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Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

The focus of this Sustainability Action Plan is to create a culture of sustainability at Laurier and beyond throughout our academics, research, physical operations, outreach and community partnerships to achieve key sustainability goals. In doing so, this Action Plan contributes to the strategic goals of the university. The Action Plan focuses on the following three themes:

  • Human and ecosystem health and well-being;
  • Climate action; and
  • Social sustainability.

This Action Plan was created using inputs from a variety of sources to best reflect the objectives of the university. Feedback from the intensive stakeholder engagement and results from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) self-reporting Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) were taken into consideration. Key guiding documents were reviewed, including Laurier’s Strategic Academic Plan, the Diversity and Equity Office’s Strategic Plan, past annual Sustainability Reports and peers’ sustainability action plans.

Analysis of external trends revealed that institutions are being driven to focus on significant decarbonization, primarily through the areas of energy, infrastructure, transportation and waste. As previously discussed, a separate Carbon Reduction Roadmap will be created to focus our efforts in this area. The Roadmap will guide Laurier through the process of significantly reducing its carbon footprint over the long term by enacting bold programs and deploying new and innovative technologies. The short-term plan detailed here will position Laurier to achieve emissions reduction by establishing key parameters and foundations to transition toward a low-carbon institution.

The feedback received from the Laurier community also pointed towards the importance of including goals related to social sustainability and its interconnectedness to environmental health and well-being. Because of these strong linkages and the importance placed on these issues by Laurier stakeholders, social sustainability will be a strong focus in the Action Plan.

Finally, the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are used as a framework for the goals in this plan. By aligning this plan to the SDGs (see Appendix for more on the SDGs), the Sustainability Office will ensure the work being undertaken at Laurier is contributing towards the progress of human well-being and ecological integrity on a global scale; the true embodiment of “act local, think global.”

Focus Areas


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