Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 46.07
Liaison Michelle McCollum
Submission Date April 30, 2020

STARS v2.2

George Brown College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Jenika Wong
Project Coordinator
Strategy and Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:

In 2014 the College set the goal that there should be one course in each program with at least one sustainability related learning outcome.
In 2019 this goal was updated in the latest Sustainability Plan as follows:
Over-Arching Objective:
• Graduates have knowledge and skills that incorporate sustainability into their discipline(s). Every active program contains a minimum of one learning outcome relating to social, environmental or economic sustainability.
1.1 Sustainability in Curriculum
• 2019/2020: Academic Excellence Program Review Office to revisit results of 2014 audit of sustainability learning to establish whether programs identified as having zero sustainability-related learning outcomes have closed the gap by adding one or more sustainability-related learning outcomes.
Work Plan
• Programs that have closed the gap and met the 2014 goal will be added to an update/conclusion of the 2014 report.

• Programs that have not yet closed the gap can request Curriculum Specialist assistance from OAE to help them do the following:
- identify a candidate course for a sustainability-related learning outcome;
- articulate a measurable, discipline-focused sustainability learning outcome within the identified course;
- confirm to Academic Management Committee that they have closed the gap and met the 2014 goal.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:


Over-Arching Objective:
The George Brown College community collaborates and acts on sustainability initiatives and practices that keep us on a sustainable path.

2.1 Communications Program

- The College has an effective and purposeful communications program for external and internal audiences to inform them about the College’s sustainability efforts and to promote buy-in, behaviour change and support of sustainability practices.
Work Plan
- Create communications content to reach out to various internal (students, staff, faculty,) and external audiences through social media platform and newsletters etc. in order to raise awareness of George Brown College's sustainability initiatives and plans.

- 12 Posts per year in GBC Twitter @GBCollege and Instagram (gbcollege)
- 4 articles in @GBC and MyGBC per year on sustainability issues (e.g., related to academics, sustainability campaign and/or facilities success stories)
- Develop 12 slides with sustainability action/tips for posting on digital screens around the College

2.2 Sustainability Web-Site
- The College has an effective and informative web-site that promotes, engages and educates internal and external audiences about the College sustainability initiatives and plans.
Work plan
- Update the content, layout and overall design of the Sustainability web presence (this could include implementing new functionality and web templates to improve the user experience).
- Updated web-site by end of August 2019 including Sustainability Plan Report available on-line
- Increase in web-site traffic compared to current levels

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Updated July 10, 2020 to include paper activities:

3.3 Process Improvements (Paper)
- Reduce the College’s consumption of paper resources.
- Reduce use of mail services College-wide.
Work Plan
- Finance is developing an ability to pay some vendors by Visa Pay through our ERP. Once complete, the same logic will be used to pay students through e-payment. To pay more vendors through EFT requires the cooperation of all Departments and Divisions within the college.
- Ability to pay using Visa Pay being developed by Scotiabank, ITS and Finance.
- Provide guidance to Campus Stores regarding how they too can move to electronic invoices and payments.
- Carry out survey of paper forms still being used and devise strategies to replace with electronic forms.
- Cost savings from mailing service:
o 20$ Cost savings for envelopes.
o 90$ Cost savings for postage and mailing service
o Cost of labour which still needs to be determined.

3.4 Paper Conservation & Photocopier Fleet Optimization:
- Reduce the environmental impacts of paper consumption, and reduce paper waste, by reducing printing and use of other associated consumables (toners, etc.)
Work plan
- Replace photocopy machines with larger volume, more energy efficient, strategically placed machines and reduce associated paper use via greater printer controls.
- Develop a College Print Policy to control printing at the College including mandating duplex printing and maximum print limits on copiers.
- Phase out desk top printers.
- Utilize the Paper Cut Print Management software to track printing and control printer behaviour at the College and devise strategies to reduce printing.
- Promote increased use of on-line tools such as Microsoft Teams, Blackboard by all employees.

- Employee device ratio: 6:1 Optimal
- Reduced volume of purchased photocopy paper.
- Reduced photocopy paper purchase costs.
- Reduced volume of printing by Xerox print centres.
3.7 Solid Waste Reduction Plan

• Minimize production of waste and maximize recycling to achieve a total diversion rate of 70% in line with the City of Toronto’s Long Term Waste Management Strategy.
• Meet the intent of the provincial Strategy for a Waste Free Ontario which lays out Ontario's vision for a circular economy and goals of a zero-waste Ontario with zero greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector.

Targets (by 2022)
• Increase total diversion rate to 70% (based on annual waste audit data) which is an increase of 1% on average over next 4 years.
• Waste Reduction: Reduce overall waste generation (garbage/waste, recycling, compost).

Waste Audits and Consolidated Annual Reporting
• Carry out annual waste audits for each campus to determine the annual waste diversion rate for George Brown College resulting from existing waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting programs.
• Continue to implement consolidated annual reporting of all waste and diversion streams to augment waste data.
• Use waste audit data to identify point of generation, to quantify composition of wastes and to identify areas for high priority action.
• Identify any additional opportunities for waste reduction and diversion that may exist.

Annual Waste Reduction Action Plan
• Engage and educate the College community to use materials efficiently, minimize production of waste and maximize recyclability.
• Continue hand dryer installation program to reduce/eliminate paper towels college wide.
• Product packaging take-back program for divisional purchases e.g. ITS, CHCA etc.
• Develop policy for waste management and recycling college wide including a standard protocol for recycling system at offices.
• Develop a more detailed Waste Reduction Action Plan to achieve waste reduction and recycling/diversion goals .

Waste Separation to maximize recycling
Improve the garbage and recycle separation program by:
o Engaging and educating the College community to understand the difference between garbage and recycling.
o Redesign signage for all existing three-hole recycling bins.
o Add more multi compartment waste containers and remove solitary bins where needed.
o Add post-consumer organic (food waste) collection bins at selected areas e.g. Cafeteria, student seating areas etc.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Updated Sept 29, 2020:

2.5. Funding/Financing Mechanisms for Sustainability

The College has a sustainable resource/funding model to support sustainability initiatives and actions.

Work Plan
Explore options/alternative resources to fund sustainability initiatives and actions including:
– Develop new collaborative funding partnership with community, corporate,
foundation and private entities to support sustainability initiatives at the College.
– Leverage existing relationships with vendors, industry partners, etc. to uncover new sources of funding for sustainability initiatives, (e.g., redirection of rebates and incentives)
– Investigate with Facilities Management and Finance the viability of establishing a revolving sustainability fund from utility savings.
– Explore and take advantage of new and innovative sources of governmental
(municipal, provincial, federal) funding for sustainability initiatives.
– Work with the College’s Finance Office to investigate possible financial/budgetary measures to incentivize and fund sustainability initiatives (e.g., charge backs for paper use, utilities, etc.)
– Work with the George Brown College Foundation and Alumni Office to create new fundraising opportunities specifically to fund academic scholarships and/or other learning opportunities for students related
to sustainability.

• Volume of Funds raised.
• Number of Special Projects realized.

• Replicate the CCET Sustainability Scholarship model in one other Academic Centre.
• One “partnership” project (either with private sector, NGO, community or other).

Healthy Campus Initiative
The Healthy Campus Initiative is a whole-campus, whole-student approach to building a culture of care at George Brown College. ‘Healthy Campus’ is a health promotion framework exploring the impact of well-being on learning that’s spreading quickly across the college, including mental health. Some of the targets include integrating the human skills framework into our curriculum, establishing a healthy speaker series, and conducting faculty needs assessments. More details can be found here: https://www.georgebrown.ca/sites/default/files/healthy-campus-college-document.pdf

Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):

Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Minor theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):
Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

George Brown College values and mindset guide our behaviour, how we work and how we teach. We are determined to make these attributes synonymous with George Brown College. One of our key values is Accountability: We hold ourselves responsible for environmental, social and resource sustainability.
The Strategy 2022 and Vision 2030 Strategic Plan also identifies sustainability as a Foundation: for Success: George Brown College will focus on our fundamentals to help anticipate, absorb and manage change. One of the key foundation is SUSTAINABILITY: Develop behaviours, actions and policies that lead to environmental, financial and social sustainability.

The institution’s definition of sustainability:

George Brown College definition of Sustainability (excerpt from Sustainability in the Curriculum Audit Report, June 2014

3 Pillars of Sustainability

Sustainable development has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from Our Common Future:
"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. “

All definitions of sustainable development require that we see the world as a system. The three pillars of sustainability are a powerful tool for defining what we mean by sustainability. This consists of the economic, social, and environmental pillars. If any one pillar is weak then the system as a whole is unsustainable.

a)Environmental Sustainability
Environmental sustainability is concerned with reducing human consumption of resources and mitigating human impact on the natural environment. A sustainable approach to the physical environment entails improved understanding of the interrelation of ecosystems and the life-giving services they provide. It promotes behaviours that minimize harm to air and water quality, and that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

b) Social Sustainability
Sustainable social practices promote “social justice, conflict resolution, access, human well-being, social equity, diversity, intercultural fluency, quality of life, global citizenship, [and] community building” (University of British Columbia, no date).

c) Economic Sustainability
Healthy local and national economies are fundamental elements of liveable, equitable and prosperous communities. The Canadian International Development Agency’s Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy prioritizes economic practices that:
• “Foster a stable foundation for viable businesses and industries to thrive
• Increase opportunities for meaningful employment, particularly in the formal economy
• Maximize the contribution of growth to the public resources available for investment in the welfare of the population
Sustainable, ethical economic practices "[...] integrate environmental sustainability, equality between women and men, and governance as essential considerations to achieve sustainable economic growth” (CIDA 2011).

Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following?:
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability No
SDG Accord No
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment No
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) No

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:

Updated Nov 22, 2020:
George Brown College's Imagining Possibilities document (our highest guiding document) defines our long-term aspirations (Vision 2030) and Strategy 2022. Sustainability is one of five priorities of the Foundations for Success Commitment. Sustainability is also one of eight major initiatives, which is the operational plan for our Strategy 2022.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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