|Submission Date||Sept. 2, 2020|
University of Guelph
PRE-2: Points of Distinction
Office of Sustainability
Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
In 2016, the University of Guelph undertook a broad, collaborative strategic planning process that led to the creation of a new framework that is described in Our Path Forward. This strategic framework identified activities under five pillars that would help the University chart its path.
A key pillar in this plan challenges the University to steward our valued resources through using resources responsibly; remaining an employer of choice; leveraging our land and facilities to serve our academic and research missions; harnessing our strengths to build broad, interdisciplinary knowledge; and leading in advancing environmental sustainability.
As such, the president of the University has identified strengthening a campus-wide culture of sustainability as a key priority. While sustainability has long been an underpinning value of the U of G, there are opportunities to enhance the profile of sustainability and connect it throughout the university in all of its programs, activities and operations.
The President’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability serves as a key resource to the president and the campus community.
The objectives of the Committee are to:
- Advise and collaborate with the president on the creation a Sustainability Framework
- Ensure that the Framework includes: goals, targets, priorities and metrics that build a strong, sustainable foundation for the institution
- Develop issue-specific working groups to create, monitor, evaluate and report back on outcomes of the Framework
- Act as a resource to the president and senior leadership team on emerging sustainability initiatives
Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Coordination & Planning
Wellbeing & Work
Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
The University of Guelph is committed to lead in advancing change in the university sector in the realm of responsible investing.
In January 2019, the University of Guelph was one of the first Canadian universities to commit to reducing the carbon footprint of its endowment fund by 10% over two years. Since January 2019, the university reduced the carbon intensity of the endowment by 17.5%.
In 2020, the University became a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (UN PRI), and joined other Canadian universities in signing the Investing to Address Climate Change: A Charter for Canadian Universities.
Most notably, on April 22, 2020, the University of Guelph, in partnership with students, faculty and staff committed to full divestment of holdings with fossil fuel reserves within the Endowment Fund.
Going forward, the University of Guelph will continue to lead in advancing change in the university sector in the realm of responsible investing.
Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Diversity & Affordability
Investment & Finance
Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
The Sustainability Action Fund was established by a referendum questions posed to undergraduate students, by undergraduate students. The referendum questions asked students to vote in support of establishing a $10/semester student fee, matched dollar for dollar by the University. The SAF is committed for 30 years, expiring on December 31, 2050 - a 30 year commitment.
The Sustainability Action Fund seeks to fund projects and initiatives which advance campus sustainability and climate action at the University of Guelph. All student contributions are matched dollar for dollar by the University and are to be allocated towards projects and programs which comprehensively advance campus sustainability, address deferred maintenance, and reduce operating costs.
The Sustainability Action Fund is governed by the Sustainability Action Fund Working Group (SAFWG). The SAFWG is a multi-stakeholder committee composed of student, faculty and staff representation.
Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Air & Climate
Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
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.