Some of the reasons why York U is a green university


Infographic showing different sustainability initiatives at York UFor the second year running, York University has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers in an announcement released on Earth Day by Mediacorp Canada Inc.

The University was named along with 54 other organizations in a competition organized by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers project.

Employers were evaluated and ranked on their unique environmental initiatives and programs, success in reducing environmental footprints and employee involvement in sustainability efforts. The Canada’s Greenest Employers distinction specifically recognizes York University for creating the President’s Sustainability Council, its Green Office and Sustainability Ambassador Programs and the “Res Race to Zero” competition in which student residences across campus attempt to reduce energy consumption.

The following are some of the reasons why York University was selected as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers (2014) as outlined by Mediacorp editors:

  • York University maintains a “Green Office” where staff, faculty members, and students can volunteer to become “Sustainability Ambassadors” and help to manage various environmentally-focused events across the campus.
  • The University’s Green Office program provides employees with the resources, including help from the ambassadors, to assess and rate the sustainability of their offices — qualifying offices can earn certification on an in-house scale that ranges from green to platinum and certification must be renewed once a year.
  • greenest employer logoYork University organizes the “Res Race to Zero”, an annual competition in which residences across campus attempt to reduce their energy consumption — the winning team receives a $4000 award to be spent towards a sustainability-themed initiative at its residence such as low flow shower heads and motion sensor light switches.
  • The University established a formal waste reduction program (called Zero-Waste) back in 1990 — and has since achieved a 66 per cent waste diversion rate through a comprehensive waste management plan that encompasses everything from composting organics to recycling building materials and furnishings.
  • York is installing cold water bottle refill stations (as part of a program to phase-out the sale of bottled water), supports local and organic producers where possible (approximately 25 per cent of its food budget is spent on local fare), and has implemented new ideas such as the Eco-Takeout pilot program to test reusable containers and old ideas such as the reintroduction of cutlery and china plates in most facilities.
  • The University constructed its first green building in 2001 (considered one of the first such campus structures in Canada) and has since completed seven new and major renovations to meet green building standards, including the LEED Silver certified Kaneff Tower building. 

A second infographic showing sustainability initiatives at York UNow in its eighth year, employers who make the Canada’s Greenest Employers list have developed exceptional, earth-friendly initiatives and are actively attracting people to their organizations because of their environmental leadership.

To learn more about York University’s initiatives in sustainability, visit the Sustainability @ York website.