From research to operations, sustainable solutions for local and global challenges are being innovated at all levels of our University. At the centre of these initiatives is the McGill University Climate & Sustainability Strategy 2020-2025, which invites all members of the McGill community to play a role in building a sustainable campus and world.


Long-Term Targets

Platinum Sustainability Rating

Maintaining our Platinum sustainability rating means that McGill must continue to embed sustainability in all areas and at every level. 

Zero-Waste by 2035

Becoming zero-waste means that McGill must reach a diversion rate of 90%.  

Carbon Neutrality by 2040

Achieving carbon neutrality means that McGill reaches net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through large-scale transformations.



Strategy Categories

The McGill University Climate & Sustainability Strategy 2020-2025 is divided into eight categories, supported by a total of 62 actions that will guide us to achieving the long-term targets.

Research & Education

Category objective: identify strategies to increase learning and research opportunities in sustainability.

Flagship action: implement a sustainability online module available to all students, staff, and faculty members.

Buildings & Utilities

Category objective: increase the environmental performance of buildings while reducing their carbon footprint.

Flagship action: all new construction and major renovation projects to be, at minimum, LEED Gold certified.

Waste Management

Category objective: expand reuse, recycling, and composting efforts to increase the University’s diversion rate.

Flagship action: implement a zero-waste zone on campus.

Travel & Community

Category objective: develop initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of commuting activities, directly-funded air travel, and McGill’s fleet of vehicles.

Flagship action: develop a carbon offsetting program to mitigate the environmental impacts of traveling.

Food Systems

Category objective: enrich sustainable food offering by promoting local, third-party certified, and plant-based options.

Flagship action: explore the use of green roofs to grow food.


Category objective: raise awareness on sustainable procurement and contribute to the development of a circular economy.

Flagship action: increase the amount of goods and services purchased from social economy businesses and Indigenous businesses.

Landscapes & Ecosystems

Category objective: develop landscaping projects that reduce the heat island effect, increase biodiversity, and foster well-being.

Flagship action: ensure that vegetation initiatives increase canopy coverage and maximize local carbon sequestration.

Community Building

Category objective: enhance opportunities for sustainability and well-being initiatives while increasing the representation of past and present communities on the campuses’ physical spaces.

Flagship action: implement a Bicentennial Student Sustainability Challenge.


Transversal Themes

The McGill University Climate & Sustainability Strategy includes two transversal themes: Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation as well as Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) which are embedded throughout the categories of the Strategy. These themes are the foundational principles in which our practice of sustainability is anchored. 

Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation

Sustainability and climate change are inextricably linked. Largely attributed to human activities and associated greenhouse gas-related emissions, adverse effects of climate change are already being felt globally, especially by vulnerable communities. Because climate change will impact all areas of McGill’s operations and the well-being of its community, it is important to proactively include climate considerations in all categories of the Strategy. Reducing greenhouse gases generated from our own operations and adapting to climate change requires immediate coordination, innovation, and engagement.

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

As our society faces increasingly complex global challenges, it is important to recognize that environmental problems are rooted in– and accelerate–social inequities. In fact, vulnerable communities are disproportionately affected by the negative impacts of sustainability issues, including climate change. By creating an equitable, diverse, and inclusive practice of sustainability that focuses on the power of community engagement, our University, and ultimately our society, is better equipped to respond to these urgent global challenges. Through mindfully incorporating the social dimension of sustainability, the University can strive towards a holistic and intersectional understanding of our environment.

Learn more about McGill's commitment to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion.

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