Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 54.27
Liaison Stephanie MacPhee
Submission Date Dec. 9, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Ryerson University
EN-3: Student Life

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

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

Corporate Social Responsibility Student Association (CSRSA): A group from Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management that brings attention to corporate social responsibility.

Environment and Urban Sustainability Student Association (EUSSA): Run by undergraduate students in the Environment and Urban Sustainability program to advocate for sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Ryerson Student Union (RSU) Sustainability Committee: Part of the Ryerson’s Student Union (RSU) group that works toward environmental justice and sustainability through campaigns and events.

Ryerson University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB): Student group that helps engage Ryerson community members with solutions to issues affecting the developing world.

Ryerson University Chapter of the Water Environment Association of Ontario (RU-WEAO): This group focuses on the importance of access to clean water and the importance of acting locally to help with a clean water environment, and welcomes all undergraduate and graduate students to participate with events.

Sustainable SURP: a student group dedicated to building social, economic and environmental sustainability within the School of Urban & Regional Planning (SURP).


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
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Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

Ryerson Urban Farm (RUF) aims to build capacity for rooftop farming through production, education and research. The Urban Farm operates productive 10 000 sq ft growing spaces across the Ryerson University campus growing 40+ crops and 9000 lbs of fresh food using spray-free, ecological methods. The produce grown is distributed amongst various on-campus organizations including 62% to Harvest Share Members, 17% to Ryerson Market customers, 18% to the Good Food Centre and 3% to Ryerson Eats Catering and Local Restaurants.
They offer educational programming to the public such as weekly and biweekly Drop-In Volunteer Programs such as Get Growing Mondays and First Fridays. They run workshops on topics such as vermicompost, microgreens, ecological garden design, and sub-irrigated containers to name a few.
RUF staff and student volunteers facilitate Farmers’ Markets three times a week between May and October, where they make available fresh, organic, ecologically grown produce to Ryerson community members. Their presence engages students, faculty and staff to make the connection between farm to table.
The farm engages with student and faculty researchers through their Living Lab, which is a collaborative research platform that brings urban farmers, community members and industry partners into interdisciplinary research in rooftop farming. Some projects include the Research Study to Develop Urban Agriculture Indicators in the City of Toronto, and Monitoring of Hydrologic Performance of Ryerson’s Rooftop Garden studies.
Additionally, Ryerson has partnered with Alveole to house three beehives on the roof which produce approximately 45kg of unpasteurized honey each year. Through this partnership, they are able to offer educational workshops for the Ryerson community on honey bees, wild bees, as well as hands-on experience opening a hive or extracting honey.
Ryerson is expanding and building a second rooftop farm on our newly constructed Daphne Coxwell Complex building, set to be operational in 2020/2021. It will be the first purpose-built green roof designed specifically for growing edible plants under the City of Toronto’s green roof bylaw.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Microbe Hub: A student-led social enterprise from Ryerson’s Social Venture Zone where students can volunteer with research, vermiculture and sustainable waste management. Microbe Hub reroutes Ryerson’s organic materials to a vermicompost farm housed in Ryerson’s chemistry and biology department. A valuable by-product of this process would be worm castings, which can be sold as a commercial soil enhancement. Student volunteers have the opportunity to learn about food waste, composting, worms, and waste systems in general. Responsibilities entails collecting organic materials from faculty kitchens, sorting waste, feeding worms, and recording data. It is a great opportunity to get involved with the Zones on campus, specifically the Science Discovery Zone, and join a fun team of environmentally minded folks.

RSU Good Food Centre: Run by students, the Good Food Centre, previously known as the Community Food Room, works to reduce the impacts of food insecurity for all Ryerson community members. By building capacity through emergency food relief, skill building, and education, the Food Centre aims to contribute to the RSU's mission in ensuring equitable access to post-secondary education and building community.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

Ryerson’s annual ENSPIRE Conference led by the Enactus student groups, gives students the opportunity to build bridges, share their ideas around sustainable innovation and make actionable change. The conference brings together mentors, B-Corporations, and empowering speakers from IBM Design and MaRS, sustainable start-ups to offer design thinking workshops hosted by Artscape Daniels Launchpad.

Sustainable Engineers Association (SEA) hosts an annual sustainability conference. The theme of the 2020 conference was Sustainability: Beyond the Trend. In 2020, the event was hosted by SEA University of Toronto and SEA Ryerson that took place Saturday, January 18th at Myhal Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The conference aims to expand our reach and bring together individuals from different sectors - government, industry and academia alike - to explore the true meaning of sustainability and its possibilities and opportunities. Following through with the overwhelming success of the last annual conference, the conference aimed to outline current social, economic, political and environmental sustainability initiatives and trends in corporations and organizations of every scale. By hosting key-note speakers and panel discussions, it is an informative event for students, professionals and the general public to facilitate meaningful discussions on sustainability. Through the course of this conference and future conferences alike, we wish to connect like-minded individuals from diverse backgrounds who can collaborate and make long-lasting relationships to work towards a brighter, and greener future.

Ryerson’s Institute for the Study of Corporate Social Responsibility hosted a series of sessions in the 2019-2020 year with the focus of sustainable economic development, social sustainability, and sustainability reporting and communication. Some of the sessions in this series include:
Ryerson CSR Institute Session: The ISO 26000 Social Responsibility Standard After Ten Years and the UN Sustainable Development Goals - Finding the Linkages
Ryerson CSR Institute Session: Succeeding in the Green Economy
Ryerson CSR Institute Session: The Extractive Sector, First Nations and Corporate Responsibility - A Perspective from the Front Lines
Ryerson CSR Institute Session: Standards and the Sharing Economy - Understanding the Connection
Ryerson CSR Institute Session: Sustainability.Exchange - Creating a Market for ESG Performance
Ryerson CSR Institute Session: Sustainability Reporting and Communication - Understanding the Evolving Landscape
Ryerson CSR Institute Talk: Climate Crisis - Corporate Boards on the Hotseat
Ryerson CSR Institute Talk: Supply Chain Sustainability Certifications - The Evolving Story
Ryerson CSR Institute Talk: Sustainability and Stock Exchanges - Connecting the Dots
Ryerson CSR Institute Session: Unpacking Sustainability Reporting - from Production through Use

CSR also respresnted Ryerson at the Corporate Responsibility Sustainable Development Symposium at the University of New England Australia April 15 - April 17, 2019.

The Clean Energy Zone is hosting a “Homeschool Series” between May and August 2020, where they are partnering with five distinguished speakers for a free five-part webinar series aimed at helping entrepreneurs emerge stronger from the challenging times presented by COVID-19 and create a sustainable business model for long-term success. Participants can expect to come out of this series with a new understanding of how to turn their business from startup to a self-sustaining company. Sessions will explain how to work with investors, how to optimize performance with brain hacks, how to quickly pivot business strategies and how to find mindfulness during a time of chaos. Best of all, after completion of all five classes, participants leave with a certificate of completion.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

To Be Determined was a student produced, performed and executed full-length dance performance by students of the Ryerson School of Performance (took place in Feb 2020) It is an artistic and physical exploration of the beauty and expansiveness of the natural world, and the decline of these environments as a result of human activity. Through dance and movement we travel to different habitats such as the arctic, tropics, oceans, deserts, and wetlands, where we discover and observe the power of natural occurrences, the functions of the living things and creatures, but also the disruption of these ecosystems as a result of human impact. In addition to examining the natural world, we observe how humankind has developed urban communities and cities; the planet's newest habitat...But at what cost? Now more than ever, the world is beginning to realize the actuality of how only a certain number of years remain until the damage to the planet is irreversible. The future of our planet remains yet to be known.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Mood Routes is a Ryerson Student Affairs initiative that is part of the Thriving in Action program, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mood Walks. The program encourages individuals to get outside not just for physical activity, but to de-stress, refocus, and re-ground themselves. Mood Routes are designed to provide the following benefits; restore attention, focus and reduces stress, improve health and fitness levels, and increase connection to nature and improve mood.

Ryerson Bike Club's main focus is to unite Ryerson cyclists through rides and discussions through organized rides. They also partake in Ryerson and community events with other student groups to educate on cycling safety, bike maintenance, and to advocate for cycling transportation.

Ryerson Parks Education and Adventure Club organizes outdoor excursions along city trails such as the Humber Trail and Don Valley Hikes. They at follow Leave No Trace principles.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

The Ryerson Sustainability Office’s F.R.E.S.H. is a student-led initiative spearheaded by the Office for the first-year Orientation Week. F.R.E.S.H. recognizes that sustainability is interwoven into many aspects of life. Each letter represents a daily theme: food, recycling, energy and the environment, sustainability, and health and wellness. We partner with various campus groups throughout the week who are committed to sustainable operations. By highlighting their services, students can learn how to get involved with sustainability on the Ryerson campus.


The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

In the Living Planet @ Campus program, and during the training process for the Sustainability Ambassador Program, students have the opportunity to learn sustainability skills that are transferable to their daily lives. An example is receiving waste training and learning about what waste goes where in order to facilitate waste diversion on the daily, or participating in challenges to improve their sustainability footprint.

Also, Ryerson Social, Economic and Environmental Design (RSEED) is a student group from the Faculty of Communication and Design that shares information with students on how to live more sustainably.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

The Sustainability Office hires four student interns in the fall and winter semesters and one in the spring/summer term through Ryerson's Career Boost program. The positions include:
Sustainability Advancement Intern
Sustainability Research Intern
Waste & Recycling Intern
Energy Engineering Intern.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:

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The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
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A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
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Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.