Description/achievement of initiative
Approved in 2014, McGill’s Sustainability Strategy (Vision 2020) includes one vision, 5 categories, and broad goals. The 2017-2020 period is covered by the Climate and Sustainability Action Plan, where McGill has two long term targets:
o McGill aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, with an intermediate target of reducing our GHG emissions by 58% by 2025 compared to 1990 levels and the aforementioned recurring 3-year target review cycles.
o McGill aims at attaining a Platinum sustainability rating using the Sustainability Tracking, Rating and Assessment System (STARS) by 2030, with an intermediate target of reaching a score of 78 by 2020.
The implementation of the Climate & Sustainability Action Plan relies on a few key elements: community engagement, effective communication, unit-level action plans, and the Sustainability Projects Fund. McGill has everything it needs — the brainpower, a motivated community, and a will to innovate — to successfully achieve the actions and targets outlined in the Action Plan.
Engagement – Student, Faculty, and Staff
Students, faculty, and staff at McGill helped draft this plan and their contributions will not end there. Members of the McGill community will be able to get involved with particular actions by volunteering with a specific project team or building a similar initiative in their own unit or department.
Information about each category and each priority action will be mounted on McGill’s Sustainability website. Project leaders are strongly encouraged to involve students throughout the implementation process.
A key component of the implementation includes regularly publicizing Vision 2020 news and progress updates. Progress will be communicated through the Office of Sustainability website, newsletter, blogs, and social media accounts, as well as through broader McGill platforms, such as the McGill Reporter and Alumni Magazine. The actions and deliverables articulated in the Plan will also be integrated into messaging from our university’s leaders to ensure that more people both at McGill and in the broader community are aware of our commitments.
Unit-Level Climate & Sustainability Action Plans
The team at the Office of Sustainability will be working with administrative units, academic departments, and student groups to embed these actions throughout the university. Faculties and units are encouraged to create their own Climate & Sustainability Action Plans that are relevant to their own needs and challenges.
Sustainability Projects Fund
The Sustainability Projects Fund (SPF) is a unique and valuable tool at McGill, and one that will undoubtedly help support the implementation of various priority actions.
As the largest fund of its kind in North America, the SPF was created to kickstart a culture of sustainability on McGill campuses. The seed-funding and support provided by the SPF allows members of the McGill community to contribute to building a culture of sustainability on McGill campuses through the development of interdisciplinary projects.
The underlying goals of the SPF—campus-wide collaboration, experiential learning, and creating a sustainability culture that espouses social, economic and environmental dimensions—align well with the actions and values within Vision 2020.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
In addition to internal engagement, McGill University has partnerships with external organizations at the local, provincial, regional, national and international levels to share/exchange on experiences and best practices in campus sustainability.
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
This initiative is coordinated by the McGill Office of Sustainability. Two Vision 2020 Progress Reports will be published – one at the mid-point (the end of 2018), and one at the end of implementation (in 2020). Each of the 22 priority actions will be assessed in these reports, along with the degree of completion of the 45 deliverables. An overall glimpse of each of the five Vision 2020 Categories (Research, Education, Connectivity, Operations, and Governance & Administration) will also be provided.
Moreover, key performance indicators (KPIs) will be reported to the Board of Governors to give an indication of the progress towards our objectives. These KPIs are strategically aligned with the content of the current Action Plan.
o McGill’s Sustainability Rating (STARS points) will be reported to the Board every three years (we aim at achieving a Platinum rating by 2030).
o McGill’s greenhouse gas emissions (tonnes of CO2e) will be reported to the Board yearly (we aim at achieving carbon neutrality by 2040).
o The progress report on Vision 2020 priority actions will be reported to the Board (see previous section) at the mid-way point and at completion in 2020.