Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.16
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date June 24, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Robert J. Summers
Academic Director
Sustainability Council
"---" 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 Sustainability Council’s Research Steering Committee promotes diverse interdisciplinary sustainability scholarship across all 18 University of Alberta faculties, engaging with local and global communities. They are committed to low-carbon research practices; equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI); reconciliation and indigenization; and to transparency in all decision-making processes. Chaired by Sustainability Council's Associate Director (Research), the Sustainability Council Research Steering Committee guides the Sustainability Lecture Series’ programming and other activities.


The Advisory Committee for the Certificate in Sustainability is made up of professors from across disciplines and campuses of the University of Alberta. This committee oversees all academic decisions for the Certificate in Sustainability operations (e.g., ruling on course exemptions when brought up by students). Members of the committee also play a key role for the integrative project component of the Certificate in Sustainability, providing academic oversight on the development of students' integrative projects.


This committee brings together stakeholders in waste diversion programs across the university to collaborate, provide strategic guidance for the activities of these stakeholder groups, and help to develop a comprehensive waste diversion strategy for the university. More specifically, the goals and duties of this working group will include but are not limited to:

- facilitating ongoing collaboration between campus stakeholders to advance university waste diversion.
- improving consistency across waste diversion programs.
- conducting an inventory and needs assessment of current waste diversion programs
- identifying additional campus stakeholders to be engaged as necessary to further inform the working group’s activities.
- developing a waste diversion plan for the university, including establishing targets and action plans.
- evaluating and reporting on campus waste diversion progress.
- engaging and educating the campus community to increase knowledge and improve waste diversion behaviours.
- integrating university waste diversion programs into academia.
- connecting with community members in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and abroad to share and exchange knowledge and best practices in the field of waste diversion.


This committee advances the university’s social, economic and environmental sustainability performance as it relates to sustainable food, primarily by making progress on food-related goals identified in the 2016-2020 Sustainability Plan. It advances the sustainability of the university's food system in several ways, including but not limited to:

- providing leadership and accountability to sustainable food system initiatives.
- focusing the efforts of its membership on common goals and projects.
- collaborating with other food-related groups.
- providing project management guidance and resources.
- supporting sustainable food initiatives.
- establishing annual work plans to continuously advance food system sustainability and achieve the food-related goals and strategies identified in the Sustainability Plan.
- measuring, recording, and reporting annual progress.
- facilitating the collection of data for STARS, the Sustainability Plan and other reports.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role (e.g. staff, student, or faculty):


Dr. Sheena Wilson (Chair)
Professor, English and Cultural Studies
Coordinator of English Programming
Campus Saint-Jean
Associate Director, Research, Sustainability Council
Principal Investigator: Just Powers
Co-founder & co-director of Petrocultures Research Group

Dr. Janice Cindy Gaudet
Assistant Professor, Arts
Campus Saint-Jean

Dr. Ken Caine
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Faculty of Arts

Dr. Lianne Lefsrud
Assistant Professor
School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Faculty of Engineering


Dr. Frank Robinson
Professor and Special Advisor to the Dean
Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Howie Harshaw
Associate Professor
Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation

Dr. Lars Hallstrom
Professor, Director ACSRC
Department of Social Sciences
Augustana Campus

Dr. Eva Lemaire
Associate Professor
Campus Saint-Jean

Dr. Sarah Pelletier
FSO Director, Laboratories
Campus Saint-Jean

Dr. Robert Summers
Academic Director, Sustainability Council


Core members of this working group are in positions that require or allow them to manage, influence, and/or make decisions regarding waste diversion programs at the University of Alberta. Membership recognizes and reflects the diversity of stakeholders involved in campus waste management. Buildings, Grounds, and Environmental Services provides a Chair for this working group.

Core membership comprises representatives from the following groups:
Buildings, Grounds, and Environmental Services
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Planning and Project Delivery
Campus & Community Recreation
Ancillary Services
-- Support Services
-- Real Estate Services
-- Residence Operations
Sustainability Council
Supply Management Services
Students’ Union
Augustana Facilities and Operations
Faculty Representative

Resource Members and Groups
Resource members and groups are those that may often need to be consulted with respect to the work of the working group, are working in areas that involve campus waste diversion, and/or represent other groups on campus that are affected by campus waste diversion.


To accomplish the work of meaningfully advancing the sustainability of the UAlberta food system, members of the SFWG need to be in positions that require or allow them to manage, influence, make decisions about or otherwise meaningfully contribute to the advancement of the university food system. Members also need to recognize and reflect the diversity of stakeholders involved in the campus food system.

The Executive Sponsor for the Sustainable Food Working Group is the Associate Vice-President, Ancillary Services.

The SFWG has representatives from the following groups:
Ancillary Services
Hospitality Services / Dining Services
Major Foodservice Contractor (ARAMARK)
Real Estate Services
Residence Services
Augustana Dining Services
Buildings and Grounds Services
Campus Food Bank
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Students’ Union – Food Services
Students’ Union – Sustain SU
Office of the Dean of Students, Healthy Campus Unit
University of Alberta Sustainability Council
Student Leaders (up to 6 positions available)
Faculty Representatives (up to 3 positions available)

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

A brief description of each sustainability office:

The University of Alberta is committed to a continuous effort to instill sustainability into the many aspects of university life, on our campuses, in our institutions, and in the larger community of which we are part. The campus sustainability initiative was established in 2008, and from 2009 to 2018 the Office of Sustainability led a university-wide sustainability hub. In 2018 the Office of Sustainability transitioned to the Sustainability Council. There are now two primary administrative units with clear sustainability mandates.


The Sustainability Council is an academic leadership unit promoting and enabling sustainability scholarship at the University of Alberta. The Sustainability Council brings academic staff and students from across disciplines into a central conversation. They create avenues for researchers and instructors to connect, open up learning opportunities for every student at the university, and cultivate active and engaged citizens who are committed to building a better world.


Energy Management and Sustainable Operations is a unit within Facilities and Operations that works to reduce the environmental impact of the university's operations. Often partnering with university departments, faculties or external stakeholders, they look for new ways to reduce the university's environmental impact and help UAlberta remain a leader in sustainable operations.


In addition to the two University of Alberta administrative units, the University of Alberta Students' Union also runs Sustain SU, the student sustainability service, that provides peer-to-peer learning and support for all undergraduate students to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of their university experience.

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

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
SC (Academic Director Dr. Robert Summers, and three Associate Directors, Dr. Sheena Wilson, Dr. Lars Hallstrom, Dr. Frank Robinson); EMSO (Manager Michael Versteege)

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution (e.g. a campus-wide committee or an officer/office responsible for the entire campus)?:

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

Both Energy Management and Sustainable Operations (EMSO) and the Sustainability Council (SC) work to enhance institution-wide coordination in a variety of ways, with their operational and academic mandates, respectively.

The last three years have marked a substantial transition in the University of Alberta's sustainability initiatives, with the decision in 2018 to transition from the former Office of Sustainability to a new approach with a stronger academic mandate. This decision ultimately led to the creation of the Sustainability Council.

Facilities and Operations (F&O) worked closely with the SC Academic Director to coordinate the overall transition and to ensure the successful transition of several operational programs into Energy Management and Sustainable Operations and other F&O units, including the Campus Sustainability Grants program, the Green Spaces program, the Green Labs program, and the Eco Move Out program.

The results of this transition from an academic programming perspective are detailed in the Sustainability Council's inaugural Annual Report, with the following highlights. Over the first year of existence, the Sustainability Council successfully reoriented their program offerings and achieved tremendous growth in key programs. The events that the Office of Sustainability was so well known for have continued to flourish: Sustainability Awareness Week, the Student Sustainability Summit, and a speaker series with the City of Edmonton and MacEwan University. The Certificate in Sustainability was given the attention and resources needed to grow significantly. In Fall 2018 and Winter 2019, the certificate enrolment rate doubled, and two new faculties were brought into the program.

More information can be found in the Annual Report, online here:

Job title of the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

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

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

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

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

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

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:


Mike Versteege
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations

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.