Staff members talk to each other while sitting on steps outside, with a the Sustainable Workplace Icon in the bottom right corner

Sustainable Workplace Certification

Sustainable Workplace Certification

The Sustainable Workplace Certification is an award-winning program from the Office of Sustainability that challenges the McGill community to foster sustainable workplaces through individual and collective practices.

About the Sustainable Workplace Certification

The Sustainable Workplace Certification program targets areas such as choosing more environmentally friendly and socially responsible supplies, proper waste management, promoting health and wellbeing, and learning more about how to make spaces more accessible to everyone.

5 years
40 teams
800 staff


Workplaces that commit to achieving certification navigate through four levels, beginning with Bronze, and continue embedding sustainable actions into their habits until they reach Platinum-level.  

In order to achieve certification, 75 percent of team members must commit to all actions required both for in-person and remote work.

Get the Sustainable Workplace Certification

  1. Download the certification checklist  
  2. Attend the necessary training and determine the number of people included in your certification.  
  3. Submit your completed Sustainable Workplace Certification Checklist along with a photo and quote from your workplace.  
  4. Receive your certification! 

Email workplace.sustainability [at] for any questions or to learn more! 

Certified Workplaces

This list is updated once per semester.

  • Bronze seal that reads: McGill Sustainable Workplace BronzeDesautels Faculty of Management Infrastructure Team
  • Faculty of Law Admission
  • Faculty of Medicine (Respirology Division)
  • Financial Services for Facilities Management
  • Human Resources (Labour Relations)
  • Human Resources (Office of Associate Vice-Principal)
  • Human Resources (Organizational Development)
  • Human Resources (Pension and Benefits)
  • Human Resources (Shared Services Team)
  • Human Resources (Staffing)
  • Human Resources (Total Compensation)
  • Human Resources (Workday)
  • Lending and Access Services, Humanities and Social Sciences Library
  • Macdonald Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • McGill Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (MORSL)
  • McGill Sustainability Systems Institute
  • New Models of Work Project Office
  • Office of VP Administration & Finance
  • Risk Advisory and Insurance Services

Silver seal that reads: McGill Sustainable Workplace Silver

  • Financial Services (Student Accounts)
  • Financial Services (3465 Durocher)
  • Geographical Information Centre
  • Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • Language and Intercultural Communication (School of Continuing Studies)
  • Maude Abbott Medical Museum
  • Office of Internal Audit
  • Post-Graduate Student Society (PGSS)
  • School of Physical and Occupational Therapy (SPOT)
  • Teaching and Learning Services (TLS)

Gold  seal that reads: McGill Sustainable Workplace Gold

  • Desautels Faculty of Management Masters Office
  • Office of Investments
  • Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design (TISED)
  • IT Communications
  • McGill Office of Sustainability Platinum seal that reads: McGill Sustainable Workplace Platinum

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I participate?

The Sustainable Workplace Certification is an opportunity for different groups to involve themselves in the sustainability community and make a difference through working on rewarding projects that have concrete impacts. It creates the space for teams’ daily operations to reflect the value of its members and encourages a workplace to be solution focused. 

Who counts as my team?

A workplace team can be as large or small as you think is appropriate. Your Sustainable Workplace Ambassador is the person on your team responsible for presenting information to the team, coordinating the efforts, and liaising with the Office of Sustainability to submit documentation. Some teams may be entire units, while other teams may consist of a certain floor of a building. Your team can include staff, faculty, and students. 

I can’t get 75% of my colleagues to sign on to the actions. What should I do?

If some of your team members seem unable or unwilling to commit to the actions, there may be several approaches. First, it is important to approach the stakeholders (anyone who will be impacted by this) to see what their point of view is. Perhaps they are too busy, uninterested, concerned that it will negatively impact their work, or unaware of the program. Taking the time to speak with them in a team setting or as individuals can help you understand their concerns and adapt the approach accordingly. 

Joining the Sustainable Workplace Ambassadors group and meeting with the Office of Sustainability can also help get ideas on how to increase participation in the initiative. To learn more, email workplace.sustainability [at]

Do I have to go through the certification stages one by one?

Yes, every office starts with Bronze and can make their way through each subsequent level all the way to Platinum. The Sustainable Workplace Certification transforms the culture of sustainability in an office by asking individuals to commit to concrete steps in their office. Each certification level is valid for two years, and can be renewed. 

How long is the certification valid?

Each certification level is valid for two years. Since individuals and office operations can change over time, it is recommended to check every 6 months that the team is still committed to doing the actions. After the certification has expired for the highest level achieved (e.g. Gold), the team must resubmit their updated completed checklist and team photo.

How and why was this checklist created?

The Sustainable Workplace Certification Program was developed in 2017 and inspired by many other universities which have “green office” certifications. Since sustainability at McGill also includes a strong social component, our certification was expanded to cover ideas relating to environmental, social, and economic sustainability. In 2021, the checklist was updated for the remote and return-to-campus context. 

Our Sustainable Workplace Program is aligned with McGill’s three long-term sustainability targets: STARS Platinum rating by 2030, becoming zero waste by 2035, and carbon neutrality by 2040. McGill participates in STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) to evaluate the institution’s progress. The Sustainable Workplace Program stemmed from our previous Vision 2020 Strategy action to develop initiatives to increase staff involvement in sustainability. 

Since collaboration with other units and perspectives is so integral to sustainability, the actions were developed and updated through collaborations with other groups on campus. 

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