In order to understand the scope of sustainability at Concordia and to better implement future sustainable strategies, a sustainability assessment is imperative.
The first sustainability assessment at Concordia was conducted in 2003 through the creation by Sustainable Concordia of the Concordia Campus Sustainability Assessment (CCSA). Between 2003 and 2015, Sustainable Concordia and Concordia University have measured progress and made recommendations towards key sustainability goals.
Recent versions of the CCSA have benefited from the use at Concordia of a self-reporting sustainability framework called STARS. Since 2012, we have used STARS to rate our sustainability efforts in the categories of Academics, Engagement, Operations, Planning & Administration, and Innovation.
In 2020, we applied for the first time to the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, which ranks universities on their contributions towards our global progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We also applied for Vélosympathique certification for the first time in 2017, in order to assess how we are doing in relation to services for our cycling community!
The CCSA reports list recommendations for Concordia towards the improvement of the different aspects of sustainability in its community (operations, education, research, well-being, etc.) under four overarching themes:
Theme 1 – Create Awareness
In order for sustainability initiatives to reach their full potential, the different facets and linkages of sustainability need to be better understood at Concordia.
Theme 2 – Measure and Report
Evaluating the success of sustainability initiatives can only be done through regularly measuring and reporting on the specifics of these initiatives.
Theme 3 – Enhance or create policies, plans, and guidelines
Long-term commitments to sustainability involve ensuring the inclusion of sustainability in the governance structure of the university.
Theme 4 – Specific Action Items
Sustainable development prepares for the future through better planning but also through direct actions taken to improve the day-to-day well-being of Concordia’s community members.
The purpose of all of the CCSA reports is to showcase the current sustainability situation of the University and propose recommendations to further sustainability at Concordia. Each version of the report builds in part on the previous one while also including new elements, representing the evolving reality of sustainability at Concordia University.
Introduction to STARS
The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System™ (STARS) developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) is a transparent, self-reporting framework to evaluate the sustainability level of different aspects at universities.
As described by AASHE, STARS is designed to:
- Provide a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education.
- Enable meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community.
- Create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability.
- Facilitate information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance.
- Build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.
For more information, see the AASHE STARS' website.
Concordia's STARS 2017 assessment (Gold rating) is publicly available at:
Concordia's STARS 2015-2016 assessment (expired) is publicly available at:
Concordia’s STARS 2012 assessment (expired) is publicly available at:
The Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings aim to assess the international higher education sector’s movement toward the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They use carefully calibrated indicators to provide comprehensive and balanced comparisons across three broad areas: research, outreach and stewardship.
Concordia partiipated for the first time in 2020 and was named by THE among the world’s top 20 in two categories: Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11) and Climate Action (SDG 13).
To view our rankings, visit THE's Impact Rankings and search Concordia University by name.
Vélosympathique is a certification program offered by Vélo Québec, a non-profit organization that aims to promote the use of bicycles for transportation, recreation and tourism.
The Vélo Québec judges assess the infrastructure, educational initiatives, planning initiatives, and encouragement measures that an organization has put into place to benefit their cycling community before awarding institutions with a bronze, silver or gold certification.
In January 2020, Concordia recieved a Vélosympathique Silver rating for our Loyola and downtown campuses.