I AM DELIGHTED TO SEE the second installment of the Sustainability Yearbook. The breadth of content in this publication proves there is much to celebrate when it comes to sustainability efforts on our St. George campus. And the news is timely, arriving on the heels of the Paris Conference, where world leaders negotiated a universal agreement to keep the average global temperature increase to less than two degrees Celsius to prevent the most serious effects of climate change.
The yearbook also clearly demonstrates how the University of Toronto continues to build on past achievements. In 1977, U of T hired its first energy-reduction manager and shortly thereafter set aside a special fund to support energy-saving projects. The creation of the Sustainability Office more than a decade ago was another visionary step forward. As a whole, U of T is a leader in operational sustainability, excelling in waste diversion, sustainable food sourcing and local, efficient power generation.
We’re proud of these accomplishments, and we aim to do even more. A recent sustainability survey revealed that the majority of staff and students at U of T consider environmental issues to be a critical focus for the University. This yearbook illustrates that their sustainability actions speak as loud as their words. Taken together with our profound contributions as an international leader in climate change research and teaching, the University community is indeed committed to the fight against climate change.
As a society, we face enormous challenges to ensure that future generations don’t bear the burden of environmental degradation. But the brilliant work of our students, staff and faculty gives me hope for a sustainable future. Congratulations to the dedicated team at the Sustainability Office on the publication of their second Sustainability Yearbook. And thank you; it truly is Greener Here!
Meric S. Gertler
Growing a culture of sustainability in and around campus
Small changes, big impact. Welcome to a #greenerUofT
We're going greener every day, inside and out
We're talking tonnes of savings
Celebrating waste reduction on campus
We're driving innovations in sustainability for a brighter future
The Huron-Sussex Neighbourhood is a collection of houses and University buildings built between 1850 and 1900, and the City of Toronto, U of T and local residents are collaborating to transform this neighbourhood into a greener community!
Picture this: “living lanes” activated by cyclists and pedestrians, and low-energy and low-water-use designs for residents. We’re even exploring a unique “community energy system,” which connects the neighbourhood to our own sustainable district heating and cooling system! Keep your eyes on this community—a small laneway demonstration will be there soon. Learn more...
In September 2015, Food Services launched five new food concepts on the St. George campus—all of which use locally sourced and sustainable foods. Not Just Greens, Soup!, Stone Oven Pizzeria, Tortillas and the Gourmet Burger House deliver customized, high-quality and healthy food options to the campus community.
2015 marked 45 years of student-led environmental activism on campus! To celebrate, a second plaque was installed near Robarts Library. The first was put up in 1970 by U of T’s earliest student environmental group, Pollution Probe.
Fair Trade Committee is a group of students, staff and faculty working to make our campus Fair Trade designated. Learn more...
Hart House Farm Committee provides outdoor programming and promotes sustainability at a 150-acre farm in Caledon, north of Toronto. Learn more...
UTERN (University of Toronto’s Environmental Resource Network) is the meeting point for environmental student groups on campus. Learn more...
1,700 people participated in the St. George Sustainability Survey to share their knowledge and ideas.
of respondents think sustainability is important.
Grab a trayless breakfast
Catch a gym class at the Athletic Centre, and then shower with solar-heated water
Find a relaxing green place to study
Meet friends for lunch at vegetarian café Harvest Noon
Quick fact-check at Gerstein Library, a certified Green Office
Pick up a fair trade caffeine boost with a reusable mug and save 25¢
Attend PSY 435 Environmental Psychology*
Rent a bike from Bikechain for an eco-friendly commute
*Many classrooms are retrofitted using the latest high-efficiency LED lighting technology with occupancy sensors.
Since February 2015, all U of T pay stubs are digitized—so long paper statement and envelope! This Human Resources & Equity initiative has saved the printing and mailing of more than 12,000 statements each month.
Photograph: Bug Bites
Harvest Noon is a volunteer-run co-op café offering affordable, locally sourced, fair trade, vegetarian and vegan food. Learn more...
The U of T Food Policy Council connects and inspires members of the campus community to advocate for sustainable food policy and production on campus. Learn more...
The U of T Veg Club promotes vegetarian and vegan living for the sake of the planet, our health and animal compassion. Learn more...
is the discount Veggie Mondays card holders get when they purchase and vegan or vegetarian meal on campus every Monday! Veggie Mondays is a campus-wide initiative to celebrate and raise awareness about plant-based foods. It's free to sign up.
of respondents participate in one or more sustainability-related behaviours.
Food: local, sustainable and vegetarian options
Inspiring Green Space
Rainwater cistern(above- and belowground)
Veg and learning garden
Willcocks Commons(car-free zone)
In 2015, the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC) opened the Environmental Science & Chemistry Building. It’s home to the Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences, and will be the first LEED Gold certified lab at U of T. Sustainable features include earth tubes, which use the earth’s thermal mass to heat and cool ventilation air brought into the building, thereby reducing energy consumption.
The Smart Irrigation program has helped us reduce irrigation water use by 58%, or more than 64 million litres each year! How did we do it? A centralized water control for our 82+ irrigation systems on campus lets us make adjustments for soil type, plants and weather.
We’re making your work and learning environment more sustainable by upgrading buildings and designing new ones to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. LEED is a globally recognized green building rating system. Congrats to our newest LEED-certified building, the Munk School of Global Affairs, which brings our institution’s LEED certified buildings total to 12!
Photograph: Lina McDonald
U of T Bees educates the community about beekeeping, pollinators and the production of local honey.
is the number of trees on our campus—and we have hundreds of gardens, too. Breathe in that fresh air! #greenerUofT
of respondents are, in part, motivated to take sustainable actions in order to preserve or enhance their ability to connect with nature.
Across campus there are tens of thousands of lights inside and outside buildings that you walk by and sit under each day and night. We’re in the process of replacing these lights with energy-efficient models that reduce our energy consumption and improve the quality of lighting. You’ll spot the new ones in places like the Rotman School of Management, Upper Gym (Clara Benson Building), New College and the Faculty Club.
Even though U of T has increased in population and building space, energy consumption has stayed roughly the same thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Facilities & Services team.
Facilities & Services’ Radu Ciotirca won the Energy Managers of Ontario Excellence Award in 2015. Thanks to the hard work of Radu and others, we saved more than seven million kilowatt hours of energy last year—enough to power 700 houses!
U of T 350.org is a climate justice group working to encourage the University to divest from fossil fuels.
U of T Solar House Design Team is competing in the Solar Decathlon Europe, an international competition to design and build a fully functioning, sustainable, net-zero-energy home.
University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) completed two buildings, Deerfield Hall and the Innovation Complex, both of which will be certified LEED Silver!
Deerfield Hall features a rainwater reuse system, a green roof, low-flow washroom fixtures and energy-efficient mechanical systems.
The Innovation Complex features a green roof, lots of natural light, efficient lighting with occupancy sensors and vertical fins on the exterior of the building to help shade the glass.
is the interior temperature reduction you can reach in a building simply by pulling down the shades in the summer.
1. Draw Binds
Pull down during the summer months to keep heat out.
2. Become a Green Ambassador
Become a Green Ambassador and join a network of sustainability- minded people working to green their workplace and campus. Visit uoft.me/greenambassadors for more info.
3. Bike to work
Reduce emissions on your commute by cycling.
4. Add a plant (or two!)
Plants improve your mood, the air quality and the office environment.
5. Use a stapleless stapler
Get one from Recycling and Waste Management.
Do your part! See the commonly mis-sorted items below.
7. Bring a reusable mug
You’ll divert waste from the landfill and save 25 cents on your next tea or coffee!
8. Get gently used office furniture and supplies
The campus Swap Shop has lots of great items for your office.
9. Pack a waste-free lunch
Reduce waste, eat local and eat healthy.
10. Use a power bar
Easily “unplug” at the end of the day and avoid phantom power with the flip of a switch.
11. Use task lighting
It’s more energy-efficient than overhead lighting.
The campus-wide commitment to waste and recycling is getting noticed. The Recycling Council of Ontario awarded Gold to St. George for our efforts in waste reduction and diversion.
Green Chemistry Initiative (GCI) is a group of graduate students and postdocs in the Department of Chemistry who joined forces to promote sustainable practices in the lab and in everyday life. The group hosts monthly seminars, waste reduction campaigns and other events.
This poem was written in jest to celebrate the paper-saving efforts of Darrel Fernandopulle and his team at Facilities & Services in collaboration with the Chief Information Officer’s portfolio. Darrel led the team that changed the paper-based invoice processing system to an electronic payable processing and tracking system, saving 80,000 sheets of paper each year!
25+ tonnes is the weight of the glass and plastic recycled through our non- contaminated lab glass and plastic recycling program, one of the first of its kind in Ontario.
Do your part to boost U of T’s waste diversion rate even higher by sorting these items into the correct bins.
BSc student, class of 2016
Double major in Environmental Science & Physical & Environmental Geography, minor in Environmental Studies
My favourite part of my programs is that they allow interdisciplinary learning. I truly feel that I’ve expanded my perspective on environmental issues, and I’m thankful to U of T for helping me on this journey!
MT student, class of 2016
Certificate in Environmental and Sustainability Education
My favourite part of my program is the ability to learn about special education, Aboriginal studies and environmental sustainability education. At OISE [Ontario Institute for Studies in Education], I feel inspired to transform my teaching practices to be environmentally friendly.
BASc student, class of 2016
Major in Chemical Engineering, minor in Sustainable Energy
My favourite part of my program is learning more about the world we live in and the various types of renewable energy sources that could potentially be viable alternatives to the fossil fuels we use today. I’m excited to take the knowledge that I have gained through this program and build on it in my future career.
MBA student, class of 2016
Major in Sustainability
Sustainability is going to be the most crucial challenge for businesses to tackle head on in the 21st century. To me, it is a no-brainer for business to accept a role in environmental and social responsibility, and I want to gain the tools to be at the forefront of this in my post- MBA career.
The Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory—gritlab for short—is located on the roof of John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.
Through multidisciplinary collaboration, researchers are investigating the environmental performance of green and clean technologies such as green roofs and green walls, as well as solar panels, which will soon provide electricity for the building.
Realizing conventional bicycles are not everyone’s cup of tea, Sojourn Labs set out to build a pedalled vehicle that could be safely and comfortably operated year-round on the streets of Toronto. Working out of the Impact Centre at the Banting & Best Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, they’ve created a fully operational prototype and are now at work on their second.
Photograph: Blue Sky Solar Racing Club
ENSU (Environmental Students’ Union) represents the students enrolled in the School of Environment’s programs and affiliated departments.
Rotman Net Impact advocates for incorporating sustainability into the MBA curriculum and was awarded the 2015 International Chapter of the Year.
540+ is the number of certified Green Courses at St. George. The Green Courses program focuses on paper reduction and sustainable behaviours. Certify your course at uoft.me/greencourses
of respondents said they care about understanding or acting on environmental issues.