Carleton is a leader in finding solutions to the evolving challenges of climate change, from our world-class researchers and teachers to providing experiential learning opportunities for our students so they can take on the challenge of making the planet a better place.
Our community is charging ahead with many exciting research projects, awards and collaborations, and we have many success stories to celebrate.

Recent Awards & Recognition

STARS Gold Rating

In 2022, Carleton earned a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education).
STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) evaluates and promotes sustainability in all aspects of higher education. You can view the full report here.

2022 UI Green Metrics Ranking

Carleton secured the 49th spot globally and the 2nd position in Canada among over 900 universities in the 2022 UI Green Metrics international ranking system for sustainability. The rankings are the world’s first and only university rankings that highlight each participating university’s dedication to fostering an environmentally friendly campus. Learn more about these rankings here.

2023 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

In the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings for 2023, Carleton ranked in the 301-400th range. Notably, we ranked 50th for Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and 82nd for Goal 14: Life Below Water. These rankings are the only global performance assessments that evaluate universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Green Globes Building Certification

Carleton University is dedicated to ensuring that all new construction and significant renovations achieve a minimum rating of 3 out of 5 globes through the Green Globe rating program. As of today, 11 buildings on our campus have successfully attained this rating or higher.

Sustainability in Dining Services

Carleton is recognized as a Fair Trade Campus. This designation, received in 2016, is bestowed to campuses that have committed to advancing the positive impact of Fair Trade practices around the world.


Carleton’s dining hall, the Caf, achieved a three-star SPE Certification in recognition of our dedication to serving both nutritious and environmentally sustainable food, and is the first three-star rating for a higher education institution in Canada.


Carleton is only the second Canadian university with a restaurant certified by The Green Restaurant Association (GRA). The GRA’s certification offers essential guidance for dining establishments seeking to evaluate and enhance the sustainability of their operations.

Milestones and Past Achievements

Sustainable Operations

  • Since 2005, Carleton has reduced greenhouse gas carbon emissions intensity by 40% and energy use intensity by 15%.
  • Carleton has reduced water use by 27% since 2013.
  • To date, 11 buildings have been Green Globe certified, an assessment protocol that Carleton leverages to assist in sustainable building design.

Waste Reduction

  • The Caf and Food Court were certified zero waste in 2018, meaning they divert 90% of waste from landfills.
  • Carleton’s wider waste programs are progressing with the introduction of four-stream recycling bins on campus and increased construction waste diverted from landfill.
  • In the Nideyinan Food Court, all packaging is recyclable or compostable and plastic straws on campus are banned.

Campus Community

  • In 2013, Carleton Engineering students placed first in the international Solar Decathlon for Team Ontario
  • In 2019, Carleton received the Emerging Excellence Award, from the Ottawa Green Business Network, for efforts toward carbon emission reductions.
  • Some Carleton buildings are now being used as living labs to measure certain sustainability initiatives.
  • Carleton’s Ideas@Carleton web portal fosters community engagement by welcoming new ideas to promote sustainability.
  • Campus workshops have generated over 500 suggestions for inclusion in the university’s new environmental strategy.
  • Carleton has electric charging stations to allow community members to charge their cars while on campus.
  • In 2021, Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business earned a place on the prestigious Top 40 list.