An international campus index recognizes Concordia’s progress on sustainability

The university receives high marks for performance in research and transportation, and its move to social and environmental impact investments
September 8, 2022
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The 2022 Sustainable Campus Index’s 78-page publication features two Concordia images, including this one of the Guy-De Maisonneuve Building and John Molson Building.

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has once again acknowledged Concordia’s efforts by placing the university prominently in the 2022 Sustainable Campus Index. The index recognizes colleges and universities in 17 sustainability impact areas, based on their recent submissions to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS).

“Concordia is taking very real and measurable steps to become more sustainable, such as through our recently opened, LEED Gold–certified Applied Science Hub,” says Michael Di Grappa, vice-president of services and sustainability.

“This latest honour from the AASHE recognizes some of our other steps as well, such as our encouragement of sustainable transportation and our foundation’s environmental, social and governance considerations in its investment strategies.”

Research, transportation and divestment

In the 2022 index, Concordia scored 100 per cent and tied for first in the research category, which the publication explains “covers faculty and department sustainability research and initiatives for open-access research.”

And the university placed seventh globally with an 82.7 per cent grade in the transportation category, which considers how universities promote sustainable transportation and other related factors.

The publication also highlighted the Concordia University Foundation’s move to fully sustainable investments, which it notes, “range from thematic impact investments such as cleantech and timber and agriculture funds, to investments in companies with high environmental, social and governance practices and considerations.”

STARS submission

This year more than 900 institutions from 40 countries made submissions to STARS, which awarded Concordia a gold rating in February. As the Sustainable Campus Index publication states, “STARS helps institutions measure, report and strengthen their contributions to global sustainability.”

Concordia’s placement in the 2022 index is based on its most recent STARS submission, which was led by the Office of Sustainability. Every three to four years, the university applies to STARS to assess its sustainability performance in the categories of academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership.

“We’re pleased with the rating we received, as it reflects our efforts in recent years and shows that we are keeping pace with increasingly stringent standards from the AASHE,” says Cassandra Lamontagne, manager in the Office of Sustainability.

She adds that when Concordia applies next, the score will be even stronger as a result of the initiatives implemented through the Sustainability Action Plan and its five sub-plans.

“Our transportation score will increase even more, thanks to the strategies in the Climate Action Plan around electric vehicles and support for cyclists, and the areas in which we need more improvement will be addressed through our Zero Waste Plan and Sustainability in the Curriculum Plan.”
 

Learn more about Concordia’s sustainability initiatives.



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