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 a number of 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 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.

Operational sustainability has also developed since 2014 which can be seen through some key programs, including developing an Energy Master Plan which has allowed and supported a 35% carbon emissions intensity reduction, certifying all new and major renovations for sustainability features and performance, achieving Zero Waste in our central food court and residence dining, achieving a GOLD rating for the AASHE STARS program, becoming a Fair Trade campus, and being recognized in the UI Green Metric 39th Internationally,  and 2nd in Canada.

Energy and Sustainability Team

A team within Facilities Management and Planning oversee the implementation of Carleton’s Sustainability Strategic Plan and work to co-ordinate sustainability efforts across the campus.

  • Scott Macdonald, Director, Energy and Sustainability
  • Philip Mansfield, Sustainability Manager
  • Gavin Symonds, Building Operations Manager
  • Eyad El Madhoon, Energy 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 within 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, a university sustainability rating system
  • 2022 – Fossil fuel divestment strategies approved