York University has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2020, an honour it has achieved eight consecutive times for initiatives such as sourcing sustainable food options.
More than 30 per cent of the food York purchases is local, sustainable-certified, Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance-certified. In addition, it has its own 2,000-square-foot community garden on the main campus.
“York has integrated its commitment to sustainability into its research, teaching and decision making, including linking it to our understanding of our ecosystem with our Social Procurement Policy,” said Carol McAulay, vice-president finance and administration. “We have established a framework of values and principles to advance the long-term health and vitality of our communities and to recognize that our procurement processes can have positive and sustainable social impact.”
The title of Canada’s Greenest Employers recognizes national leaders in developing not only a culture of environmental awareness, but exceptional sustainability initiatives.
Each year, the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers choose the organizations that will be named Canada’s Greenest Employers based on the development of unique environmental initiatives and programs, their success rate in reducing the organization’s own environmental footprint and in engaging employees in these environmental efforts. They also look at how closely the institution’s public identity is linked to these sustainable initiatives, and their ability to attract new employees and clients as a result.
Additional York sustainability highlights
• York’s Social Procurement Policy provides unique opportunities to reinforce the University’s vision and policies, as well as its role as an anchor institution to create a responsible and sustainable supply chain process,
• It has built a culture to embrace social procurement at the University while leveraging its purchasing power to benefit local economies.
• The University offers more than 500 courses related to sustainability and the environment across several faculties.
• Its Eco-Campus in Costa Rica is next to the Las Nubes Forest Reserve, part of the largest rainforest ecosystem in Central America, and is dedicated to education and research on neotropical conservation, eco-health, community well-being and sustainable livelihoods for neighbouring communities.
• In addition to offering a mix of transportation options, York also hosts an annual Bike to York Day, maintains three on-campus bike repair stations, two car-share operations, online carpool-matching and preferred parking for car-poolers, and has two new subway stations connecting the campus to the city.
• York uses PV solar panels, rainwater recapture systems and maintains several green roofs on campus buildings, as well as offering electric vehicle charging stations.
• New buildings are constructed to meet LEED Gold certification and there are LED lighting retrofits, water-saving fixtures, a formal ZeroWaste program, which diverts 68 per cent of waste from the landfill, plus a FreeStuff residence exchange program for students and a battery recycling program,
• York University also holds an annual Earth Day campus clean-up event, a weekly farmers market, an Oasis clothing bank and its print services are Forest Stewardship Council certified for paper sourcing, double-sided printing and advocating the use of e-documents.
Read more about York University’s commitment to sustainability at http://sustainability.info.yorku.ca/.