Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.71
Liaison Sharmilla Raj
Submission Date May 6, 2024

STARS v2.2

Toronto Metropolitan University
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:
Yes

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:
Sustainability-focused student funding program is Partnership for Change: The RBC Immigrant, Diversity and Inclusion Project.

Sustainability Ambassador Program: Sustainable Ambassadors organize programs, initiatives, and campaigns that advance a sustainable culture at TMU in an effort to guide and motivate students, employees, and faculty. For this job, which involves a minimum time commitment of 5 to 10 hours per month during the school year, students can apply. Students will get a Level-Up badge and acknowledgment on their co-curricular transcript after completing the program.

Living Planet @ Campus Program: Students can apply to be a part of the Living Planet @ Campus Program, which is run in collaboration with WWF Canada and gives you a chance to enhance sustainable practices in your own life and on campus. The initiative provides a range of options, such as grant financing, hackathon challenges, and neighbourhood clean-ups.

Partnership for Change: The RBC Immigrant, Diversity and Inclusion Project at Toronto Metropolitan University is a seven-year initiative supporting faculty research and student projects focusing on four thematic areas:

Immigrant Employment and Entrepreneurship
Social Engagement of Immigrants
Immigrants and Mental Health
Immigrant Preferences and Consumer Behaviour
The project places a particular focus on outreach and knowledge mobilization to ensure it shapes policy and practice relating to immigration, diversity and inclusion. It aims to produce real-world impact on immigrants and their families, boost economic growth and innovation, and build healthy and inclusive communities.

TMU Research and Innovation Centres that fund student research positions and student projects at TMU include:
- Centre for Urban Energy (CUE):The Centre for Urban Energy (CUE) at Toronto Metropolitan University is an academic-industry partnership that is exploring and developing sustainable solutions to urban energy challenges such as the advancement of smart grid technologies and integration of energy storage, electric vehicles and renewables.

- Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR): The Centre for Urban Research and Land Development is an expert-led research Centre, dedicated to formulating policies and solutions to address the concerns confronting urban growth and change within the Greater Golden Horseshoe, as well as to educating students to take leadership roles in these pursuits. Its orientation is founded on uniting economics and market analysis within the context and understanding of social and environmental considerations.

- Clean Energy Zone: Benefiting from TMU’s unique zone learning model, members of the Clean Energy Zone develop their ideas while learning new skills to improve their business acumen and technical expertise. Through our relationship with CUE, we also offer our zone members access to state-of-the-art research labs, co-working spaces and curated mentorship from industry partners and academic researchers and faculty.

- Institute for Study of Corporate Social Responsibility: TMU Institute for the Study of Corporate Social Responsibility is an interdisciplinary academic institution dedicated to becoming a recognized Centre of Excellence on social responsibility (SR) issues, through its multi-stakeholder activities and research, bringing together actors from government, private sector, and civil society (including academia) for constructive engagement and learning on SR issues.

- TMU City Building Institute: The TMU City Building Institute envisions a future in which all cities are prosperous, equitable, environmentally sustainable and resilient. In collaboration with the TMU community and external partners, TMU CBI produces public policy research and shares insights addressing diverse urban challenges to promote healthy neighbourhoods, cities and regions, starting with the GTHA. It is recognized for its accessible approach to knowledge mobilization, its multi-disciplinary perspective, and for providing leadership and dialogue that motivates action on important issues.

- TMU Institute for Infrastructure Innovation (RIII): RIII provides a catalyst for innovation on all aspects of infrastructure design, construction, financing, maintenance and operations. We adopt systems approach through multidisciplinary research to address various infrastructure issues ranging from engineering and technological advancement to managerial and policy innovations. RIII seeks collaboration with private industry, public agencies and governments.

- TMU Urban Water: a multi-disciplinary collective of over 40 experts across 6 faculties and 13 Departments. Our researchers and their wet labs and students come from the natural sciences, engineering, policy/regulatory, and social science arenas. Our experts are working on water capture strategies including green roofs and urban forests, low impact development and municipal master planning, engineered wetlands and sophisticated wastewater mitigation strategies, and cost-benefit economic strategies. RUW has the expertise necessary to ensure the development of resilient sustainable cities.

The website URL where information about the student research program is available:
https://www.torontomu.ca/research/students/support/
https://www.torontomu.ca/research/themes/sustainability/

Does the institution have a program to encourage academic staff from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:
Yes

A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:
TMU is bringing together experts from industry, academia, and the public sector to pioneer next-generation energy and sustainability solutions. Our faculty are making important strides toward realizing a sustainable future, from the creation of innovative tools that advance urban agriculture and energy storage, to building greener homes and intelligent transportation systems, to promoting the conservation of our natural resources through policy development and regulation.
As such, TMU is home to a number of sustainability-focused research institutions that the University provides central funding in order to support administrative activities, interdisciplinary research, knowledge mobilization and conferences to encourage faculty research in sustainability.
Areas of Scholarly Research and Creative activity in Energy & Sustainability include:
-Creating innovative infrastructure that is defining how cities of the future will be built and managed.
-Improving policy and regulation to support governance in such areas as water resources and energy costs.
-Accelerating the adoption of sustainable technologies in Canada and driving their development and commercialization.
Investigating new sustainable practices in areas such as energy consumption, carbon emissions, and repurposed building materials.
Related Research and Innovation Centres, Institutes and Zones include:
- Centre for Urban Energy (CUE):The Centre for Urban Energy (CUE) at Toronto Metropolitan University is an academic-industry partnership that is exploring and developing sustainable solutions to urban energy challenges such as the advancement of smart grid technologies and integration of energy storage, electric vehicles and renewables.
- Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR): The Centre for Urban Research and Land Development is an expert-led research Centre, dedicated to formulating policies and solutions to address the concerns confronting urban growth and change within the Greater Golden Horseshoe, as well as to educating students to take leadership roles in these pursuits. Its orientation is founded on uniting economics and market analysis within the context and understanding of social and environmental considerations.
- Clean Energy Zone: Benefiting from TMU's unique zone learning model, members of the Clean Energy Zone develop their ideas while learning new skills to improve their business acumen and technical expertise. Through our relationship with CUE, we also offer our zone members access to state-of-the-art research labs, co-working spaces and curated mentorship from industry partners and academic researchers and faculty.
- Institute for Study of Corporate Social Responsibility: The TMU University Institute for the Study of Corporate Social Responsibility is an interdisciplinary academic institution dedicated to becoming a recognized Centre of Excellence on social responsibility (SR) issues, through its multi-stakeholder activities and research, bringing together actors from government, private sector, and civil society (including academia) for constructive engagement and learning on SR issues.
- TMU City Building Institute: The TMU City Building Institute envisions a future in which all cities are prosperous, equitable, environmentally sustainable and resilient. In collaboration with the TMU community and external partners, TMU CBI produces public policy research and shares insights addressing diverse urban challenges to promote healthy neighbourhoods, cities and regions, starting with the GTHA. It is recognized for its accessible approach to knowledge mobilization, its multi-disciplinary perspective, and for providing leadership and dialogue that motivates action on important issues.
- TMU Institute for Infrastructure Innovation (RIII): RIII provides a catalyst for innovation on all aspects of infrastructure design, construction, financing, maintenance and operations. We adopt systems approach through multidisciplinary research to address various infrastructure issues ranging from engineering and technological advancement to managerial and policy innovations. RIII seeks collaboration with private industry, public agencies and governments.
- TMU Urban Water: a multi-disciplinary collective of over 40 experts across 6 faculties and 13 Departments. Our researchers and their wet labs and students come from the natural sciences, engineering, policy/regulatory, and social science arenas. Our experts are working on water capture strategies including green roofs and urban forests, low impact development and municipal master planning, engineered wetlands and sophisticated wastewater mitigation strategies, and cost-benefit economic strategies. RUW has the expertise necessary to ensure the development of resilient sustainable cities.

Additionally, Partnership for Change: The RBC Immigrant, Diversity and Inclusion Project at Toronto Metropolitan University is a seven-year initiative supporting faculty research and student projects focusing on four thematic areas:

Immigrant Employment and Entrepreneurship
Social Engagement of Immigrants
Immigrants and Mental Health
Immigrant Preferences and Consumer Behaviour

The project places a particular focus on outreach and knowledge mobilization to ensure it shapes policy and practice relating to immigration, diversity and inclusion. It aims to produce real-world impact on immigrants and their families, boost economic growth and innovation, and build healthy and inclusive communities.

Campus as a Living Lab: In order to address urgent environmental challenges, Campus as a Living Lab (CLL) projects combine academic research and teaching with campus planning, infrastructure, operations, and community engagement.


On-going and past projects of Campus as a Living Lab from the last three years


Road Salt Reduction: In order to establish a more sustainable winter campus for the 2018–2019 academic year, Facilities Management and Development (FMD) and the Urban Water Research Centre collaborated with WWF–Canada on a road salt reduction project. The information FMD had gathered throughout the application period was examined by Dr. Oswald and her research group.


Urban Farm at TMU: The research platform for the Urban Farm at TMU Living Lab was introduced in 2019. Urban farmers, community people, and academics are brought together in the Living Lab to perform multidisciplinary research with the aim of advancing strategic research objectives in green roofs and rooftop farming technology. The lessons learned will be put to use in Toronto community organizations and related industries in addition to academic research.


Smart Building Analytics: The first of its type in Canada, the Smart Building Analytics Living Lab was unveiled in 2020 as a collaboration between Schneider Electric and TMU. The Living Lab's purpose is to give TMU students access to resources for creating, evaluating, and improving energy-efficient building management methods and technology.

Has the institution published written policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:
Yes

A copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
---

The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
Toronto Metropolitan University’s (formerly Ryerson’s) Strategic research plan [Steven N. Liss, VPRI] states that:
“Central to TMU’s success is a focus on SRC excellence and impact through a combination of investments by faculties, researchers, and the institution. Striving for the highest standards in SRC excellence, TMU is enabling SRC growth by supporting strategic hiring priorities, driving multidisciplinary SRC initiatives, growing graduate programming and training, and recognizing distinction in SRC activity.”

‘Using the Strategic Research Plan as a guide, TMU will strengthen strategic and multidisciplinary collaborations across themes, expand international partnerships, and promote greater alignment between the innovation ecosystem and research through enhanced commercialization, knowledge translation, and mobilization’

Committees are made up of interdisciplinary staff and faculty members.

In particular, the TMU Public Policy Taskforce was established to identify how to increase TMU’s capacity to shape public policy dialogue and inform policy making, and how to grow TMU’s reputation as a place where research is used to confront complex public policy problems and improve lives. Further building from the work of the taskforce, the new School of Public Policy and Democratic Innovation was established, paving the way to influence and provide leadership in shaping public policy to solve today’s complex socioeconomic and environmental challenges.


TMU is embarking on a new chapter that will help shape the future of health care in Ontario. In March 2021, the university received a planning grant from the provincial government that supported the development of a proposal for a new kind of medical school in Brampton. Approved by TMU’s Senate in March 2023, the proposed details the university’s innovative approach to health education and the manner in which it will address growing gaps in primary care across the province and the country at large. Systemic cultural inequities withing the healthcare system contribute significantly to unmet care needs in Ontario. TMU’s School of Medicine is being designed from the ground up to provide a new model for primary care - one that’s community drive and intentionally inclusive, and that trains doctors whose cultural awareness and humility are as crucial as their medical skills.

Yellowhead Institute is an Indigenous-led research and education centre based in the Faculty of Arts at TMU. Privileging Indigenous philosophy and rooted in community networks, it offers critical and accessible resources to support the reclamation of Indigenous land and life.



Geography and Environmental Studies - Exploring and analyzing the complex interconnections between people and their natural and built environments is the focus of geographic inquiry. TMU’s Geographic Analysis program is uniquely positioned to prepare students for the professional workplace using state-of-the-art technology in geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing. Through a combination of classroom lectures, geotechnology training, field studies, and a mandatory work placement, students develop the ability to provide real-world solutions in areas including business location, real estate development, urban poverty, public health, crime prevention as well as environment and pollution. The program offers four options concentrations in location analysis, urban analysis, environmental analysis and geotechnologies.

Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research:
TMU Library provides ongoing sustainability research support on various levels to TMU students, faculty and staff and community users. The TMU Subject Liaison librarians provide research assistance regarding sustainability through the Research Help Service. The TMU library supports information literacy for sustainability research by assisting students via web-accessible library or research guides, which includes database research, course guides for sustainability classes, citation support, and learning objectives.

TMU Library provides various research guides on the topics of sustainability, including: Aboriginal Studies, Economics, Engineering, Environmental Management, Geography, Global Management Studie, Journalism, Politics and Governance, Urban Planning, and Zone Learning. Each Research Guide is supported by a list of accessible Information Guide(s), Database(s) and expert Librarian(s) for each topic. There is also the ability to search all guides for the topic or mentioning of "Sustainability". Resources with a sustainability focus are interwoven throughout the collections.

Furthermore, the material on BuildingGreen.com includes articles, news, reviews, product listings, case studies and is organized into a hierarchy of topics related to green design and construction. These topics include Policy and Context, Process, Land Use and Community, Site and Water, Energy, Resources and Materials, Indoor Environmental Quality.The database includes Environmental Building News, a monthly newsletter published since 1992 featuring comprehensive, practical information on a range of topics related to sustainable design in the built environment.

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
The URLs placed throughout this sheet including:
https://www.ryerson.ca/research/students/support/
https://www.ryerson.ca/research/themes/sustainability/
https://learn.library.ryerson.ca/?b=s
https://library.ryerson.ca/eresource/bldgreen/
As well as:
https://learn.library.ryerson.ca/scholcomm/oa

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