Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.63
Liaison Karen Oberer
Submission Date Aug. 22, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

McGill University
OP-9: Landscape Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.95 / 2.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total campus area (i.e. the total amount of land within the institutional boundary):
1,612.09 Hectares

Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds:
Area (double-counting is not allowed)
Area managed in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses a four-tiered approach 73.52 Hectares
Area managed in accordance with an organic land care standard or sustainable landscape management program that has eliminated the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in favor of ecologically preferable materials 1,502.86 Hectares
Area managed using conventional landscape management practices (which may include some IPM principles or techniques) 0 Hectares
Total area of managed grounds 3,895.33 Hectares

A brief description of any land excluded from the area of managed grounds (e.g. the footprint of buildings and impervious surfaces, experimental agricultural land, areas that are not regularly managed or maintained):

Experimental agricultural land excluded (1,101,181.5 m2)

Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an IPM program:

A copy of the IPM plan or program:

A brief description of the IPM program:

McGill does not currently have an in-house IPM plan, as the responsibility for pest management is awarded to contractors through a competitive RFP process, which outlines the criteria for pest control on the downtown and Macdonald campus wherein the McGill Environmental Policy is clearly outlined. The contractor must have their own Integrated Pest Management to manage pest infestation in the most economical means with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment. This ensures the least invasive, non- chemical method (such as exclusion or trapping) is always used as the first treatment option.

Examples of requirements
• The Supplier should provide a IPM and extermination services on a monthly basis that includes a combination of pest monitoring, good sanitation practices, habitat modification, biological control, genetic control, cultural control, mechanical control, control, regulatory control and, when necessary, the judicious use of least-hazardous pesticides.
• The Supplier should provide preventative and corrective pest control treatments in order to maintain the University premises free from pests. These pests include but not limited to: mice, rats, roaches, silverfish, crickets, ants, earwigs, wasps, fruit flies and crawling insects.
• Treatment should also be included for the prevention of reappearance of all pests.
• The Supplier should provide thorough inspection of buildings and grounds to determined the presence of pest and their activities, treating only when a pest population is determined to be a nuisance, health hazard, or will cause damage to property. Use of low impact chemicals indoors and outdoors and the most environmentally friendly are required to be considered first in highly sensitive areas.
• The Supplier should use pesticide of the highest industry quality standards and used only when necessary to achieve acceptable levels of control with the least possible harm to humans, non-target organisms and the environment. All pesticide products to be used at the University must meet all applicable Federal and Provincial safety regulation standards.
• Pesticides must be registered under Health Canada’s Pest Control Products Act (PCPA) and Regulations.
• Prudent use of bait shall be made to avoid exposure of squirrels and other wild and domestic animals

Percentage of grounds managed in accordance with an organic program:

A brief description of the organic land standard or landscape management program that has eliminated the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in favor of ecologically preferable materials:

Undeveloped land includes our protected territories: Gault Estate (1,000 ha), Molson Nature Reserve (51 ha), and Morgan Arboretum (245 ha). See OP-10 for more details about these properties.

A brief description of the institution's approach to plant stewardship:

McGill uses native plants where feasible for growth, considering the urban conditions and proximity to Montreal's Mount Royal, a protected heritage zone with stringent regulations.

Over 200 varieties of trees and shrubs were planted on the downtown campus in 2010 alone; many trees and shrubs at Macdonald Campus have been planted to attract wildlife.

McGill has replaced balding grass underneath trees with some native and perennial ground cover plantings that attract wildlife. The landscaping in front of the Faculty of Management is mainly of native plant species (such as trillium) and evokes the feeling of a walk in the woods; its small bushes shelter sparrows and other fauna.

McGill also has a butterfly & scent garden on the MacDonald Campus behind the eco-residences, and an alpine garden in front of Bishop Mountain Dining Hall containing small pines, craggy rock, and low creeping flowers.


A brief description of the institution's approach to hydrology and water use:

Rainwater collected from the catchment in the McLennan basement is used for watering and washing using an outlet from the Redpath basement.

McGill's Rainwater Management Plan (currently in the works) will directly address this issue. The plan will seek to outline ways in which the campus can become a zero-irrigation zone through increased use of rainwater. The natural hydrology of the McGill campus has been greatly modified through development, and the plan will hope to see this natural hydrology begin to be restored.

A brief description of the institution's approach to materials management and waste minimization (e.g. composting and/or mulching on-site waste):

Following funding from the Sustainability Projects Fund, Grounds staff have a wood chipper that is used to process green waste (leaves and branches) on site. Grass trimmings are left on the sod to decompose naturally.

A brief description of the institution's approach to energy-efficient landscape design:

As outlined in McGill green building standards, minimum LEED performance standards include a focus on reducing heat islands on site such as to have not only the structure be sustainable, but its surrounding environment as well.
Source: https://www.mcgill.ca/buildings/files/buildings/mcgill_green_build_standards.pdf
Refer to table of "McGill minimum required credits"

A brief description of other sustainable landscape management practices employed by the institution (e.g. use of environmentally preferable landscaping materials, initiatives to reduce the impacts of ice and snow removal, wildfire prevention):

Snow removal is a shared responsibility between the Departments of Grounds and Building Services. Building Services' employees remove the necessary amounts of snow to allow safe passage into buildings. Grounds staff are responsible for the snow removal of all other areas of campus, including: entrances and emergency exterior stairways, walkways, terraces, handicap ramps for both entrances and exits of buildings.

Snow and ice removal is conducted in the most sustainable way possible; harmful salts are avoided to mitigate surrounding landscape damage.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

McGill's Grounds and Procurement departments are working together currently to create an IPM plan for MCGill, as a part of McGill's newly revised Green Building Standards (http://www.mcgill.ca/buildings/files/buildings/mcgill_green_build_standards.pdf) that will use LEED as a framework for maintenance of grounds surrounding buildings on campus.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.