|Rating||Score||Liaison||Submission Date||Executive Letter|
|Expired||Expired||Kathleen Ng||Aug. 1, 2012||Download|
|Full-time Equivalent Enrollment||30,482|
|Number of Undergraduate Students||25,938|
|Number of Graduate Students||8,881|
|Full-time Equivalent Employees||Not Available|
|Percentage of students that are Residential||8.7|
|Percentage of students that are Full-time commuter||72.8|
|Percentage of students that are Part-time commuter||18.5|
|Percentage of students that are On-line only||0.0|
|Gross square feet of building space||6,796,165.0|
|Gross square feet of laboratory space||2,680,921.52|
|Acres of cultivated grounds||1,657.0|
|Acres of undeveloped land||1,000.0|
|Climate region||Not Available|
|Feature||Is Present?||Is Included in Report|
|Agricultural experiment station||Yes||Yes|
Founded in 1821, McGill University is a publicly-funded research university in Quebec with an enrolment of approximately 38,000 students. Approximately 10,000 people are employed at McGill; 1,700 of them are tenure-track faculty members and many more are academic staff. The primary language of instruction and business at McGill is English. The university’s 22 faculties and schools are spread out over two campuses in the Montreal region, with research activities and stations extending worldwide.
McGill University is a research-intensive teaching institution with the mission of:
“… the advancement of learning through teaching, scholarship and service to society: by offering to outstanding undergraduate and graduate students the best education available; by carrying out scholarly activities judged to be excellent when measured against the highest international standards; and by providing service to society in those ways for which we are well-suited by virtue of our academic strengths.”
A quick browse of the McGill University website and promotional materials highlights several elements of McGill’s strategic positioning and institutional points of pride:
• Excellence—Consistently ranked as a top university in Canada and one of the top 20 worldwide, whose students and faculty are notable for their many achievements and awards.
• Research-intensiveness—$470 million in research funding in FY 2010, a high publication impact rating, and cutting-edge research groups in numerous fields from medicine to music.
• International reach—McGill’s students come from approximately 150 countries and its alumni and research networks spread to even more. Half of McGill’s students speak a first language other than English.
As an anglophone university in a francophone province, within a complex, vibrant, multicultural, multilingual city, McGill is inseparable from its place. The role of McGill University in Montreal is broad and varied—it is affiliated with a comprehensive health-care network; is custodian to many culturally significant museums, concert halls and libraries; and is the steward of two of the largest green spaces in the greater Montreal region (the Morgan Arboretum and the Gault Nature Reserve).
McGill is also defined by the ways in which it bridges urban and natural spaces. The main campus lies in the heart of downtown Montreal, almost entirely within the Historic and Natural District of Mount Royal. McGill owns more than 100 buildings on its downtown campus, most constructed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
In contrast, McGill’s Macdonald campus, home to the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is located at the western tip of the Island of Montreal in Sainte Anne-de-Bellevue. The Macdonald campus is home to only 130 full-time faculty and 1,000 students, but consists of over 645 hectares, including a working farm, greenhouses, horticultural field research facilities and the Morgan Arboretum.
The grey bar displays the scores for all STARS rated institutions of the same basic type as the institution featured in the report (Associate, Baccalaureate, Master, or Doctorate) in quartiles. Hovering over the bar reveals the
|Student Sustainability Educators Program||Complete|
|Student Sustainability Outreach Campaign||Complete|
|Sustainability in New Student Orientation||Complete|
|Sustainability Outreach and Publications||Complete|
|Model Room in a Residence Hall||Not Pursuing|
|Themed Semester or Year||Not Pursuing|
|Sustainability Course Identification||Complete|
|Sustainability Courses by Department||Complete|
|Sustainability Learning Outcomes||Not Pursuing|
|Undergraduate Program in Sustainability||Complete|
|Graduate Program in Sustainability||Complete|
|Sustainability Immersive Experience||Complete|
|Sustainability Literacy Assessment||Not Pursuing|
|Incentives for Developing Sustainability Courses||Not Pursuing|
McGill University's downtown campus occupies 32 hectares within the Historic and Natural District of Mount Royal, a heritage zone created by the Government of Quebec in 2005. Most of the more than 100 buildings on campus were constructed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Under both municipal and provincial legislation, the university cannot make any changes that affect the built environment or heritage on campus without consulting the City of Montreal and the Quebec Ministry of Culture. In 1976, McGill outlined a collection of policies and principles outlining the preservation of architecturally and historically significant buildings. With regards to building retrofits, McGill is faced with balancing functionality issues with financial consideration, while maintaining the heritage and integrity of its buildings. A detailed review of initiatives related to the built environment was prepared in 2004. The document concluded that McGill University lacks comprehensive green building guidelines and planning documentation. The 2008 Master Plan, however, identifies sustainable development as an overarching campus design principle.
|Building Operations and Maintenance||Complete|
|Building Design and Construction||Complete|
|Indoor Air Quality||Complete|
McGill's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are influenced by the GHG emissions per unit of energy. Electricity in Quebec produces the lowest GHG emissions per GJ of any province due to its primary reliance on hydroelectric-sources, so McGill's GHG emissions related to buildings are determined primarily by natural gas and propane consumption, which has a higher GHG intensity.<< show less
|Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory||Complete|
|Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction||Complete|
|Air Travel Emissions||Not Pursuing|
|Local Offsets Program||Not Pursuing|
McGill Food and Dining Services (MFDS) is a self-financing unit operating under a mixed business model, comprised of self-operated locations, food facilities and catering services managed by food service providers and tenants.
McGill Food and Dining Services (MFDS) has made enormous efforts in pushing the sustainability agenda and is a leader in sustainable food services. MFDS has created a strategic sustainability plan entitled, “An Appetite for Sustainability,” which takes sustainable development into account when purchasing food. The plan is from 2010-2013 and demonstrates MFDS’ short and long-term commitment to sustainability in collaboration with its community, including engagement from downtown campus MFDS locations, the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), the Post Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) and the Faculty Club. In the fiscal year 2010-2011, MFDS downtown locations purchased 9,000 kilograms of produce from the Macdonald Campus Farm. MFDS has prioritized:
• Local foods, but no hard targets for local and/or organic.
• Purchasing all eggs from Macdonald campus by the end of 2012.
• 100% of tofu from Montréal and 100% organic.
• Implementation of purchasing program to ensure compliance with seasonal and local purchase guidelines (from within 500km): 75% or more of produce (including frozen) in summer, 50% or more in the fall and 25% or more during winter and spring (with exception of citrus).
• Grains and flakes are certified Quebec Vrai.
• 2% of chickens purchased are organic.
In early 2011, the locations managed by MFDS established a set of commitments related to sustainable purchasing including a commitment that 100% of the coffee served is fair trade certified or equivalent. . All fish and seafood is chosen by MFDS to ensure it meets chosen “eco-labels” including Marine Stewardship Council, Best Aquaculture practices, or OceanWise. MFDS also provides every student registered in the Mandatory Meal Plan with an Eco-Kit composed of a reusable MFDS mug and a reusable container called the Eco-Clamshell. In May 2011, Local Food Plus (LFP) and MFDS signed a partnerships aiming to develop a local sustainable food system at McGill, this partnership will support MFDS to source products from Québec farms that are officially LFP certified.
The McGill Food Systems Project is a collaborative effort between students, professors, MFDS and the Office of Sustainability and is a model for advancing sustainability through applied student research. Pilot projects based on this model have recently been started on five other campuses across Canada. The McGill Food Systems Project, in collaboration with MFDS, has created the Food System Administrator position responsible for helping to build a flexible and localized sustainable unit. In addition to the local foods incorporated into the daily menus of MFDS, Local Food Days events spotlight a large selection of locally-grown foods served in the residential dining halls. Once a month, students in each of the five dining halls are able to enjoy local products and learn about local eating, while increasing the sustainability of the food process at McGill University. Sustainable food practices on campus also include fair trade coffee, many vegetarian options and waste minimization. Meatless Mondays are another successful weekly event in all residential dining halls. An eco-station was also installed at the New Residence dining hall to encourage clients to scrape their china into a compost bin. Other residences will have eco-stations installed once the system is optimized.
The Midnight Kitchen is a student-led initiative that provides free, vegan food at lunch to all interested students. Happy Belly is an equivalent initiative on the Macdonald campus. The Organic Campus is another student service dedicated to bringing healthy, low impact, local organic fruits and vegetable to the McGill community. Since 2008, a partnership between students and staff has established a successful McGill Farmers’ Market during the fall season on rue McTavish. The Macdonald Student-run Ecological Gardens (MSEG) and Campus Crops grow food on the Macdonald campus and downtown campus, respectively, offering experiential learning for students and staff through volunteering. They have also been integrated into a dozen different courses on Macdonald campus. MSEG also sells weekly veggies boxes and sells produce to students and staff in the Macdonald Stewart building foyer on the Macdonald campus, and to the public at the Marche Ste. Anne (Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue) and the McGill Farmers Market.
The Macdonald Campus Farm has dairy, poultry and ham facilities with 120 cows, 3,000 egg-laying chickens, and 44 pigs. About 100 students in the Farm Management and Technology Program interact with the facilities each semester through courses and research. The Macdonald campus also has the Macdonald Community Garden—64 gardening plots available to students and staff to grow vegetables and other plants every summer for a $10 cost. This garden is located near the Eco-Residence.
|Food and Beverage Purchasing||Complete|
|Guidelines for Franchisees||Complete|
|Pre-Consumer Food Waste Composting||Complete|
|PostConsumer Food Waste Composting||Not Pursuing|
|Recycled Content Napkins||Complete|
|Reusable Mug Discounts||Complete|
|Reusable To-Go Containers||Complete|
McGill University's energy consumption is largely determined by the following key factors.
• Age of the buildings: The average age of buildings at McGill University is 55 years, and 36% of its buildings were constructed before 1950. Older buildings are more difficult to both heat and cool and more costly to retrofit.
• Occupancy: The use of the buildings plays a major role in the overall energy consumption. At McGill, a significant amount of space on the campuses is dedicated to research laboratories (approx. 200,000 m2 total), a use that is much more energy intensive than classroom and office spaces.
• Number and size of buildings: It is estimated that the total university building area requiring heating and cooling has increased by 13.2% since 2002 and an additional annual growth of 1.5% over the coming five years is projected with a corresponding increase in student and faculty populations. Many of the buildings are relatively small, resulting in heat loss from increased surface area relative to fewer, larger buildings.
• Climate: Montreal experiences heating and cooling extremes, resulting in significant peak energy demands in both winter and summer.
Because of these factors, energy consumption in the buildings at McGill is expected to be significantly higher than more modern universities, universities in more temperate climates, and universities that have more focus on teaching than research and the corresponding lab space.
In spite of these factors, McGill’s current energy intensity (1.98 GJ/m2) is actually below the Canadian national average of 2.04 GJ/m², though higher than the Quebec average of 1.94 GJ/m². The average in Ontario was 2.19 GJ/m² and 2.26 GJ/m² for the Prairies, as reported by Natural Resources Canada in 2003.
|Building Energy Consumption||Complete|
|Clean and Renewable Energy||Not Pursuing|
|Timers for Temperature Control||Complete|
|Vending Machine Sensors||Complete|
|Energy Management System||Complete|
McGill University is currently devoting extensive time and resources to greening the grounds on the downtown campus by working to establish increased pedestrian zones, reduced impermeable surfaces, xeriscaping, improved biodiversity and increased green space. The prize-winning Greening McGill project on McTavish Street helps to address issues related to walkability, health and wellbeing, storm water management and the heat island effect, while enhancing community vitality and serving as a showcase for other sustainability initiatives. McGill University has increased the greenspace in the square located just inside the Milton Gates and has given rooftop space around the Burnside Building to the Edible Campus Project, a partnership between the McGill School of Architecture’s Minimum Cost Housing Group, Santropol Roulant, a local non-profit organization, and Alternatives (although Alternatives is no longer involved) to create a thriving rooftop garden to support their Meals on Wheels program. Permeable spaces and gardens have been created throughout the downtown campus helping to improve overall storm water management. The LEED Gold certified Life Sciences Complex integrates a thriving green roof as does the Macdonald Engineering Building. The McGill Grounds unit is committed to water-efficient campus landscaping by selecting perennial vegetation, which require less water than annual plantings. McGill has also adopted an integrated pest management, avoiding the use of inorganic fertilizers and industrial pesticides. Horticultural management includes favoring native species and on-site propagation of plants where appropriate, as well as a tree stewardship practice (moving and/or replanting all trees wherever required).
The downtown campus makes up only a small proportion of McGill’s land stewardship portfolio. The Macdonald campus is the largest green space on the island of Montreal. It includes the 205-hectare Macdonald Farm, which is used for research and demonstration purposes, and the 245-hectare Morgan Arboretum, which conserves an important woodland tract while providing extensive opportunities for public outreach and education.
McGill University’s Gault Nature Reserve protects 1000 hectares of natural primeval forests of the St. Lawrence Valley at Mont Saint-Hilaire approximately 40 km from Montreal. The area was recognized as the first Biosphere Reserve in Canada under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program.
|Integrated Pest Management||Complete|
|Tree Campus USA||Complete|
|Snow and Ice Removal||Complete|
Procurement Services is embarking on a sustainability strategy for its procurement efforts. A McGill purchasing policy is currently being developed and is undergoing an approval process. McGill has had a paper use policy in effect since 2005.
McGill requires all calls for tenders to include reference to the University’s Sustainability Policy and stresses the importance of social responsibility: bidders are required to indicate in their proposal how they could support the University in accordance to this policy. Act C-65.1 “An Act Respecting Contracting by Public Bodies” permits public bodies to require a quality assurance system, including the ISO 9001:2000 standards, or a specification relating to sustainable development and the environment for the carrying out of a contract. In addition, all of McGill’s buyers are currently being trained in sustainable purchasing.
McGill has been using green certified cleaning products in all buildings managed by Building Services since 2001, and in 2009 opted to change over to entirely detergent-free cleaners. McGill University has established a green cleaning products agreement that outlines all products to be Eco-Logo, Green Seal approved, and/or biodegradable. The call for tender developed for Building Services limits all purchases for cleaning products for day-to-day maintenance in buildings to only use Eco-Logo or Green Seal approved products. Cleaning tools (rags and scrubbers) were also replaced with more durable products that reduce waste.
Procurement Services is also working with Campus and Space Planning, the Office of Sustainability, and the new Furniture and Signage Coordinator at Facilities Operation and Development to understand issues regarding furniture procurement and develop solutions for recuperation and the end of life disposal, with the goal of minimizing purchases and waste.
Procurement Services requires suppliers to collect and appropriately dispose of all unfinished, obsolete compressed gas cylinders, and is also spearheading initiatives to replace and safely dispose of mercury thermometers, to collect and recycle used cell phones, and to clean potentially contaminated lab clothing items on campus so users do not have to take them home.
McGill University has decided to boycott buying products made in Myanmar/Burma. Procurement Services upholds this boycott and has stipulated that the University’s selected supplier of uniforms must certify, in writing, that their products are free from any and all materials that may have been made in Myanmar.
|Computer Purchasing||Not Pursuing|
|Cleaning Products Purchasing||Complete|
|Office Paper Purchasing||Complete|
|Vendor Code of Conduct||Complete|
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|Local Businesses||Not Pursuing|
|Student Commute Modal Split||Complete|
|Employee Commute Modal Split||Complete|
|Facilities for Bicyclists||Not Pursuing|
|Condensed Work Week||Complete|
|Carpool/Vanpool Matching||Not Pursuing|
|Cash-out of Parking||Not Pursuing|
|Carpool Discount||Not Pursuing|
|Prohibiting Idling||Not Applicable|
|Construction and Demolition Waste Diversion||Not Pursuing|
|Electronic Waste Recycling Program||Complete|
|Hazardous Waste Management||Complete|
|Chemical Reuse Inventory||Complete|
|Move-In Waste Reduction||Not Pursuing|
|Move-Out Waste Reduction||Complete|
The McGill community is rich in cultural and ethnic diversity and strives to be welcoming and accessible to all. Below are examples of some of the actions McGill has taken to support this goal.
Committees and offices
McGill University has a Joint Board-Senate Committee on Equity that recommends university policy regarding underrepresented groups, including women, visible minorities, aboriginal peoples, and persons with disabilities. The committee reviews the recruitment and status of the underrepresented groups at the university and makes recommendations to the Senate and the Board of Governors. This committee and its subcommittees, some of which were dormant, have been increasingly active recently. In collaboration with students, the Joint Senate-Board Committee on Equity has supported a policy that assures the existence of at least one gender-neutral washroom in every newly constructed building on campus and that the university shall modify any existing single-user washrooms on campus by resigning them with gender-neutral signs and adding interior door locks. McGill University currently has a gender-neutral washroom in 21 buildings on the campuses.
McGill University also has a Social Equity and Diversity Education Office (SEDE) that is committed to fostering a “fair and inclusive environment that respects the dignity of each member of the McGill community”. One of the initiatives of the SEDE office is the Safer Spaces Allies program, which fosters an opportunity for McGill community leaders who have participated in a Safer Spaces workshop on queer and transgender issues to become Safer Spaces Allies at McGill University. In conjunction with First Peoples’ House, the Office of the Dean of Students (represented by the Aboriginal Outreach Coordinator), and the Office of Sustainability, SEDE also supports the Aboriginal Sustainability Project. The project seeks to develop a broad-based educational campaign to provide Aboriginal-specific programming and opportunities for bridge-building among diverse members of the McGill University community.
McGill’s Office for Students with Disabilities provides academic accommodations and services for undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students who have a documented disability. McGill University held its first Disability Awareness Week in March 2012.
McGill University's Scholarship and Student Aid Office's (SSAO) mission is to promote accessibility, support retention and encourage scholarships through financial awards for needy and deserving students in any degree program from any geographic origin. The SSAO provides a host of information on scholarship funding, government aid programs, loans and bursaries, debt management, individualized budget counseling, and the Work Study program.
In 2009, McGill convened a Principal’s Task Force on Diversity, Excellence and Community Engagement. This task force delivered recommendations to the University’s decision-making bodies in 2011.
|Diversity and Equity Coordination||Complete|
|Measuring Campus Diversity Culture||Complete|
|Support Programs for Underrepresented Groups||Complete|
|Support Programs for Future Faculty||Complete|
|Affordability and Access Programs||Complete|
|Gender Neutral Housing||Complete|
|Employee Training Opportunities||Complete|
|Student Training Opportunities||Complete|
|Employee Satisfaction Evaluation||Not Pursuing|
|Staff Professional Development in Sustainability||Complete|
|Sustainability in New Employee Orientation||Complete|
|Employee Sustainability Educators Program||Not Pursuing|
|Employee Wellness Program||Complete|
|Socially Responsible Retirement Plan||Complete|
McGill’s endowment has investments in renewable energy funds, though these funds make up a very small portion of the total. McGill University also uses investment managers who consider environmental and sustainability factors, however, the degree of consideration is not known.
McGill University has a Committee on Matters of Social Responsibility. The Mandate of the Committee is:
1. To receive and review expressions of concern from the University community on matters of social responsibility with respect to University investments; and
2. Report to the Board of Governors on the nature of the social issue or issues raised and the extent of the concern about the issue among members of the University community based on the documents presented and the representations made to the Committee.
In certain cases, McGill University provides its investment managers with specific environmental and social guidelines that determine its proxy votes. However, McGill appears to struggle—alongside the majority of other institutions of higher education across North America—in integrating more strategic and coordinated efforts in the area of shareholder engagement.
|Committee on Socially Responsible Investment||Complete|
|Shareholder Advocacy||Not Pursuing|
|Positive Sustainability Investments||Not Pursuing|
|Student-Managed SRI Fund||Not Pursuing|
|Socially Responsible Investment Policy||Complete|
|Investment Disclosure||Not Pursuing|
McGill does not address questions of sustainability in isolation. There are numerous linkages between the McGill community and local, regional, national and international organizations and projects. It is important to acknowledge, however, that McGill’s history and position as a primarily anglophone university can be an impediment to full integration of partnerships within Montreal and Quebec, as can the fact that a high proportion of staff and students are from outside of Quebec.
McGill has a partnership with the City of Montreal; the University has been a partner on the City of Montréal’s Sustainable Development Plan since the creation of the first plan in 2005. Moreover, McGill University has been recognized twice for of its sustainability efforts by the city at its annual Gala on Environment and Sustainability, for the Minimum Cost Housing Group’s Edible Campus project in 2010, and the Greening the Lower Campus project in 2011. McGill University has also partnered with the City of Montreal through its eco-quartier program, a program to promote environmental action by the City’s residents. Montreal is also a recognized Regional Center of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development by the United Nations University Institute for Advanced Studies; McGill played a part in its creation and contributes to its activities.
At the provincial level, McGill University is an active member of the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec (CREPUQ) network working group on the environment, helping to establish programs, best practices, and collaborative relationships with provincial agencies such as for Education and Sustainable Development (MELS and MDDEPQ, respectively) and non-governmental associations-NGOs (including the Sierra Youth Coalition-SYC, the ECPAR sustainable purchasing group, and the Quebec Association for Education Related to Environment-AQPERE).
McGill University has worked to coordinate greening projects in conjunction with the community including cleaning the Milton-Parc area and working to design the Tournesol composters installed in Jeanne-Mance Park. McGill University has also partnered with Voyagez Futé for various transportation projects.
McGill University is a member of the Canadian Alliance of College and University Sustainability Professionals, the Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium (NECSC), the International Association of Universities (the UNESCO-based worldwide association), Universitas 21 (a network of 23 leading research intensive universities), and AASHE. Student groups at McGill University have also partnered with ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU), a student group focussed on improving campus environments and the Sierra Youth Coalition (SYC, a youth organization helping to provide resources to and create linkages between campus sustainability initiatives throughout the country.
McGill University groups are also connected to regional and national university greening campaigns including the Energy Action Coalition, the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, the Climate and Sustainability Advocacy Project.
The Community Action Toolkit supports McGill undergraduates in volunteering partnership initiatives on custom-made projects provided by community-based, social justice and sustainability organization and NGOs around Montreal and from within McGill. In addition, McGill’s ENVR 401 – Environmental Research course (offered by the McGill School of Environment) links professors, research, students, learning and community improvement efforts by fostering interdisciplinary teams working on real-world research involving social, ethical and environmental impact assessment and dissemination of the results to the research community and to the people who are impacted.
|Community Sustainability Partnerships||Complete|
|Inter-Campus Collaboration on Sustainability||Complete|
|Sustainability in Continuing Education||Complete|
|Community Service Participation||Not Pursuing|
|Community Service Hours||Not Pursuing|
|Sustainability Policy Advocacy||Complete|
|Trademark Licensing||Not Pursuing|
|Graduation Pledge||Not Pursuing|
|Community Service on Transcripts||Not Pursuing|