and Earth Hour in March. Sustainability is also included in courses throughout the year, through guest lectures providing campus updates and progress reports. Events reaching the broader campus community throughout the year focus on key themes such as the annual Cycle Fair, Building Energy Retrofits, Fairtrade and Earth Day. Targeted messages on internal email newsletters and via twitter promote ongoing engagement.

We also focused on a number of other themes:

Waste Management
In 2017/18, Carleton University produced approximately 2,900 metric tons of waste; 61 per cent of which was diverted through reuse, composting and recycling.


  • Zero Waste achieved for food courts (University Centre and Residence Commons).
  • Revised packaging and straw ban to reduce non-recyclable material provided.
  • Revised waste collection contract (April 2015) broadens acceptable materials for recycling.
  • Move-in and Move-out programs developed, with Student Eco Reps promoting waste and recycling. 5,000 kg of mixed recycling donated to charity (2018).
  • Student intern focused on waste audits, specifically collection schedules and contamination issues.
  • Revised waste signage to encourage greater waste segregation rolled out across campus.
  • Expansion of Organic/Compost waste collections, including Dining Services and Residence.
  • Waste reduction indicators included within wider Dining Services Sustainability Plan.
  • Expanded number of Special Waste Depots.

While the Carleton fleet contributes little in the way of emissions, there exists an opportunity to improve the larger impact of emissions from commuters.


  • Revised Demand Transport Management Plan developed with Parking Services.
  • Roll out of Bike Share program on campus, partnering with VeloGo to offer bicycles for hire.
  • Expansion of car share programs on campus, with Carleton offering VirtuCar, StudentCarShare and Zip Car programs on campus.
  • Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station installed, allowing EV users to charge cars on campus.

Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The Canal Building, which opened in January 2011, employs many new building automation technologies which are being piloted for future application on the campus.


  • Meet target for Energy Reduction of 2.5%.
  • Energy Master Plan published (2018). The plan outlines Carleton’s goals and objectives for managing, conserving and reducing energy consumption, alongisde costs and estimated savings for proposed measures.
  • Energy Master Plan submitted as requirement of Ontario Regulation 397/11.
  • Large scale energy retrofits completed within key buildings across campus including, Robertson Hall, The Athletics Centre and Loeb Building. Measures are wide ranging and include measures such as lighting upgrades, HVAC and water saving measures.
  • Annual update of plan to be made available to community and posted on sustainability website.
  • Energy audits completed within Minto and Mackenzie buildings.
  • HVAC Replacement in MacOldrum Library, improving air quality and with associated energy savings.

Water Use
The Canal Building is equipped to provide specific information on how and where potable water is consumed.


  • Water management is included in the Energy Master Plan and addresses both historic usage and expected future use. Plan includes conservation opportunities.
  • Water Management included in revised building specifications for all new/renovations with the inclusion of ‘ultra’ low fixtures.
  • Roll out of additional water bottle filling stations and signage for existing locations on campus.

Campus Planning, Building Design and Construction
Carleton University has committed to ensuring that all new construction and major renovations achieve a minimum rating of 3 out of 5 globes with the Green Globes Rating system.


  • All new and building with major renovations from the previous 6 years have been assessed under Green Globes.
  • Information sheet and full assessment available for all Green Globes assessed buildings.
  • Target of at least 3 Green Globes being met with on average buildings receiving a 4 Globes rating.
  • Planned buildings (Business School and Residence 2017) assessed at Concept Design to 5 Green Globes.
  • All buildings on campus have been reviewed using the Environmental Sustainability Assessment Tool (ESAT) to provide for an ongoing review and assessment of all buildings energy and wider performance.

Land Management
Carleton’s Campus Master Plan is guided by a set of planning strategies, including environmental responsibility and sustainable development.


  • Review of Campus Master Plan (2017). Review included broader community input and developed themes such as the inclusion of sustainability and green space.

Dining Services
Aramark has collected organics for composting for many years.


  • Waste strategy was included in the wider Sustainability Audit and Strategic Plan for Dining Services.
  • Waste reduction and management indicators include a reduction of solid waste, pre and post consumer composting programs, fryer oil filtration and recycling and packaging reduction program focussing on source reduction packaging.
  • Full audit completed of procurement within Dining Services, reviewing sustainability purchasing practices such as local, organic and Fair-trade.
  • Introduction of Local Wednesdays, whereby students are encouraged and engaged in local food. Farm visits co-ordinated to allow students to visit local businesses and see the origin of their food.
  • Carleton obtained Fair-trade campus status.

There is a large potential for Carleton University to influence change by using the university’s purchasing power to influence suppliers and service providers.


  • Revised FMP building specifications include sustainability measures such as low-flow water fixtures, LED lighting and materials with recyclable content.
  • Sustainable procurement policy to be developed (2016).

Many green products are being used to clean the 44 buildings at Carleton.


  • Development of Green Cleaning Standard.
  • Pilot use of Aqueous Ozone System cleaning, a more sustainable cleaning routine reducing waste and the carbon footprint associated with cleaning.

 Download PDF of Sustainability Strategic Plan