As a distinguished research and teaching institution, Carleton has a responsibility to lead and act decisively in addressing the challenges arising from climate change and the barriers that this presents.
Carleton University developed its first Sustainability Strategic Plan in 2014, which saw the university adopt several sustainability commitments and actions. This built on previous work, which focused on improved recycling and energy performance. The first office devoted to campus operational sustainability was formed in 2014.
Our vision is to be one of the top universities in Canada contributing to society in a way that delivers on our ‘here for good’ campaign and enriches and transforms lives.
We are already privileged to be home to some of the great environmental and climate change thinkers including, the Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Climate Change Impacts/Adaptation in Northern Canada, and scientists leading the next IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC).
Our community is charging ahead with many exciting research projects, awards, and collaborations, and is teaching and studying sustainability through a broad range of courses and programs.
Since 2014, our organization has made significant strides in operational sustainability, as evidenced by a number of key programs. These programs include developing an Energy Master Plan that has supported a 35% reduction in carbon emissions intensity, certifying all new and major renovations for sustainability features and performance, as well as hitting several milestones that can be seen in the timeline below.
Energy and Sustainability Team
We are a team within Facilities Management and Planning. Our role is to oversee the implementation of Carleton’s Sustainability Strategic Plan and to coordinate sustainability efforts across the campus.
Carleton University signed on to the Talloires Declaration, which defined 10 action items that Carleton and the other signatories around the globe agreed to follow.
February 2014 – Carleton University launches its first comprehensive Sustainability Strategic Plan
Launch of the Green Revolving Fund, to engage and provide funding for community ideas.
Joined AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education)
October 2016 – Campus Master Plan published
February 2017 – Designated as a Fair Trade Campus
February 2017 – Earned a Silver rating in STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) by AASHE
January 2018 – Campus food courts (Located in Nideyinan and Teraanga Commons) designated Certified Zero Waste
May 2018 – Energy Master Plan updated
January 2019 – 35% reduction in carbon emission intensity from 2009 levels
August 2019 – Carleton University was recognized by Ottawa’s Sustainable Business Network—known as Carbon 613—with the Emerging Excellence Award for its sustainability efforts.
December 2019 – Ranked 2nd in Canada in the UI Green Metric Global Sustainability rankings
February 2020 – The caf received Green Restaurant Certification (3 Star Certified)
October 2020 – Updated Comprehensive Sustainability Plan published
August 2021 – Energy Master Plan Updated, with a key focus on carbon reduction
March 2022 – Earned Gold rating in STARS and recognized as a Sustainable Campus Index Top Performer by AASHE
March 2022 – Fossil fuel divestment strategies approved
July 2022 – Became a signatory of Investing to Address Climate Change: A Charter for Canadian Universities
December 2022 – Ranked 2nd in Canada and 49th worldwide in the UI Green Metric Global Sustainability rankings