York University has ranked third in a global campus sustainability survey by the University of Indonesia.
The UI Green Metric Ranking of World Universities 2010 rated participating universities based on factors including the percentage of green space on their campus, electricity consumption, waste and water management, and the application of eco-sustainability policies and efforts.
Some 94 universities from 35 countries participated in the survey. The University of California, Berkeley, topped the list, while the University of Nottingham, UK, was second. After York came Boston’s Northeastern University and Cornell University in New York state.
In 2010, York also received a B+ from the College Sustainability Report Card, ranking second among Canadian universities. The report card looked at sustainability in 322 schools across Canada and the US, grading them in nine categories.
York’s recent achievements in the area of sustainability include:
- 17 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2006; projected 25 per cent reduction by 2011.
- More than 65 per cent of community members commute to campus via environmentally preferable means. York runs two natural gas buses between its campuses, offers a discount on public transit passes and awards incentives to carpoolers. Cyclists can make use of bike racks, indoor monitored bike parking and shower facilities.
- The campus diverts 59 per cent of its waste from landfills and recycles electronic items.
- 18 per cent of the University’s food budget is spent on local and organic items. Dining Services purchases milk that is hormone and antibiotic free; seafood meets sustainable fisheries guidelines. Pre-consumer food waste is composted at all meals; post-consumer compost bins are located across campus.
- The University’s green building policy emphasizes low-impact development and sustainable principles, including the use of environmentally preferable materials, efficient airflow systems and stormwater retention. Five buildings on campus are built to Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards.
- The Res Race to Zero competition reduced energy use by 5 per cent amongst eight participating residence halls.