Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.05
Liaison Chelsea Dalton
Submission Date Dec. 11, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Toronto Mississauga
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Chelsea Dalton
Acting Sustainability Manager, Strategic Initiatives
Facilities Management & Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement:

In 2019, two students in a sociology course entitled "Sustainability, Risk, and Science-in-the-Making" undertook a study on student engagement in sustainability at UTM. The objective of the project was to determine the level of student awareness of sustainability initiatives; and to identify the barriers that prevent students from getting involved in sustainability initiatives. This was accomplished through a survey distributed to students, as well as in-depth interviews with a number of students. The survey sought to simply understand students' level of awareness of the Sustainability Office in general and of particular sustainable initiatives at UTM. The in-depth interviews asked open-ended, probing questions, and sought to gain a deeper understanding of the barriers to participation in sustainable initiatives that face students.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public Engagement:

As part of a class project, a group of students took on a study of how the removal of trees (due to Emerald Ash Borer infestation) in riparian zones had affected stream health in Oakville, Ontario (close to the UTM campus). A total of 4 streams were studied. A conceptual model, a statistical analysis of stream health, and recommendations for future removal of Emerald Ash Borer infested trees were developed. This project gave students a chance to work in the community with a community partner (the municipality of Oakville) and to work on a project in public areas (community parks).


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Air & Climate:

In 2019, two students from UTM's Master of Science in Sustainability Management were tasked with creating an Energy Conservation & Demand Management plan for UTM as their semester-long capstone project. The final report provided a plan for UTM to reduce its energy use and association greenhouse gas emissions to 2024. The report included a scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas emissions inventory and recommended science-based targets for reducing emissions. The report also looked at how UTM's emissions may change in the future based on projected changes to Ontario's electricity grid mix.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Buildings:

As part of a class project, a group of students was tasked with undertaking an occupancy and comfort study of the lab areas in the William G Davis Building. The purpose of the project was to provide feedback on current lab design and provide recommendations for future lab design and construction in the New Science Building on the UTM campus. The study surveyed undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members. The survey questions focused on lab occupants' opinions on natural light, thermal comfort, noise levels, indoor air quality, and space. The students made recommendations to be incorporated into the new building for maximum occupant comfort and wellness.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Energy:

In 2019, two students from UTM's Master of Science in Sustainability Management were tasked with creating an Energy Conservation & Demand Management plan for UTM as their semester-long capstone project. The final report provided a plan for UTM to reduce its energy use and association greenhouse gas emissions to 2024. The report included best practices & research into peer universities; a building-by-building analysis of UTM's energy use and greenhouse gas emissions; goal-setting with respect to both energy use and emissions; and a listing of energy-saving measures, their costs and savings.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Food & Dining:

In 2018, a group of students took on a class project that looked into the feasibility of reducing takeout container waste on campus. The project looked at implementing a bring-your-own-container program, and included analysis of implementation, a cost-benefit analysis, and consumer surveys to identify potential barriers and benefits to such a program. A series of surveys of students who purchase food on campus was carried out to identify willingness to participate in a bring-your-own-container program, and incentives that would increase participation. In-depth interviews were also conducted with stakeholders including food services staff to identify the optimal implementation plan for a bring-your-own-container program.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Grounds:

As part of a class project, a group of students was given the task of identifying the feasibility of electrifying campus grounds and fleet vehicles. The students undertook an inventory of all vehicles on campus, and identified available electric alternatives. The lifespan of existing vehicles and the cost of replacement were taken into consideration and a timeline for replacement with electric alternatives was


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Purchasing?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Purchasing:
---

IIs the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Transportation:

In the summer of 2019, two Masters of Science in Sustainability Management students were hired as interns in the department of Facilities Management & Planning to complete a project on Sustainable Modes of Transportation. The project included conducting a survey to gather campus community members' preferred modes of travel and barriers to adopting more sustainable modes and synthesizing the results of the survey to make recommendations on how to encourage sustainable commuting.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Waste:

In summer 2019, a student from the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program was hired by the department of Facilities Management to complete a report on Waste Management at UTM. Work included cataloging all of the existing bins at UTM, researching available bin designs and recommending new bins, signage, and placement of bins. The report also included recommendations for a campus education & engagement campaign to teach community members to properly sort their waste in order to increase capture rates and decrease contamination.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Water:

In 2019, two students from UTM's Master of Science in Sustainability Management were tasked with creating an Energy Conservation & Demand Management plan for UTM as their semester-long capstone project. The final report provided a plan for UTM to reduce its energy use and association greenhouse gas emissions to 2024. In addition to energy use, the report also looked at water use on campus, providing a comprehensive overview of water usage on campus and a building-by-building analysis to determine which buildings have above-average water use intensity.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:

As part of a class project, a group of students studied how transformative learning about sustainability could be integrated into first year courses. The group worked with the Sustainability Pathways Working Group at UTM to propose methods to incorporate sustainability content into first year courses that would be acceptable to students in diverse fields of study. The students examined how transformative learning about sustainability had been implemented at other North American institutions. The group also undertook surveys of students to find out their attitudes towards integration of sustainability concepts in first-year courses and their preferred methods for these topics to be integrated, and made recommendations to the Working Group.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability:
---

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance:
---

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work:
---

Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
---

Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

A third-year environment course, Practicum in Environmental Project Management, runs yearly and gives students real-world experience solving an environmental problem either on campus or in the community. Students are divided into groups, and each group is given a client with a sustainability project for completion. Many of these projects take place on-campus, and have included renewable energy feasibility studies; waste audits; greenhouse gas inventories; and compost feasibility studies. Students produce a final presentation and report detailing the outcomes of their projects.

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.