U of T honoured as one of ‘Canada’s Greenest Employers’

Thursday, April 20, 2012 Written by University of Toronto H&R Equity
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2012 Canada's Greenest Employee

U of T has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers in recognition for its commitment to creating a sustainable environment on campus.

“We are honoured to be recognized for our achievements this past year,” says Christina Sass-Kortsak, Assistant Vice-President, Human Resources. “The development, maintenance and promotion of sustainable practices are activities that involve all members of the U of T community. We know that there’s always work to do; but this award reinforces our belief that we’re on the right track in ensuring that sustainable practices are inherent in our work.”

Launched in 2007, the Canada’s Greenest Employers competition is organized by the editors of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. This designation recognizes the employers that “lead the nation in creating a culture of environmental awareness in their organizations”.

Each employer is evaluated in terms of:

  • unique environmental initiatives and programs they have developed;
  • The extent to which they have been successful in reducing the organization’s own environmental footprint;
  • The degree to which their employees are involved in these programs and whether they contribute any unique skills; and,
  • The extent to which these initiatives have become linked to the employer’s public identity and whether they attract new people to the organization.

While this is the first-time receiving this particular award, it is not the first time that the University was recognized for its sustainability practices. Previously, U of T has received the Environmental Award of Excellence by the City of Toronto; named ‘College Sustainability Leader’ by the Sustainable Endowments Institute and LEED Gold Certified by the Canada Green Building Council for the St. George Campus’ Exam Centre at 255 McCaul Street.

“The University has long culture of sustainability,” notes Ron Swail, Assistant Vice-President, Facilities & Services. “Since 1973, we have worked with the University community to integrate environmentally-responsible activities throughout the institution and we’re proud of our achievements to date and excited for the work ahead.”

The University of Toronto has a wide range of sustainability programs, which has contributed to the avoidance of over 1 million tonnes greenhouse gas, saved 60 billion litres of water and 200 million dollars in utility expenses. The University also has a staff and faculty network of Green Ambassadors and student programs such as ‘Rewire’ and ‘Start Green’ that empowers its members to reduce energy consumption through small collective behavioural changes.

For a timeline of the University’s sustainability initiatives as well as a full list of various sustainability awards that the University has won, please visit: http://sustainability_timeline.fs.utoronto.ca and http://www.fs.utoronto.ca/SustainabilityOffice/.

Reasons for U of T’s selection are available here: http://www.eluta.ca/top-employer-university-of-toronto.