Ontario universities are leaders in environmental sustainability, producing crucial research on environmental issues, adopting sustainable policies and greening buildings, and encouraging awareness campaigns and initiatives around environmental causes.
Ontario universities are aware of the immense environmental challenges facing the world including climate change, the degradation of the ozone layer and the loss of biodiversity, and are actively taking steps to shrink their environmental footprint. Faculty members are conducting vital research on pressing environmental issues, while students are taking on important advocacy roles in environmental sustainability. University campuses conduct waste audits, have green cleaning programs, offer bike-sharing programs, use solar-powered cars and offer green revolving funds to sustainable projects that save money through energy conservation.
In 2009, Ontario university executive heads made a pledge “to assist in finding solutions to the challenges of environmental sustainability; to share knowledge about sustainability and climate change; and to incorporate, wherever possible, principles of sustainability into our own operations.” As a result of this pledge, Ontario universities publish an annual “Going Greener” report to share best practices in environmental sustainability in areas such as leadership and engagement, operations and facilities management, teaching and learning, and partnerships and awards.