Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.63
Liaison Karen Oberer
Submission Date Dec. 11, 2020

STARS v2.2

McGill University
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Karen Oberer
Sustainability Officer
McGill Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level:

In August 2020, McGill submitted a pre-budget brief to the Commission sur les finances et l’administration de la Ville de Montréal in advance of the release of the city's 2021 budget.

Section 4 of the brief supports the sustainable development aspects of Montreal's post-COVID economic recovery plan and advocates for partnership with the city to implement its sustainable development targets. The brief reads,

"McGill applauds the major strategic planning efforts made by the City of Montreal to fight climate change and base Montreal's economic development on environmental sustainability. Measure 13 of the recovery plan, 'Promote innovative development and sustainable mobility practices', reaffirms this desire. McGill University, and in particular its Office of Sustainability, intends to be a proactive partner in the implementation of this objective by working with the City of Montreal in an exemplary and complementary way." [My translation].

The brief then suggests areas in which the city and the university might cooperate: in promoting sustainable transportation, in greening the city, in expanding urban agriculture and in fighting the heat island effect.

The section concludes, "As a partner and local resident, McGill University wishes to take an active part in defining and establishing the conditions for economic vitality that go hand in hand with reimagining new sustainable and human-centered downtown urban spaces." [My translation].

In sum, the pre-budget brief illustrates McGill's advocacy for, and willingness to partake in, a green economic recovery plan for Montreal.

Source: http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/COMMISSIONS_PERM_V2_FR/MEDIA/DOCUMENTS/MEM_PBUDGET_UNIVERSIT%C9MCGILL_20200826.PDF

Montreal's Plan de relance économique 2020: https://montreal.ca/articles/plan-de-relance-economique-2020-5657


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level:
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Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level:

McGill recently submitted a pre-budget brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance in advance of Budget 2020. The brief is titled “Equipping Canada with the science and innovation to meet the climate change challenge.”
The brief recommends that the Government of Canada:
"1. provide sufficient support for fundamental research to preserve the capacity of university researchers to identify and meet the complex social challenges of the future;
2. deliver a long-term funding strategy for climate and sustainability research;
3. provide funding for transformative infrastructure for science and innovation;
4. support the amplification of knowledge mobilization mechanisms by providing additional financial support for environmental innovation."

https://www.ourcommons.ca/Content/Committee/431/FINA/Brief/BR10635362/br-external/McGillUniversity-e.pdf

In April 2019, McGill submitted a position paper for the consultation process on the draft Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (2019-2022). The position paper included 5 recommendations:
"1. We recommend that the federal government consult the higher education sector even more directly to see what partnerships and collaborative implementation can be achieved.
2. Continue to include members that represent Canada’s higher education sector in the Sustainable Development Advisory Council.
3. The federal government and higher education sector would benefit from collaboration on solutions to research-related environmental challenges, such as air travel emissions reductions.
4. The federal government may benefit from expanding its targets regarding educating Canadians about nature, to broader, sustainability-related education, which universities can support and implement.
5. Addressing carbon neutrality (for Canada, the Government of Canada, or both) more specifically in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy would potentially benefit the federal government, as it will provide guidance to other institutions looking to set their own targets."

The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy can be found here: http://fsds-sfdd.ca/index.html#/en/goals/


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level:

Principal Suzanne Fortier joined other Canadian universities in condemning U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order banning individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. The statement from McGill University and Universities Canada offered support to American counterparts and condemned this type of executive decision. Principal Fortier's statement can be found here: https://www.mcgill.ca/principal/communications/statements/statement-response-us-executive-order

The Universities Canada statement can be found here: https://www.univcan.ca/media-room/media-releases/statement-response-u-s-executive-order/


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
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A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
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Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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