|Submission Date||Feb. 1, 2018|
EN-3: Student Life
|2.00 / 2.00||
Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:
EnviroWestern is a student-run group that provides both action and advocacy for environmental issues important to students at Western. The group also provides numerous opportunities for students to get involved. EnviroWestern has many new and exciting initiatives that the Western community can take advantage of each year.
The Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) Sustainability Committee is comprised of graduate students striving to promote sustainability on and off campus. The goal of the committee is to address ecological and social challenges by engaging Western’s diverse graduate community. The committee is also a member of the Student Sustainability Collaborative, bringing together student sustainability groups from all over campus, including EnviroWestern and Ivey Sustainability Club.
The Environment & Sustainability Society (ESS) is an active organization on campus that aims to “do green,” by virtue, “do good” and have fun while doing it! ESS is mainly comprised of graduate students affiliated with the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, both from the Masters of Environment & Sustainability and collaborative programs, although not exclusive to these students by any means.
The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:
Western has a greenhouse, a student-run garden, several rooftop gardens and an indigenous food and medicine garden.
The Indigenous Food and Medicine Garden is an outdoor space that fosters a welcoming and inclusive community on-campus and promotes Indigenous presence, Indigenous Knowledge exchanges, and community involvement while engaging peoples in growing Indigenous organic and sustainable foods and plants for future generations.
The intent of the garden is to:
Promote farming practices and teachings of Indigenous peoples of the local region.
Provide experiential educational opportunities for community members, students and staff with respect to Indigenous worldview and customary planting, growing and harvesting techniques.
Offer opportunities to learn about the spiritual significance of plants based on ancient Indigenous customs.
Offer a welcoming green space on campus that engages communities in hands on learning of Indigenous Knowledge.
Course development around customary Indigenous planting techniques will be explored. Give students, staff and community members the opportunity to grow their own food and medicines.
Grow Medicines such as Sage and Tobacco for community members to use for praying and smudging.
Grow vegetables such as corn, beans and squash to be used for annual feasts and gatherings.
Share Indigenous Knowledge and develop academic partnerships on and off-campus.
Western's student group, EnviroWestern has a greenhouse that grows fresh organic vegetables year round, and an outdoor garden that showcases food sustainability on campus. The group endeavours to provide students the opportunity to learn about the importance of food sustainability and how to grow your own food.
Great Hall Catering successfully introduced their Rooftop Garden in 2012. It was the vision of the Catering team with the help of Facilities Management that this concept was able to be implemented. The team takes great pride in prepping, maintaining, watering and harvesting their crop. This year, the team has with lettuce, kale, tomatoes, corn and lots of herbs to use in their catering business.
The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
"Ivey Connects" is a student-led organization working to inspire students at the Richard Ivey School of Business to contribute in the societies in which they operate, a vital aspect of the school's mission statement. Ivey Connects provides opportunities for students to give their time through volunteerism and fundraising efforts, and their talent - management or otherwise - to those in need in the community, such as Non-Profit organizations. The goal is for long-term relationships to be built between Ivey and these organizations and to provide students with exposure to these organizations, while also having a hand in running their own charity programs and events.
In addition to these, there are Non-Profit summer internships being provided through the program, along with pro-bono projects linked with Ivey and Western Law.
The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:
The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:
In recognition of Canada's 150th birthday this past year, Western hosted a series of professional and community speakers to help us guide our exploration of environmental issues, a workshop on Sustainable Living, and a general-audience panel discussion on the approaches by which we measure sustainability today to consider lessons for the future. Maude Barlow, the acclaimed human rights activist and best-selling author delivered the keynote presentation to help us consider the path that Canada needs to take over the next 150 years to protect the environment and strive for sustainability.
This event brought together students, faculty, and community members involved in environmental and sustainability research and programs.
UN Sustainable Development Goals Event
Building on the momentum started by the Millennium Development Goals, the aim of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to further address the root causes of poverty, as well as the universal need for development that works for all people. The 17 goals cover the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protections. On September 23rd, 2017, the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, in collaboration with Model United Nations, Facilities Management at Western, EnviroWestern and the Environmental Sustainability Society, hosted one such event for the purpose of engaging Western students, as well as all young people in our community. The event was attended by an UN official who offered insights into the background of the SDGs and an insider perspective on how they can be implemented. Over 450 students attended the event helping to propel students into advocacy. The event equipped attendees with the practical skills allowing them to foster change at the local and national level.
The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:
Echo: Eco Arts festival was established in order to create a culture of sustainability through the use of creative expression and engagement meant to spark public discussion about the issues that face humanity and our relationship with the environment. The festival took place Wednesday-Friday, March 15th-17th, 2017 at various locations on campus at Western University. These locations were determined by the artist and production team.
The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:
Yes (Western Outdoors Club) The Western Outdoors Club is made up of a great group of people who love everything about the outdoors. Plan Ahead and Prepare: Many of the trips that they run have been run for many years. They are familiar with the trails, and only use those that are previously marked. WOC has developed plans in case of extreme weather or emergencies, always have evacuation points in mind and first-aid trained members and/or trip planners. As well, they operate from Sept-March, and so are using the parks in the off-season. WOC can take up to 60 people on some trips, but split up into manageable camping groups, for both logistical reasons and to abide by park regulations (6/9 people per site).
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: WOC always camps on marked campsites, and follow the park guidelines for camping in the winter. They only use those trails that are marked and open for use.
Dispose of Waste Properly: WOC believes very strongly in “packing out” ALL of their waste from the trip, and leaving the site cleaner than they found it. As well, they minimize the burning of plastics, and refrain from bringing glass or cans into the parks. WOC always uses marked thunder-boxes, and ensures that dishes are washed far from any streams or lakes.
Leave What You Find: WOC abides by the campground policies on not transporting wood from infected areas. They do not condone unnecessary damage or disruption to the wilderness.
Minimize Campfire Impacts: WOC uses stoves for cooking. They use dead wood from the ground only and ALWAYS ensure that the campfire is completely extinguished before going to bed or leaving the area.
Respect Wildlife: WOC educates members about respecting wildlife, as it is their habitat, not ours. WOC also ALWAYS ensures that their food is properly secured in a bear hang overnight, or locked in a vehicle.
Be Considerate of Other Visitors: WOC members are all avid campers, and appreciate that others would like to enjoy nature in quiet, as they do. WOC does not play music at their campsites and their trips are also strictly alcohol-free.
The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:
Rez Powers Down was developed to bring conservation awareness to students as they left campus and became renters, paying their own utility bills. It is a student-run sustainability initiative that's been promoted over the past three years in Western residences. This year’s campaign took a more active role on campus by challenging students in residence to out conserve each other. The winning residence is given 50% of the savings! Organizers used Facilities Management’s real-time energy dashboard to monitor progress over the two week period.
The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
Through the Masters of Environment and Sustainability, Facilities Management offers two paid summer co-op positions for graduate students to work in Sustainability Coordinator roles.
Additionally, other areas (such as Housing, Hospitality Services and the Office of the Dean at the Faculty of Sciences) have hosted students from the Master's of Environment and Sustainability program.
The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
A brief description of the graduation pledges:
The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
Hospitality services offers themed meals during the school year to promote low-impact dining, as well as the many sustainable options, and many different ethnic themed meals the campus offers for food and beverages. These themed events include: Fair Trade Chocolate Fountain, weekly meals from various cultures (International Week Mediterranean @ Essex, International Week
Middle East @ Elgin, etc.) The campus also offers a farmers market where students can engage local farmers, and learn about their food and where it comes from. This farmers market is offered weekly (June 14th-October).
“Increasing the accessibility of fresh, local foods on campus is a key priority for Hospitality Services and the Farmers’ Market is just one way the department is achieving this goal.”
The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.