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

STARS v2.2

University of Waterloo
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Mat Thijssen
Sustainability Manager
Sustainability Office
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Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:
Yes

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

The President’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability (the “Committee”) is established to provide advice to the president (and to others on the direction of the president) on campus sustainability programs and policies, and to coordinate implementation of the commitments outlined in relevant University plans and documents.

The core objectives of the Committee are:
(i) Monitor compliance of and maintain Policy 53: Environmental Sustainability
(ii) Coordinate implementation of and ongoing updates to the University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy and climate action plan
(iii) Coordinate the preparation and distribution of the University’s annual sustainability report
(iv) Monitor the implementation of the Council of Ontario Universities sustainability pledge and any other future commitments
(v) Form working groups to develop, exchange information on, and coordinate implementation of specific plans, including communication and education plans for the university community, and monitor the progress of such working groups
(vi) Provide advice to the President, or to such other persons or bodies as the President may direct, related to sustainability opportunities and initiatives at the university
(vii) Identify key stakeholders and resources to support objectives and commitments
(viii) Take part in new external collaborations, initiatives, surveys and other projects as the President may approve
(ix) Select projects to be funded through the Sustainability Action Fund and review completion of selected projects


Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:

Membership in the Committee shall be comprised of:

(i) The Vice-President, Administration & Finance, who shall act as co-chair
(ii) The Dean of the Faculty of Environment, who shall act as co-chair
(iii) One additional dean, to be chosen by the co-chairs
(iv) The Deputy Provost and AVP Integrated Planning and Budgeting
(v) The Executive Director, Facilities
(vi) The Sustainability Manager
(vii) One undergraduate student representative selected by the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association
(viii) Two additional undergraduate students from alternating cooperative education streams, to be chosen by the co-chairs
(ix) One graduate student, selected by the Graduate Student Association
(x) Two faculty members from varying faculties or disciplines, to be chosen by the co-chairs
(xi) Two staff members from varying academic support units, to be chosen by the co-chairs
(xii) One non-voting member from the Federated University and Affiliated Colleges, to be chosen by the co-chairs


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

A brief description of each sustainability office:

Reporting to the President’s Office, the University’s Sustainability Office has the following core activities within the University:

Awareness: Raise the profile of sustainability within the institution to increase understanding, share relevant information, and inspire action and participation from employees and students;
Institutionalization: Act as an expert resource to increase departmental and institutional capacity for and integration of sustainability within University policy, planning, systems, and decision-making;
Behaviour change: Support or lead the launch or improvement of targeted outreach and programs that help shift behaviours to reduce environmental footprints on campus;
Project initiation and management: Where there are capacity gaps from other campus units, initiate projects relevant to the Sustainability Strategy, and support management of ongoing projects or services;
Collaborations: Convene campus stakeholders through working or action groups, including through a “Living Lab” framework to link academic expertise and activity with operational challenges and opportunities;
Resource mobilization: Mobilize and, where appropriate, distribute resources to advance the Sustainability Strategy objectives, including through grants, fundraising, and internal resources including the Sustainability Action Fund;
Reporting: Collect data to monitor progress against institutional sustainability commitments in the Strategic Plan, Sustainability Strategy, and climate action plan, and integrate all tracking through a Sustainability Management System;
Benchmarking: Identify and promote action to meet or exceed best practices and relevant performance benchmarks from peer institutions and broader society, including completion of relevant external reporting frameworks such as AASHE STARS and THE.


Full-time equivalent of people employed in the sustainability office(s):
4

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:
Yes

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Mat Thijssen - Director of Sustainability

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution?:
Yes

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

As per its mandate, the President’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability has accomplished the following over the last three years:
 Monitoring of Policy 53: Environmental Sustainability for the institution
 Implementation of Waterloo’s first Environmental Sustainability Strategy
 Release of annual Environmental Sustainability Reports
 Launch of the $100,000+ annual Sustainability Action Fund, which is open for any student, staff, or faculty member on campus to apply to advance the directions of the strategy.


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Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability coordination is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.