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.

  • Scott Macdonald, Director, Energy and Sustainability
  • Philip Mansfield, Sustainability Manager
  • Michelle Bilbo, Sustainability Programmes Manager
  • Gavin Symonds, Building Operations Manager


  • 2015 – Launched the Green Revolving Fund
  • 2016 – Designated as a Fair Trade Campus
  • 2016 – Campus Master Plan published
  • 2017 – Silver rating in STARS, a university sustainability rating system, earned
  • 2018 – Energy Master Plan published
  • 2018 – Campus food courts (Residence and University Centre) designated Zero Waste
  • 2019 – Joined Ottawa Green Business, a network of organizations in Ottawa committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • 2019 – 35% reduction in carbon emission intensity from 2009 levels
  • 2019 – Ranked 2nd in Canada in the UI Green Metric Global Sustainability rankings
  • 2020 – Updated Comprehensive Sustainability Plan published
  • 2021 – Energy Master Plan Updated, with a key focus on carbon reduction
  • 2022 – Earned Gold rating in STARS and recognized as a Sustainable Campus Index Top Performer by AASHE
  • 2022 – Ranked 2nd in Canada and 49th worldwide in the UI Green Metric Global Sustainability rankings
  • 2022 – Became a signatory of Investing to Address Climate Change: A Charter for Canadian Universities
  • 2022 – Fossil fuel divestment strategies approved