Strive for Sustainability - Comprehensive Sustainability Plan

Carleton University is pleased to announce the launch of its new Sustainability Plan, Strive for Sustainability. The plan builds upon our existing work and the strength we have shown in this field, which has enabled Carleton to become a leader in Environmental and Sustainability action.

To date, from an operations viewpoint, this has meant a 35% reduction in our carbon emissions and zero waste certifications for dining. In Teaching, we have seen an increasing sustainably focused undergraduate and graduate program offering, and in Research, work has included the development of the Centre for Advanced Building Envelope Research and the Human Building Interaction Lab.

The Sustainability Plan was coordinated with community participation and leadership engagement to develop key themes which are included within the final version. This engagement also highlighted the need for a more holistic plan than our previous strategy, and the need to demonstrate social and real-world impact.

The plan includes six key themes; Leadership, Teaching and Learning, Research, Operations, Community Engagement and Sustainable Collaboration. This moves our strategy away from a solely operational focus and ensures that Carleton embeds sustainability across all of its diverse departments.

We encourage everyone to review the plan and see how your work and actions can make a difference to our community and ensure that we ‘Strive for Sustainability’ and build a more sustainable future.

You can see the full plan here.

A shorter version of key themes and actions can be seen here

Key Themes

The new Sustainability Plan supports several other plans on our campus and is intended to align to third party certifications and reporting including the UN Sustainable Development Goals and UI Green Metric.

You can read more about the Carleton University Strategic Integrated Plan and the importance of Sustainability as one of three key directions here.

We are committed to reporting annually on our progress. The annual report will be posted on our webpages.

Demonstrate sustainable leadership

We want to demonstrate leadership by integrating sustainability principles into our day-to-day decision making and activities.

Inspire and support students to be sustainability literate

We will continue to strengthen sustainability within teaching and learning programs and practices.

Sustainability research with real-world impact

We will focus on collaborative interdisciplinary research with social, environmental and economic impact.


Reducing the impact from our operations

We acknowledge the environmental impact of our operations and will continue to work towards a future where we exemplify sustainable best practice.

Engaging and inspiring our community

We will drive improvements towards sustainability through active involvement and engagement of all members of our university community.

Work beyond our boundaries and advocate for sustainability

We will embrace participation and the strengthening of relationships beyond our internal community to serve as the catalyst for change.

Key Actions

• Achieve zero instances of sustainability and environmental legal non-compliance
• Attain a Gold STARS rating by 2021
• Report annually and publicly on the university’s sustainability impacts and

• Track the number of courses and programs that enable students to
understand and apply sustainability knowledge
• Ensure that all students graduating from Carleton to have exposure to sustainability
principles through their degree program or wider initiatives

• Track the number of research programs and initiatives with links to campus
sustainability operations and planning
• Increase the number of communications on university sustainability research
provided to the broader community

• Achieve a 50 per cent reduction in Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 2030, and
100 per cent by 2050 (based on a 2005 baseline)
• Increase the number of renewable or alternative energy projects on campus
• Achieve annual energy (electricity and gas) consumption reductions
• Maintain a minimum 4 Green Globe rating (or equivalent external third-party
sustainable certification) for all new builds or major renovations
• Achieve a zero-waste campus (over 90 per cent diversion rate)
• Increase the number of university-owned electric vehicles
• Increase the percentage of local and sustainably sourced foods

Policies and Reporting