The York University Task Force on Sustainability Research has released its final report, which highlights the Task Force’s recommendations for the continued support, cultivation, integration and dissemination of York University’s sustainability research.
“The York University Task Force on Sustainability Research is pleased to release its final report with 21 recommendations for advancing York’s sustainability research. This is a rich area of research at York,” said Faculty of Environmental Studies Professor Jennifer Foster, chair of the Task Force on Sustainability Research. “The task force has made excellent headway towards building consensus on the direction of sustainability research at York. We have connected widely with members of the York community through two rounds of consultation. These recommendations were developed through advanced discussions with the York community and consensus-based decision-making within the task force. We thank everyone for their insightful contributions and feedback throughout the process. These recommendations reflect a strong commitment to sustainability research across the University.”
The task force’s recommendations are organized into themes of connections, communication strategies and funding. Recommendations include: maintaining a comprehensive inventory of sustainability research at York that will be updated regularly and available to York members; working towards the establishment of a York-wide Sustainability Hub; conducting an analysis of York’s sustainability research strengths to identify four to six broad areas where York researchers are conducting innovative, high impact, collaborative research; and coordinating high-level consultation sessions with York’s external partners to identify the full range of possibilities and strategies for enhancing research collaboration.
The report also recommends developing and implementing plans for a physical space to the Sustainability Hub for collaborative research purposes and social interaction, including student space; emphasizing York’s strengths in the area of internationalization to connect to global issues; establishing an online, open access sustainability journal that is internationally peer reviewed; creating mechanisms to attract top graduate students and Post-Doctoral Fellows focusing on sustainability, including scholarships; establishing Research Chairs in Environment and Sustainability; and the creation of a sustainability fund that provides seed funding or matching funds for both exploratory and applied sustainability research at York.
“I am pleased to receive the report and look forward to working with the community towards realizing the vision and recommendations of the task force,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research & innovation. “Sustainability research aligns with the core values of the University and is featured prominently in York’s Strategic Research Plan and community engagement strategy. I would like to thank the task force committee and all members of the York University community for their input during the consultation process and contributions to the development of the final report. The report reflects tangible progress towards advancing sustainability research initiatives at York.”
For a complete list of the report’s recommendations, view the Final Report of the Task Force on Sustainability Research.
The task force engaged in a two-phase consultative process, which included presentations to and consultations with members of the York University community, as well as meetings and discussions with student groups, three open forums where York community members could contribute their input, and online surveys. In addition, the draft report was circulated to a range of external partners who were consulted for feedback.