The Catalyst Awards

Students, staff and faculty at 2017 Catalyst awards reception inside McCord Museum

The Catalyst Awards for Sustainability are held annually every spring to recognize students, staff, and faculty who have made meaningful and enduring contributions to the sustainability movement at McGill University. 

The awards categories are aligned with the five categories of sustainability as outlined in McGill’s Vision 2020 Sustainability StrategyResearch, Education, Connectivity, Operations, and Governance & Administration.

Elements from all five categories are included in consideration of the Emerald Key for student contribution to sustainability, and the staff award.


General guidelines

  • Nominees are accepted for activities undertaken when nominee(s) were active at McGill as a student, staff or faculty member.
  • Nominations must focus on activities undertaken since February 2016.
  • An initiative can only win an award in a single category.
  • Nominations are accepted from all members of the community.

The Emerald Key Award for student contribution to sustainability

This award will go to a student who has made significant and lasting contributions in creating a culture of sustainability at McGill. The student should be someone who has made a significant and long-lasting impact on McGill’s campuses, greatly increasing the sustainability of the University.

Vision 2020 Category Awards

The Category Awards honour sustainability projects for their achievement in the 5 categories of the Vision 2020 Sustainability Strategy: Research, Education, Connectivity, Operations, and Governance & Administration. 

This year, some of the categories have been combined into one award. As of 2017, the Category Awards are: 

  • Connectivity & Governance
  • Research & Education
  • Operations

Catalyst Award for Staff

McGill Staff members may also win Catalyst Awards for their contributions to the university. The staff member should be someone who has inspired real change on McGill's campuses, increasing the sustainability of the University.