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Concordia is one of Canada's Greenest Employers

The annual award honours organizations nationwide for creating environmental awareness and action
April 16, 2024
Photo of inner city buildings taken from below

Concordia’s campus-wide approach to sustainability and ambitious carbon reduction efforts have led to it being named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers 2024. The award is presented by Mediacorp Canada Inc., organizer of Canada's Top 100 Employers. 

The annual editorial competition is now in its 17th year. It recognizes companies leading the way in developing unique sustainability programs and initiatives that engage employees and create a culture of environmental awareness within their organizations. 

“It’s an honour to be selected as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers,” says Michael Di Grappa, vice-president of services and sustainability. “As an institution dedicated to embedding sustainability into everything we do, we’ve set bold targets on all fronts, and this award speaks to the significant strides we’re making.”

Di Grappa points to Concordia’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 and its ensuing PLAN/NET ZERØ initiative, which will transform the university's two campuses into living labs, as one such target. 

‘Considerable progress’

The distinction comes as Concordia continues to ramp up its sustainability work to meet the targets established in its Sustainability Action Plan. Introduced in 2020, the action plan includes a long-term vision and five-year plans focusing on food, waste, climate, research and curriculum.

“We’re pleased to receive this recognition. It reflects the considerable progress we’re making in all five streams of the action plan,” says Cassandra Lamontagne, manager for the Office of Sustainability

Lamontagne adds that it's gratifying to see the university’s more targeted efforts toward employee sustainability engagement celebrated.

“In recent years, we've enjoyed engaging with employees through new programs like the Employee Sustainability Ambassadors program, which we continue to improve based on employee experience,” she says. 

“We have also seen a lot of staff and faculty interest in the Sustainable Event Guide and Certification program. The Concordia Shuffle, for instance, obtained certification for the first time this past fall. Some staff even apply a second or third time for recurring events, taking more ambitious actions and increasing their certification level each year.”

Carolina Willsher, associate vice-president of human resources, says the university’s sustainability programs offer students, faculty and staff an opportunity to drive change on campus. “We’re creating a culture that encourages all our community members to take action and become environmental stewards,” she says. 

“It’s wonderful to see so many student-, staff- and faculty-led programs and initiatives making an impact.” 

Concordia’s sustainability highlights:                       

  • The Sustainability Co-Design Project, created by the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), invites faculty to develop and integrate sustainability content into course curriculum.
  • Held annually, Concordia’s Campus Sustainability Month raises awareness of the numerous sustainability initiatives, resources, services and volunteer opportunities available to students, faculty and staff year-round.
  • The Sustainability Champion Awards recognize students, faculty and staff who contribute to the university's social, ecological and economic well-being.
  • The Concordia University Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR) is a unique space for staff to donate their office equipment, students to obtain or transform project materials for free and faculty members to engage their students in hands-on, creative classroom activities.
  • The Concordia Precious Plastic Project (CP3) tackles the plastic crisis by repurposing Concordia’s plastic waste to create new eco-friendly items for the Montreal community.
  • In 2023, Concordia announced the launch of PLAN/NET ZERØ. This bold climate change initiative will engage diverse partners to transform both campuses into living labs that reduce energy consumption, optimize heating systems and encourage behavioural change. 
  • In 2023, the Government of Canada awarded Concordia a $123-million grant — the largest in its history — to fund transformative research on electrification, smart buildings and net-zero communities.
  • In 2022, the international BOMA Quebec’s Building Energy Challenge recognized Concordia's buildings for reducing greenhouse gases.
  • In 2021, Concordia signed on to the Montreal Climate Partnership and committed to reducing onsite greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent by 2030 against the baseline rate set in 2014-15. 

Find out more about Concordia’s
Sustainability Action Plan and its progress


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