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Ryerson Water Bottle Refill Station

Progress & Initiatives

Groups across campus are working hard to improve how Ryerson performs environmentally and socially while maintaining a strong financial bottom-line. Learn more about the many ways sustainability is being addressed across campus by exploring the content below.

Environmental Sustainability



As part of understanding the University’s impact on the environment, Ryerson is measuring its carbon footprint, adding to the scope of what is included each year. Ryerson presently measures carbon equivalent emissions related to campus energy use, purchasing, refrigerant use, waste and business-related travel.

Below is a graph of Ryerson's total carbon emissions from 2011-2014:

A bar graph showing Ryerson's Carbon Footprint totals from 2011-2014.

* Scope Adjustments: for the sake of comparability, emissions subtotals were calculated based on the scope of analysis used in 2011, which did not include purchasing, waste or business travel. 



With a large and quickly growing campus made up a diverse group of buildings, both old and new, Ryerson is committed to improving how efficiently we consume energy. To meet the Ontario Regulation 397/11 reporting requirement, the University measures all energy data. Ryerson leverages advanced systems and technologies to more efficiently light, heat, cool and operate our spaces. The University is focused on building its capacity to collect the more detailed and accurate energy usage data that is needed to support leading management practices.


Notable Projects

Vending Machine Energy Misers

Ryerson University has installed VendingMisers® on all 48 cold vending machines located across campus to reduce their energy consumption during low traffic times.

VendingMisers use Passive Infrared (PIR) occupancy sensors to automatically shut down the controlled vending machine when the area around it has been vacant for 15 minutes. In order to ensure the product remains cold, the VendingMiser will periodically re-power the machine. In addition to this, the VendingMiser contains a current sensor which determines if the vending machine’s compressor is operating and will delay power-down of the vending machine until the compressor has completed its cooling cycle. The VendingMiser will power the machine back up immediately if a user approaches the machine to purchase a product. 

Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan

The continued growth in campus energy demand and the University’s need for an affordable, reliable supply of energy presents the opportunity for Ryerson University to develop an integrated energy plan that will systematically help offset rising costs and increasing campus demand.

Campus Facilities and Sustainability developed an Energy Conservation and Demand Management (ECDM) Plan and released it on July 1st, 2014 to address this opportunity and meet the requirements of Ontario Regulation 397/11. This plan will guide Ryerson’s efforts to reduce campus energy consumption, operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions between 2014 and 2019. 

AMC Lecture Theatres Partnership

Ryerson’s partnership with AMC is a unique an sustainable approach to utilizing under-utilized space.

In 2008, AMC and Ryerson created an agreement that allowed AMC to build 24 theatres over Ryerson’s Yonge Street parking garage. On weekday mornings, when the theatres are not busy, Ryerson is able to use the facilities to host lectures. The arrangement allows Ryerson to accommodate about 260 classes and 12,200 students, while still being profitable for AMC in the evenings and on weekends.  Using the theatres is environmentally and economically sustainable as it reduces the need to build more lecture halls to accommodate the growing student population.

And as an added bonus, students love the comfortable seats!


Adminstrative Groups 


Academic Groups



This campus is a home to students and a place where our community comes to work, eat and play. Ryerson is committed to employing technologies and practices that minimize our use of water.


Notable Projects

Bottled Water Free Campus

On March 11, 2010, Ryerson University pledged to be a Bottled Water Free campus, committing to providing free, public drinking water on campus through increased investment in water fountains and water bottle refill stations. Ryerson also successfully phased-out the sale of bottled water on campus in 2013.

Water Bottle Refilling Stations

As a part of the Bottled Water Free Campus committment, Campus Facilities and Sustainability installed over 200 water bottle refill stations on campus. Below is a list of the locations of those stations:

Architecture Building

ARC 107
ARC 208
ARC 336
ARC 405

Campus Planning and Facilities

CPF 115

Civil Engineering Building

MON 105
MON 211
MON 315
MON 415

Eric Palin Hall

EPH 114
EPH 140
EPH 210
EPH 221
EPH 235
EPH 336
EPH 402

George Vari Engineering Building

ENG 104
ENG 204
ENG 305
ENG 405

Kerr Hall East

KHE 33
KHE 32
KHE 116
KHE 122
KHE 124
KHE 130
KHE 213
KHE 226
KHE 232
KHE 233
KHE 318
KHE 326
KHE 327
KHE 328

Kerr Hall North

KHN 107
KHN 208
KHN 305

Kerr Hall South

KHS 56
KHS 143
KHS 149
KHS 150
KHS 237
KHS 243
KHS 247
KHS 338
KHS 350

Kerr Hall West

KHW 73
KHW 71
KHW 63
KHW 171
KHW 177
KHW 178
KHW 185
KHW 259
KHW 269
KHW 273
KHW 277
KHW 356
KHW 385
KHW 389

Library building

LIB 75
LIB 80
LIB 272
LIB 392
LIB 493
LIB 554
LIB 654
LIB 754
LIB 852
LIB 952
LIB 1052

Podium (POD)

POD 48
POD 59
POD 77
POD 165
POD 250
POD 252
POD 352
POD 454
POD 481

Ryerson Athletic Center

Female change area
RAC 203
RAC 211

Rogers Communication Center

RCC 144
RCC 224
RCC 306

Sally Horsfall Eaton Center for Students

SHE 539
SHE 641

School of Interior Design

Ground floor

South Bond Building

Next to washrooms on 3rd and 4th floor

Ted Rogers School of Management

Near TRS 1-041
Near TRS 1-155
Near TRS 2-043
Near TRS 2-155
Near TRS 3-047
Near TRS 3-155

Victoria Building

VIC 110
VIC 210
VIC 309
VIC 406
VIC 513
VIC 609
VIC 718

Chang Continuing Education School

Every floor, in kitchen area

Monetary Times Building

Every floor, hallways

Aqueous Cleaning System

Custodial Services is using an Aqueous Cleaning System along with environmentally-friendly cleaners in an initiative to reduce chemical cleaners from campus.

The Aqueous Cleaning System uses a process which turns water into a cleaner called Aqueous Ozone. A unit converts oxygen into ozone which is infused into the water. The ozone cleans by oxidizing any bacteria that it comes into contact with.

The cleaner can be used on any surface to eliminate germs, odour, stains, mold, mildew, and other contaminants. The Aqueous Ozone converts back into water and oxygen within a few hours. Along with being environmentally sustainable, Aqueous Ozone is odour-free, non-toxic, and cost-efficient. It eliminates the need to continually purchase harsh chemical cleaners. It also allows custodial staff to clean larger areas of the campus.

The system is used in the SLC, the Library building, Podium, Jorgenson Hall, and the Recreation and Athletics Centre. 


Administrative Groups


Student Groups


Academic Groups 




With an amazing diversity of campus spaces - public and private, indoor and outdoor, dining, office, event and more - reducing waste is a complicated challenge. Ryerson is committed to improving the efficacy of our waste receptacles, management practices and the service providers we employ and consistently increasing the amount of waste Ryerson diverts from landfill.

To learn more about general custodial services at Ryerson, click here.


Notable Projects

Shift to Electronic-based Services

Several initiatives have been adopted across Ryerson that are designed to transition administration from paper to electronic storage and sharing of records. These initiatives have served to significantly reduce paper consumption, and increase how efficiently records are accessed. Some examples of this are:

  • Financial services shift to electronic records, training, mailing and payment and processing
  • Electronic distribution of the Ryerson Internal Directory
  • Electronic distribution of the Ryerson University Magazine
  • Many departments have switched the default on printers to double sided

Microbe Hub is a student-led start-up that diverts organic waste into a vermicomposting system. Vermicomposting uses worms to convert food waste into a nutrient rich soil amendment and organic plant fertilizer. 

In November 2015, a team of Ryerson students initiated the Microbe Hub pilot project in the Faculty of Arts. Twice per week, kitchen compost pails are collected from each of the 10 Faculty of Arts departments residing in Jorgensen Hall. Diverting the organic waste from the Faculty of Arts is increasing campus sustainability and advancing the Arts Eco Action Plan mandate.

In a shared research lab, the organic materials are sorted and fed to the worms and data from each of the bins is collected, including temperature, moisture, digestion of food and worm population dynamic . The castings will be used for plant research on campus, and once a consistent yield is stockpiled, it will be available for sale campus-wide. In addition, Microbe Hub provides workshops on composting and provides composting services for small, medium and large scale events.

Think-Before-You-Ink Campaign

The “Think Before You Ink” program was launched in June 2012 in the Financial Services department. This program provided staff with information on the average number of pages printed and toners used each year, the reason for reducing the amount the department prints and the methods and benefits of reducing printing. In addition, once the program was implemented, the staff was provided with monthly progress reports. The department was able to save 18 toners and 173,000 sheets of paper over the course of three years and those numbers will continue to grow!



Getting the entire Ryerson community to and from campus accounts for one of the University’s largest sources of environmental impact. It is Ryerson’s commitment to encourage less impactful forms of active transportation through campus education & engagement as well as the development of new infrastructure.


Notable Projects

Secure Bicycle Room

The Secure Bicycle Room offers students, faculty and staff a secure indoor facility to park or store their bicycles. The Room features 65 vertical rack spaces, bicycle pumps, lights, and security cameras and is regularly patrolled by Ryerson Security.  It can be accessed with a Ryerson OneCard during the hours of 6:30 am to 11:00 pm, seven days a week.

Community members must apply for a permit for the use of the Room.  The permits are free of charge and are issued on a first come first served basis. The bicycle room is located behind 110 Bond Street and can be reached by the laneway from Bond or Dundas Streets or through the pathway around Lake Devo and the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education.

Bike Rack Locations

To promote bicycle ridership on campus, Ryerson offers over 1100 bicycle parking spots across campus. This includes a variety of styles including ring and post, hanging triangle, staple and cycle pods. The racks are part of a campus-wide bicycle program developed in conjunction with the City of Toronto’s Bicycle Friendly Campuses Project.

In 2009 Ryerson University was awarded the Best Bike Parking & Best Large Business Award, Bicycle Friendly Business Awards, City of Toronto.

Toronto Bike Share Locations

Toronto’s Bike Share has 5 docks located very near to campus. Click the link below for more information on Bike Share and availability at these locations.

Victoria St (Just north of Dundas in pedestrianized area) - 18 Docks

Gerrard St (Just west on Church on the North side) - 15 Docks

Gould St. (Just east of Church on the South side) - 31 Docks

Dundas St. (Just west of Yonge on the South side) - 13 Docks

Edwards St. (Just west of Yonge on the North side) - 23 docks


Bike Patrol Unit

Established in 1994, Security Officers assigned to the Bike Patrol Unit undergo special training in bicycle related law, traffic safety, bike patrol tactics, and emergency handling skills. They are provided with high visibility uniforms, helmets, and mountain bikes equipped for urban patrol work both during the day and at night. Created to meet the need for shorter response times to incidents as well as increased patrol efficiency, the Bike Patrol Unit adds a versatile, less environmentally impacting arm to Ryerson Security’s Operations.



While centred in the bustling heart of downtown Toronto, Ryerson is committed to a generous proportion of its grounds remaining natural spaces and features. We continue to develop green spaces that contribute to Toronto’s urban forest, campus food production and practical learning opportunities for students.


Notable Projects


Ryerson Rooftop Farm

Ryerson University is home to a quarter acre rooftop farm on the Andrew and Valerie Pringle Environmental Green Roof, located in the heart of downtown Toronto. Originally built in 2004, this green roof was converted into an edible garden in 2013 by Ryerson's student initiated garden group, Ryerson Urban Farm (formerly Rye's Homegrown). Since then, more than 1,000 people have visited the farm through tours, workshops and events.

In 2015, the farm produced nearly 8,000 pounds of produce, distributed between Ryerson's campus kitchens, the Gould Street Farmers' Market and to volunteers through a weekly food basket. Set in one of Canada's most densely populated neighbourhoods, this innovative project demonstrates the potential for the urban landscape to be used to produce food as well as to contribute to the health and wellbeing of both our community and our environment.

Ryerson Urban Gardens

Ryerson Urban Farm is made up of Ryerson students, faculty and staff who prioritize food sovereignty and responsible ecology. They operate 8 edible gardens on campus using a variety of growing methods and techniques. Ryerson Urban Farm provides a source of healthy food for the university community and acts as a focus for on-going discussion, experiment and development of a sustainable campus, and ultimately a sustainable city.

In addition to seeding the edible gardens at Ryerson University, they host several hands-on workshops which focus on urban agriculture and other aspects of the food system as well as events which invite everyone to dip their hands in the soil.

CityTrees Web App/ Nature in the City

The new Ryerson Nature in the City web-based tool has been created by Dr. Andrew Millward and colleagues in Urban Forest Research & Ecological Disturbance (UFRED) as a way to inspire engagement in contributing to a vibrant and resilient urban forest at Ryerson University.

Ryerson’s Nature in the City (RyersonNC) initiative celebrates our green infrastructure — the treed ecosystems that make our cities livable, sustainable and resilient. RyersonNC emboldens a vision of city building that embraces urban trees as natural capital to be protected and enhanced. The web app is a custom tool designed to inspire increased stewardship for Ryerson’s urban forest. It fosters education by providing an interactive platform for users to learn ecological information about a specific tree on campus. Integral to this tool is the ability for stewards of Ryerson’s urban forest to inventory and track the health of Ryerson’s trees. Created by Ryerson’s Urban Forest Research & Ecological Disturbance (UFRED) group in partnership with Ryerson’s Faculty of Arts, RyersonNC aims to raise awareness of the value of nature in cities, especially trees, by engaging a new generation of citizens for whom mobile devices are now ubiquitous.



Ryerson is committed to making a diverse menu of food options available on campus that are made with wholesome, fresh and local ingredients and offered at student-friendly prices. As a complement, Ryerson delivers food-related programming including community meals, workshops and visits from some of Toronto’s best chefs, farmers and good food advocates.


Notable Projects

$5 Meal Project

Ryerson understands that students need maximum value, flavour and nutrition from their food purchases on campus.  To meet this need, they have committed to offering a daily $5 meal called The Daily Friendly Fiver in both residence (Pitman & ILLC) dining halls, as well as in The Hub.

Food Labeling

Ryerson is committed to labeling their food items in the following categories: 

Go Local – There are a number of ways to consider sourcing local food. We consider all whole ingredients grown in Ontario as locally sourced. Value added food product s must consist of 80 per cent locally grown ingredients to be considered local. When you see this icon on signage and packages, it means that at least 80% of the ingredients in the dish are grown in Ontario.

Vegetarian – We understand vegetarian diets to mean no meat, poultry, seafood, fish or other animal flesh. Vegetarian dishes served on the Ryerson campus do include animal by-products like eggs, dairy, gelatin and honey.

Vegan – Vegan diets are entirely plant-based, without exception. Vegan meals served on the Ryerson campus are essentially our vegetarian meals, but with the exclusion of animal by-products like eggs, dairy, gelatin and honey.

Made Without Gluten – There is a wide spectrum for gluten intolerance, and when you see this icon on signage and food packaging, you’ll know that the dish has been made without wheat or other sources of gluten.

Halal – All of our Halal meals on campus are pork-free and contain only meat from animals that have been slaughtered in accordance with Muslim custom and tradition. Halal meals are also alcohol-free, and any cheese used in these meals is animal rennet-free.

Contains Nuts –  Our kitchens are not nut free facilities. Foods that contain nuts include what are considered as tree nuts.  At Ryerson Eats, we also include the use of peanuts, in this category. However, this category does not include seeds, such as sunflower or sesame. If you have a seed allergy,
please check with a server first.

Ocean Friendly – When possible, we are proud to source fish and shellfish from clean waters, healthy stock and that have been caught using methods which do no harm to other species or to the surrounding environment. In the case we are using farmed fish, it is from carefully vetted sources that prioritize slow growth rates, low population densities, no hormones or antibiotics.

Made Without Gluten – There is a wide spectrum for gluten intolerance, and when you see this icon on signage and food packaging, you’ll know that the dish has been made without wheat or other sources of gluten.

Made Without Gluten – There is a wide spectrum for gluten intolerance, and when you see this icon on signage and food packaging, you’ll know that the dish has been made without wheat or other sources of gluten.

Made Without Gluten – There is a wide spectrum for gluten intolerance, and when you see this icon on signage and food packaging, you’ll know that the dish has been made without wheat or other sources of gluten.

Contains Nuts –  Our kitchens are not nut free facilities. Foods that contain nuts include what are considered as tree nuts.  At Ryerson Eats, we also include the use of peanuts, in this category. However, this category does not include seeds, such as sunflower or sesame. If you have a seed allergy,
please check with a server first.

Contains Nuts –  Our kitchens are not nut free facilities. Foods that contain nuts include what are considered as tree nuts.  At Ryerson Eats, we also include the use of peanuts, in this category. However, this category does not include seeds, such as sunflower or sesame. If you have a seed allergy,
please check with a server first.

25% Local Procurement

In the context of food, sustainability generally refers to the values that guide food production and distribution. Ryerson will prioritize engagement with food producers who uphold the following practices:

  1. Employ production systems that reduce or eliminate synthetic pesticides and fertilizers; avoid the use of hormones, antibiotics, and genetic engineering; and conserve soil and water.
  2. Provide safe and fair working conditions for on-farm labour.
  3. Provide healthy and humane care for livestock.
  4. Protect and enhance wildlife habitat and biodiversity on working farm landscapes.
  5. Reduce on-farm energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Social Sustainability



In addition to an exceptional academic experience, Ryerson is committed to maintaining an equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible campus environment within which students thrive as they pursue their full potential. Students are encouraged to take advantage of development opportunities related to community, mental well-being as well as personal and professional development.


Notable Projects

RU Therapy Dogs

The RU Therapy Dog Program is hosted by Student Development and Counselling and aims to improve mental well-being on campus. The program is a collaboration with St. John Ambulance and all of the Therapy Dogs are fully certified through St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program. Canine jumps, spins, licks and wags can go a long way toward relieving the stress associated with being a student. Drop in for a session with 5 therapy dogs, every Monday. During mid-terms and finals, they also hold larger sessions with 10 dogs.

Room locations and times may change from week-to-week so be sure to follow them on the social media below: 

Consent Comes First

Consent Comes First is a campaign that promotes Ryerson’s policy on Sexual Violence, and Ryerson’s commitment to survivors of sexual violence. This campaign encourages members of the Ryerson community to understand consent as it is defined by the Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education: active, voluntary and vocal.

First Generation Project

The First Generation Project aims to increase the number of First Generation students in the post-secondary education system, whether it be in college, university, or in an apprenticeship program. The initiatives of the First Generation Project are:

  1. Social & academic events for RU Students ('Mix n Mingles' and Workshops with Learning Strategists)
  2. On and off campus events focusing on educating youth and their parents about post-secondary options
  3. In-school peer tutoring for high school students
  4. Workshops on different post-secondary options, financial assistance, what to expect after high school, and applying to post-secondary as a mature student
All Gender Washrooms

Ryerson has begun incorporating all-gender washrooms in the Student Campus Centre and plans to make all gender signage for all single-stalled washrooms within the next few years. These changes have been implemented due to a university-wide call for more inclusive spaces that accommodate all students at Ryerson.

Temporary all-gender washrooms are available on the second floor of the SCC, and the first permanent all gender washrooms are to be completed by Fall 2016 on the first and second floors of Oakham House.



Ryerson is committed to being an exceptional place to work where values like equity, diversity and inclusion are core to our culture.  From professional development to flexible work arrangements and opportunities for community involvement; Ryerson employees are encouraged to learn, grow and maintain a healthy work-life balance.


Notable Projects

Employee and Family Assistance Program

The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is a confidential and voluntary support service that can help employees solve all kinds of problems and challenges in their lives. The program is administered by Shepell and services are entirely anonymous. Neither HR nor supervisors are privy to information regarding who has accessed the program.

Employees and their immediate family members (as defined in the employee benefit plan) can receive support over the telephone, in person, online and through a variety of issue-based health and wellness resources. For each concern employees are experiencing, you can receive a series of sessions. Employees can also take advantage of online tools to help manage personal wellbeing.

Ryerson Women in Leadership

The Women in Leadership Forum brings together senior female faculty members and administrators at Ryerson for learning, networking and mutual support. Co-sponsored by Janice Winton, Vice President, Administration & Finance, and, Wendy Cukier, Vice President, Research & Innovation, the Women in Leadership Forum hosts approximately four events each year.

These meetings feature guest speakers whose career journey includes challenges and lessons to which senior women leaders at Ryerson can relate to. In addition, there is always time allotted at each event for attendees to get to know each other and discuss shared issues in a friendly, casual environment.

Diversity Self ID

Ryerson believes that having faculty and staff who reflect the diversity of the students and the city makes a better university. It is critical to Ryerson's success to remove barriers and promote the inclusion of all Ryerson employees, including those from equity-seeking groups. 

The Diversity Self ID is a questionnaire that all staff fill out that helps Ryerson determine where they are now so they can set realistic equity, diversity and inclusion goals and measure their progress. In turn, they are able to create plans and strategies that improve the work experience of Ryerson employees.

Gender Transitioning Program

As an employer that values equity, diversity and inclusion, Ryerson is pleased to support employees who are transitioning. Ryerson knows that employees are happiest when they are able to bring their whole selves to work, and is continually working to provide an atmosphere that achieves this for all employees.

While transitioning is a highly personal and individual experience, the resources Ryerson offers outline the procedures for transitioning in the workplace and can be used to help Ryerson employees come to a greater understanding of transgender and transitioning issues.



Beyond creating an environment that allows students and researchers to flourish, Ryerson is committed to encouraging the development of practical solutions and working directly with the community in ways that help transform the world.


Notable projects

Lifeline Syria

OCAD University, University of Toronto and York University have joined Ryerson University to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, mobilizing communities to bring and resettle Syrian refugees throughout Canada. Initially established with a goal of sponsoring 10 families, the RULSC committed to sponsoring 75 Syrian refugee families or 300 people. RULSC met its goal to bring together 75 teams to sponsor 75 families.

To date, Toronto’s network of universities has raised more than $4 million, formed 90 teams, and helped 15 Syrian families, consisting of 93 people, to settle in Canada.

Edible Allen Gardens

The Edible Allan Gardens project, which opened at a community launch picnic on June 4, 2016 was created through a unique collaboration of volunteer Ryerson graduate students led by a master of architecture student and community partners, and supported financially by Ryerson’s Learning and Teaching Office (LTO). The garden increases access to growing space that is free and accessible and provides a greater opportunity for groups and individuals to learn about how to grow food. 

Textbooks for Change

Textbooks for Change is a social venture that provides affordable and accessible educational material to students both locally and abroad. Used textbooks are repurposed to create social impact and improve the educational landscape for students around the world. This is done by:

  • Donating thousands of post-secondary textbooks to African universities annually;
  • Selling affordable used textbooks to North American students and using proceeds to help fund student-led impact initiatives;
  • Diverting thousands of textbooks from landfills by recycling them efficiently.

Textbooks for Change works with 22 post-secondary institutions across Ontario. There are two dropboxes on campus: outside the used bookstore in the Student Centre and in the Ryerson Commerce Society office at the Ted Rogers School of Management.