Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.42
Liaison Mary-Lee Townsend
Submission Date Oct. 6, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Western University
EN-9: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Stefanie De Adder
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “supportive”?:

A brief description of the institution’s supportive sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

The Faculty of Engineering offers an Internship Program for those students interested in gaining practical engineering experience in industry. In this program, students spend 12 to 16 months working in industry between their third and fourth years of the Bachelor of Engineering Science (B.E.Sc.) program. Time spent in an internship may count as one-year of pre-graduation experience toward the four years experience required for licensing as a Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario.

Previous internships included:
- Environmental Assessment with Environment Canada in Burlington, ON (2012-2013)
- Environmental projects at Imperial Oil Ltd., Nanticoke, ON (2012-2013)
- Environmental projects at General Motors of Canada- Ltd. (CAMI Assembly) in Ingersoll, ON (2013-2014 and 2014-2015)
- Environmental Hygiene and Safety at Suncor Energy Inc. in Sarnia, ON (2013-2014)
- Health, Safety, and Environment at Sanofi Pasteur Ltd. in Toronto, ON (2014-2015)

Please see: www.eng.uwo.ca/coop/employers/internship.html

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “collaborative”?:

A brief description of the institution's collaborative sustainability partnership(s):

Western University has committed to planting 75 trees every year in collaboration with Reforest London for a total pledge of 500 trees, in efforts to meet the Million Tree Challenge across the city. Western has already registered more than 600 trees in the count to a million since 2011 and will continue to plant for years to come. This community-wide initiative encourages Londoners, including Western faculty, students, and staff to plant one million trees for enhanced environmental and human health throughout the city. Reforest London is a non-profit organization that strives to empower community groups, individuals, and businesses to plant trees, which improves environmental health and the naturalization of the area. ReForest London aspires to leave a legacy of trees, an appreciation of the value of nature, and build strong community partnerships for future generations.

Share the Road has launched a new program designed to increase cycling among post-secondary students in Ontario. Through UCycle, Share the Road is partnering collaboratively with Western University and the City of London to engage with students about safe cycling and to promote cycling to destinations on and off campus. This unique program is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Currently, businesses within the City of London are proposing giving students a discount if they bring in a student card and helmet.

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “transformative”?:

A brief description of the institution's transformative sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

Scope: The Great Lakes Futures Project (GLFP) from 2011-2013 was led by Dr. Irena Creed at Western University, along with colleagues Dr. Gail Krantzberg from McMaster University, Dr. Kathryn Friedman from SUNY at Buffalo and Dr. Don Scavia from The University of Michigan, together with Western postdoctoral fellow Katrina Laurent. GFLP was an inaugural project of the Transborder Research University Network (TRUN) for Water Stewardship Consortium– an international partnership of Canadian and U.S. research institutions. The objective of GFLP was to understand and inform a trans-disciplinary, socio-ecologically sustainable future for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin using scenario analysis to recommend long-term policy, program and research priorities. The Great Lakes Futures Project gained the support of 21 research organizations in both Canada and the US, and eighteen Canadian and US universities and colleges provided cash support to the project.

Despite years of policy initiatives within the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin, there is a growing consensus among Basin stakeholders that policy gaps exist and that these gaps are barriers to sustainably managing the watershed. A continuation project, entitled the Great Lakes Futures Project Action Plan for Sustainability (GLFP-APS), through the Canadian Water Network, will be a catalyst for policy reform to enable government decision-makers and end-users to address the barriers to sustainable management in the Basin revealed by the Great Lakes Futures Project. This project aims to target the science-policy interface, using insights into the consequences of current policy decisions to work with stakeholders and develop strategies that will ensure the future sustainability of the Great Lakes –St. Lawrence River Basin.

Duration: multi-year: funding currently available until March 2015, however, this project aims to achieve long-term sustainable management of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin.

The Research Team of GLFP-APS:
Irena Creed, Professor, Western University
Katrina Laurent, Post-Doctoral Associate, Western University
Gordon McBean, Professor, Western University
Gail Krantzberg, Professor, McMaster University
Paul Sibley, Associate Professor, University of Guelph
Kathryn Bryk Friedman, Research Associate Professor, State University of New York at Buffalo
Lucinda Johnson, Senior Research Associate, University of Minnesota-Duluth
David Allan, Professor, University of Michigan
Partners of GLFP-APS:
Sandra George, Great Lakes Programs Coordinator, Environment Canada
Tim Edder, Executive Director, Great Lakes Commission
John Jackson, Program Director, Great Lakes United
Governance: Researchers will work closely with stakeholders using established methodologies to gain clarity on multiple perspectives around a complex issue to be determined in consultation with stakeholders. Example issues include nutrient loading and the nearshore framework, decreasing water levels, and energy demands, among others. Researchers will then present Basin policy threats and opportunities, identifying areas of agreement or disagreement, to reach consensus on policy reform and implementation of these reform measures for moving forward.

Anticipated outputs of the project Include:
1. A policy brief with recommendations to reconcile policy gaps on an identified issue
2. Two stakeholder workshops to identify and integrate the needs of decision-makers and end-users
3. Two to four public forums to disseminate project findings and recommendations to stakeholders
4. Peer-reviewed publications on policy assessment and recommendations
5. Policy indicators that will guide future research to measure the uptake and consequences of policy recommendations within the Basin, with applicability to basins around the world
6. Online resources to facilitate the development of a community of practice, such as a website, an online blog soliciting project feedback, a bi-monthly newsletter and use of social media to disseminate knowledge

Anticipated outcomes of the project include:
1. Increased knowledge and awareness related to the sustainability of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin
2. Improved understanding of current gaps within the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River policies
3. Increased capacity for decision makers, end-users and partners to overcome identified gaps
4. Increased capacity for decision makers, end users and partners to monitor policy effectiveness using the developed policy indicators

This project supports environmental sustainability through helping to preserve this water resource, and social and economic sustainability by allowing those who rely on the Great Lakes as well as other Basins around the world as a source of food and/or income to continue to do so.

Useful Links:


A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with distant (i.e. non-local) communities:

The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships is available:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.