McGill Sustainable Events

McGill Sustainable Events team.McGill Sustainable Events team.

The McGill Sustainable Events program is an initiative from the Office of Sustainability that provides consultations, trainings, resources, and certification to encourage and support more responsible events at McGill. The services focus on environmental impact (carbon footprint, waste management), inclusivity (diversity of organizers, programming, and participants), and accessibility (reducing barriers). Moreover, the program helps to raise awareness, involve participants and reduce material waste by working closely with the event managers throughout the planning process.

How can I certify my event? A bronze, silver and gold seal for McGill certified sustainable events

Start by filling out and submitting the Sustainable Event Checklist at least 3-4 weeks before your event. A student volunteer Event Consultant will then get in touch with you to verify the actions and finalize the score. Once all of your commitments have been confirmed, you'll receive your event's score and a seal to use to promote your efforts. 

The certification level is attributed on a points based model using the following percentages of points obtained.

Bronze: 50-75% • Silver: 75-90% • Gold: 90% or Above

To get started, click here to download the Excel spreadsheet. Fill it out and events.sustainability [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Sustainable%20Events%20Certification%3A%20Checklist) (email your completed checklist to )events.sustainability [at] mcgill.ca. It's okay if you don't have all the answers yet, or if some of your responses are tentative! Please include the name and start date of your event in your email.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Which events have been certified in the past?

Bronze certified events:

ACFAS
Convocation
Opthalmology Conference
VP Admin and Finance
8th Edith Aston-McCrimmon Lectureship
Prof Talks at MESS
PhotoFund Gallery and Silent Auction
SEDTalks!
Trottier Annual Symposium
Artruism
The Dean of Students Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising
Making a Martlet
Discover McGill Welcome Event and Services Fair

Silver certified events:

RVH Consultation
Civil Engineering conference
Community Engagement Day
Engineering frosh activities day and concert
Solin Hall(oween) Party
RSN Launch Speaker Series: Sustainable Urbanism
Christmas Staff Party
Global Health Film Festival
New SLL Staff Welcome Event
The SPF Challenge
International Development Policy Case Competition
National Integrative Research Conference
HBHL-SKILLSETS Professional Development Program
PlantBioMech 2018
Off-Campus Connects (OCX)
Grads Connect
McGill Management Frosh
Discover McGill

Gold certified events:

Catalyst Awards Gala 2017 & 2018
SKILLS21 Welcome Event
Vision 2020 Launch
Zero Waste 100 Solutions Case Competition
Civil Engineering Conference
Sustainability in Higher Education Canada (SHECA) 2018
PGSS BBQ Orientation
HBHL-SKILLSETS Professional Development Program
Engineering Frosh Park Party

When should I reach out to get my event certified?

The earlier the better! This will give you the ability to bring more changes following our first discussion. Please try to get in touch with us at least 3 weeks before the event to allow a consultant to meet with you in time for your event.

Is there a cost to the McGill Sustainable Events service?

No, the service is offered freely to all members of the McGill community.

I’m worried my event will not have a very high score; should I still participate?

Yes! We recognize that McGill has a wide range of events and that some of them will encounter more challenges than others. We encourage event planners to promote their certification as much as possible and aim for year-to-year improvements. Reporting your performance and raising awareness of the importance of the topics are the first and most important steps. 

Can I talk to a consultant without getting my event certified?

Yes. We encourage everyone to get certified as a way to benchmark results for year on year improvements, but the consultants can also sit down with you to answer questions, provide recommendations, and point out useful resources. If this is your case, please send us an email at events.sustainability [at] mcgill.ca.

Is there a minimum or maximum event size?

No, there is no minimum or maximum. 

I think my event will be quite unsustainable, is it still worth sitting down with a consultant?

Yes. The most unsustainable events are the ones that offer the greatest possibilities of improvements, and are definitely worth being discussed. Our consultants are not there to judge you, but to assist you in making your event more accessible, inclusive, and reduce its environmental footprint.

If you think your event will be outstandingly sustainable, the certification might be a great way to highlight your efforts, benchmark your efforts, and keep aiming higher. We are also always open to learning more and would be happy to know which initiatives you have taken over the years. The certification may also be a great way encourage other connected events to get certified. 

My event will likely be located elsewhere than at McGill, can I still get it certified?

Most likely. Events hosted by a McGill body can get certified. If you are unsure, please send us an email events.sustainability [at] mcgill.ca (at ) so we can evaluate how we can best help you.