Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.92
Liaison Mat Thijssen
Submission Date Oct. 26, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Waterloo
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Mat Thijssen
Sustainability Manager
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level:

Yes, the University has had representation on and committed input into several local public policy decisions, including having employees serve on sector committees within the ClimateActionWR initiative and the development of the local TransformWR community climate action plan, having hosted a local multi-sectoral decarbonization forum, and providing input on behalf of the University on the Regional Official Plan, which includes sections and policy statements specific to climate change.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level:

In 2009, University of Waterloo President David Johnston signed onto the Council of Ontario Universities Going Greener Pledge. This established Waterloo’s commitment to create and disseminate solutions to sustainability challenges, mobilize them beyond campus, and operate the campus sustainably, and in 2017 it updated this with a commitment to develop roadmaps to low-carbon campuses, as well as an encouragement for public investments into public higher education infrastructure. The commitment can be found online at: https://cou.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/COU-Going-Greener-Report-2009.pdf and https://cou.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/COU-Going-Greener-2017.pdf

In addition, Waterloo is a member of the Ontario Association of Physical Plant Administrators (OAPPA), which often provides input on regulatory changes that would influence the university sector. For example, Waterloo participated in drafting feedback for the provincial government in 2019 support of an effective organics waste reduction framework and policy statement.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level:

Waterloo is the host institution for SDSN Canada, mobilizing Canada-wide collaborations between universities, civil society, and government to advance the UN SDGs, including at both the local and national levels.

For example, in 2020, SDSN Canada, the University of Waterloo, and Laval University hosted the first national Together | Ensemble conference, bringing together academia, civil society, the private sector, and all levels of government. The conference aimed to catalyze an all-of-society approach to addressing Canada’s toughest sustainable development challenges and to track progress nationally on the UN SDGs. Sessions advocated thought leadership on Canada’s collective approach to the SDGs, with partnership between the hosts and the Government of Canada’s Sustainable Development Goals program. https://togetherensemble.ca/


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level:

In 2021, Waterloo became a signatory to the UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign, explicitly established to encourage leadership and policy ambition ahead of the annual COP in Glasgow.


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
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A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
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Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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