UTM’s Progress on the 10-year
Sustainability Strategic Plan
In 2021, UTM released a 10-year Sustainability Strategic Plan with the goal of fostering a culture of sustainability on campus for the UTM community to enjoy. A year later, UTM continues to hit the ground running collaborating with internal and external partners to either complete, start, or prepare the implementation of the goals outlined in the Plan. The Plan has five pillars: Academic Programs and Curriculum; Research; Campus Engagement; Civic Engagement; and Human Resources & Infrastructure. Each pillar has a set of goals, actions and timelines attributed to them, which guide the sustainability work amongst all teams on campus. Additionally, each goal is tied to The Sustainability, Tracking & Assessment Rating System (STARS), which is a global sustainability standard for higher education. UTM has earned a STARS silver rating in 2020 and is working towards achieving a platinum rating in the long term.
The Plan is managed by the Sustainability Office and supported by the Principal’s Sustainability Advisory Committee (PSAC), and the many sub-committee working groups. These sub-committees are composed of a transdisciplinary group of students, staff, faculty and librarians who come together to discuss sustainability progress and initiatives across campus.
Over the past year, UTM has seen large progress in integrating sustainability principles into academics and curriculum, on-campus initiatives, and through engagement with stakeholders and the community. In the academic space, a new Certificate of Completion in Global Sustainability was launched, along with Campus as a Living Lab courses that provide students with experiential learning opportunities. On campus, there has been a plethora of sustainable initiatives that are in the works across departments at UTM. Some have a specific focus on waste management and diversion practices such as the OZZI program that is led by the Hospitality and Ancillary Services department and the new waste bins piloted by the Sustainability Office. Despite a mostly online academic year, engagement with UTM’s stakeholders was high through virtual participation in the People Power Challenger 2021, Elizabeth May’s keynote speech on “After COP26 – What now? Can we keep 1.5 alive?”, and the Adams Sustainability Celebration hosted by the CECCS. These are just a handful of success stories that the UTM community has achieved over the past year. For a detailed overview of the accomplishments thus far, check out the Sustainability Strategic Plan Progress Report.