Overhead view of the downtown campus, overlaid with a teal-navy gradient and an icon that reads "McGill Sustainability""

Sustainability at McGill

Building a culture of sustainability on McGill campuses requires the work of many units, working groups, committees, and individuals. McGill also continues to expand and build upon its sustainability efforts through participation in and collaboration with external networks. 

Campus Leaders

Buildings and Grounds

The role of Buildings and Grounds is to provide the McGill downtown campus community with an environment that is clean, safe and functional. With six units under its umbrella, the McGill Department of Buildings and Grounds strives to provide efficient and quality services in the most sustainable way. 

Buildings and Grounds is a key ally in McGill’s long-term target of zero-waste by 2035 and its urban agriculture initiatives.

Campus Planning and Development (CPD)

Campus Planning and Development supports McGill's mission as a public institution for the advancement of learning by providing expertise related to the planning and development of the university's Downtown and Macdonald Campuses as well as the Gault Nature Reserve. In fulfilling this role, CPD is responsible for defining a clear vision for the physical campuses that reflect the strategic goals of the university.

Food and Dining Services

Food and Dining Services, a sub-unit of Student Housing and Hospitality Services, is a leader in the campus dining industry with a commitment to nutrition, sustainability and ethical practices. Food and Dining Services manage McGill’s residential dining halls or on-campus locations.

Macdonald Campus

McGill's Macdonald Campus, the largest green space on the island of Montreal and the largest private land holding in the region, is home to the University’s Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (AES), at the forefront of advances in applied bioscience, food, nutritional and environmental sciences research and teaching.

McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative

Shifting to sustainability requires taking a multi-faceted systems-level approach to some of the world’s knottiest problems. The McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative mobilizes McGill researchers around these sustainability challenges and to equip the next generation in the skills necessary to address these issues.

Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability embeds climate action and sustainability into all of the University’s activities. It engages, supports, and connects students, staff, and faculty by providing strategic guidance and resources to foster a sustainable community. It oversees the implementation of the McGill University Climate & Sustainability Strategy 2020-2025.

Procurement Services

The mission of Procurement Services is to render client-focused services that aim to verify compliance, accentuate quality, leverage processes and uncover cost efficiencies, aligned with the community’s needs and in support of the University’s Mission. Procurement services is a key ally in McGill’s long-term target of zero-waste by 2035 and carbon neutrality by 2040.

Student Housing and Hospitality Services

McGill's Student Housing and Hospitality Services is comprised of Student Housing, Food and Dining, as well as Accommodations and Conference Services on campus. SHHS prides itself on offering a welcoming, safe, and nurturing environment which is strategically designed to foster the development, education, and wellness of our community.

Travel Services

Travel Services oversees McGill Travel Management Program, which includes the contracting of travel-related suppliers. Travel Services is a key ally in McGill’s long-term target of carbon neutrality by 2040.

Utilities and Energy Management

Utilities and Energy Management is responsible for providing the uninterrupted supply of power, energy, heating, and cooling media to all McGill buildings and facilities and for the maintenance of related tunnels and systems. Utilities and Energy Management is a key ally in McGill’s long-term target of carbon neutrality by 2040.

Other campus partners

  • Parking Services
  • Athletics & Recreation

Working Groups & Committees

Advisory Council on Sustainability

The Advisory Council on Sustainability provides a forum for faculty, staff, students and external representatives to provide advice on McGill campuses’ sustainability initiatives. Its mandate is to position McGill as a leading institution in North America on sustainability by contributing to the implementation and evolution of McGill’s Sustainability Strategy, and related plans, policies, and performance indicators. The main achievements and activities of the Council will be reported to the Principal at least once a year.

Advisory Council on Sustainability Terms of Reference

Advisory Council on Sustainability Members (November 2023)

Board Committee on Sustainability

The mandate of the Board Committee on Sustainability, formed in 2020, is to take due regard of the mission of the University and the Board’s stewardship role with respect to sustainability, the Committee shall assist the Board in setting and achieving institutional priorities and goals, and in monitoring progress in the area of sustainability.

Sustainability Exchange Group

The Sustainability Exchange Group, composed of approximately 15 McGill staff members from across the University, offers a platform to exchange and discuss new ideas and initiatives in consideration or development while allowing members to communicate updates related to sustainability at McGill.

Zero-Waste Working Group

The mandate of this working group is to plan, build, and operationalize key initiatives that will advance McGill's Zero-Waste target, including improving waste infrastructure, expanding compost collection, and bolstering zero-waste education initiatives.

Bike Infrastructure Working Group

This committee brings together staff from various departments, as well as a few students, to address bike infrastructure on campus. The committee was created to assess the current infrastructure, identify needs, and coordinate the improvement and expansion of bike infrastructure on campus.

Urban Agriculture Working Group

This group evaluates and approves new garden requests and major garden modifications or additions, as well as well as ensuring new management is found of neglected gardens.

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Working Group

McGill’s internal EV Infrastructure Working Group is tasked with strategic planning and developing guidelines and regulations for EV infrastructure on campus. It is comprised of representatives from Parking & Transportation Services, Energy & Utilities Management, Sustainability, and Campus Planning & Development.

Macdonald Campus Sustainability Committee

This group is dedicated to raising awareness of current and future sustainability initiatives at Macdonald Campus and to bringing transparency as Macdonald Campus sets and achieves various goals in the years to come. The group is comprised of employees and student groups from various parts of the campus. 

Fair Trade Steering Committee

The downtown campus has been a Fairtrade Certified Campus since 2013, and the Macdonald campus became Fairtrade certified in 2019. The Fairtrade committee is committed to overseeing the progression of Fairtrade purchasing on campus and ensuring that the minimum requirements for the Fairtrade Campus designation are met.

Sustainable Labs Working Group

The Sustainable Labs Working Group (working group of the University Lab Safety Committee) was established in October 2014, bringing together students, staff and faculty working to embed sustainability considerations into lab processes.

External Networks

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

AASHE is the leading association for the advancement of sustainability in higher education. AASHE is comprised of over 900 members across 48 U.S. states, 1 U.S. Territory, 9 Canadian provinces and 20 countries.

International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN)

ISCN’s mission is to provide an international forum to support higher education institutions in the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices for achieving sustainable campus operations and integrating sustainability in research and teaching. It represents more than 90 universities from over 30 countries on 6 continents.

Réseau universitaire québécois en développement durable (RUQDD)

The RUQDD is a network that brings together sustainability professionals from Quebec universities to share best practices, exchange information, and coordinate collective sustainability efforts.

McGill has a bold vision for sustainability. We’ve got big ideas, and we need your help turning them into reality.

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