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Sustainability Progress Report 2021

Students sitting on the green grass in the Quad with the clock tower in the background.

Executive summary

Welcome to Ryerson’s Sustainability Progress Report. This report was developed by the Sustainability Office in Facilities Management and Development (FMD), a team dedicated to advancing sustainability on campus and within our community. We pursue opportunities to strengthen sustainability across all areas of the university through engagement and collaboration.

The report aims to provide an update on Ryerson’s sustainability projects, programs and initiatives across a number of areas (academics, operations and engagement) to capture the important work and ongoing efforts led by various groups at the institution. 

Our goal is to recognize achievements while identifying areas where more effort is required. 

This report is not exhaustive and does not capture each and every sustainability-related initiative undertaken at Ryerson. Rather it attempts to highlight a select number of key achievements, programs and initiatives that have taken place since the release of our last sustainability progress report in 2017. 

We have also mapped sustainability efforts to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), highlighting alignment where appropriate, with global sustainability goals. To learn more about the SDGs, visit www.sdgcompass.org/sdgs/, external link.

One of our major next steps is the development of Ryerson’s first Sustainability Action Plan to establish goals and chart the course for future sustainability efforts. We look forward to continuing our work with the Ryerson community to strengthen and prioritize sustainability on our campus!

Students sitting at tables along Gould Street with green planters and trees around them.

Key Sustainability Highlights

Introduction of Ryerson’s new Strategic Vision, which will guide the university for the next 10 years. Endorsed by Ryerson leadership, championing sustainability was included as one of the five values, deepening our institutional commitment to sustainability.

Submitted our first AASHE STARS, external link report and earned a silver rating. Developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), external link is a self-reporting framework used to measure current campus sustainability performance. It will be used as a benchmark to measure future sustainability efforts and progress.

Opened two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) targeting buildings: Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex (DCC) - LEED Gold and Centre for Urban Innovation (CUI) - LEED Silver.

Transitioned the campus from a 3-stream system (waste to landfill, bottles and cans, and paper) to include a fourth stream - organics, installing over 400 new bins with the goal of improving our campus waste diversion rate.