Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.32
Liaison Karen Oberer
Submission Date Dec. 11, 2020

STARS v2.2

McGill University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Karen Oberer
Sustainability Officer
McGill Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

The McGill Advisory Council on Sustainability is mandated to position McGill as a leading institution in North America on sustainability. The Advisory Council contributes closely to future iterations of McGill's Sustainability Strategy and related plans and policies; monitors progress toward sustainability through performance indicators; is regularly informed of best practices related to sustainability in other institutions and evaluates how to integrate them at McGill, if pertinent; identifies and leverages opportunities to advance sustainability initiatives at McGill; and creates opportunities for pan-university sustainability initiatives.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:

McGill Advisory Council on Sustainability
The Council is made up of senior administrative representatives, faculty members, students and members-at-large.

The Council has 19 participants. A combination of expertise, interest, and capacity to act on the topics included in McGill’s Sustainability Strategy is fundamental criteria to appoint members. All the Council members will be appointed by the Co-Chairs, except for the 3 student representatives.
Membership includes:
- 4 staff representatives , including:
- The Committee Co-Chairs, namely the VP Administration and Finance, and the Provost (VP Academic);
- 2 senior administrators.
- 4 faculty members, preferably senior academic leaders;
- 1 Indigenous representative;
- 3 student representatives;
- 6 members-at-large with significant expertise in sustainability governance and policy, representing a variety of sectors (government, non-governmental, private, etc.);
- The Committee Steward, namely the Director of the Office of Sustainability.

Roles and Responsibilities of Advisory Council Members:
- Provide advice on strategies, policies, plans and reports;
- Create opportunities for pan-university sustainability initiatives;
- Identify and leverage opportunities to raise the profile of sustainability initiatives at McGill;
- Assist in communicating and gathering support for sustainability goals and activities in all spheres of the University.

Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent employee?:

A brief description of each sustainability office:

The Office of Sustainability supports McGill's goal to become an institutional model of sustainability for society. Its mission is to create a culture of sustainability at McGill -- to encourage and unite the efforts of students, faculty, staff and administrators to incorporate principles of sustainability in university operations, campus living and learning and in its relations with the broader community. The Office of Sustainability explores ways in which McGill can integrate social, environmental and economic considerations into University decisions. The office develops partnerships within the McGill Community that encourage and facilitate the application of principles of sustainability.

Full-time equivalent of people employed in the sustainability office(s):

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Shona Watt, Sust. Officer, SPF Steward; Stéphanie Keller-Busque, Sust.Officer, SPF Admin; Krista Houser, Sust. Officer, Monitoring & Reporting; Lucie Viciano, Climate Officer

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:

2017: McGill University released the Vision 2020 Climate and Sustainability Action Plan (2017-2020). The plan emerged through a broad consultation process, engaging over 500 McGill community members at over 20 events. The plan consists of 22 priority actions, each with tangible deliverables. Priority actions span five categories: Research, Education, Connectivity, Operations, and Governance & Administration. The plan also identifies two long-term targets for McGill: attain a Platinum sustainability rating by 2030, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

2017: Climate Officer position created within the Office of Sustainability. The Climate Officer participates in the development of policies and programs tailored for students, faculty and staff, to reduce McGill’s carbon footprint. The CO is responsible for helping McGill reach carbon neutrality, enhancing climate literacy, and improving climate resilience.

2017: MOOS created the McGill Sustainable Events certification program, an initiative that provides consultations, trainings, and resources to encourage and support more responsible events at McGill University. The McGill Sustainable Events Team raises awareness of environmental, social, and economic best practices for event planners by focusing on each event’s impact, inclusivity, and accessibility. To date, 279 events have been certified, 119 of which were gold certified. Over 85,000 McGill students, staff, alumni, and community members attended certified events over the past 3 years.

2018: The Sustainability Projects Fund supported the creation of a new Zero-waste Coordinator position. Operating under both the Office of Sustainability and the Buildings and Grounds unit, the Zero-Waste Coordinator synergized the logistical and strategic components of waste reduction at McGill.

2018: MOOS created the Sustainable Workplace Certification Program to challenge staff and students throughout the University to foster healthier, more environmentally-friendly, and connected workplaces through individual and collective practices. To date (June 2020), nearly 40 workplaces have been certified since the program's creation.

2019: Vision 2020 Progress Report illustrated the progress of each of the 22 priority actions, outlining the degree of completion and key facts. The progress report indicated that the Vision 2020 Action Plan was proceeding quickly and determined that 71% of the Action Plan's deliverables were complete. The repord indicated that 18 deliverables had already been completed, 16 were in progress, and 11 were ongoing (meaning the deliverable was recurring and can never be 'achieved') as of 2019.

2019: In December 2019, the McGill Board of Governors approved the establishment of the Sustainability Committee as a standing committee of the Board. This Committee will assist the Board in setting and achieving institutional priorities and goals, and in monitoring progress in the area of sustainability. The Committee's functions include: reviewing and assessing key performance indicators established to support the realization of institutional targets and objectives related to sustainability; considering the economic, environmental and social impacts of the activities carried out by or on behalf of the University in order to guide decision-making; and undertake studies on questions or best practices relating to sustainability.

Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Climate Officer

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Applies experience in climate change accounting and emissions management to identify and implement GHG reduction initiatives at McGill, with an aim to achieving carbon neutrality. The Climate Officer collaborates with the university community to enhance climate literacy and identify areas of potential risk and resilience.

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Sustainability Officer - Monitoring and Reporting

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Monitors and reports on McGill's sustainability advancements by working with partners from across the University. Their work contributes directly to McGill's long term target of attaining a STARS Platinum rating by reporting to AASHE. They also manage other internal and external monitoring and reporting tasks as needed.

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
Sustainability Officer - SPF Steward

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Stewards the Sustainability Projects Fund and facilitates its Governance Council meetings. The SPF Steward helps SPF applicants develop their project ideas and guides project teams in the successful execution of their initiatives. The Steward also runs the Sustainable Workplace Certification program to foster positive change in McGill spaces.

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.