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Report Card 2010

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McGill University
College Sustainability Report Card 2010

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McGill University

School details:

  Grade higher than last year

  Campus Sustainability Leader


Endowment: $794 million as of June 30, 2008

Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Enrollment: 25,921

Type: Public


Campus Survey: Yes (see response)

Dining Survey: Yes (see response)

Endowment Survey: Yes (see response)

Student Survey: Yes (see response)


Data compiled from independent research. For information on data collection and evaluation, please see the Methods section.



Overall grade  
B +
McGill's environmental policy has been in place since 2001 and a draft sustainability policy is being slated for approval in 2010. The Office of Sustainability employs two full-time staff and one part-time student. A paper-use policy was adopted in 2005 and an environmentally friendly campus printing project was initiated in 2009.
McGill has achieved a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 2003 levels, and plans to achieve a 30 percent reduction below baseline year levels by 2010. In 2008, the university committed more than $10 million to deferred maintenance projects, including energy efficiency improvements.
Dining services purchases vegetables, breads, and meats from 15 local producers, and sources from a local dairy. A majority of seafood purchased by McGill meets Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines, and 90 percent of coffee offered on campus is fair trade-certified. The university runs a comprehensive recycling program for electronic waste.
Both the university’s master plan and its environmental policy include green building guidelines. The Design Review Committee ensures that new construction and major renovations meet sustainable design standards. The new life sciences building is pending LEED certification.
Students have been included in drafting administrative policy, including the sustainability policy, and in creating the Office of Sustainability in 2009. A composting program on both the main and MacDonald campuses is organized by students. McGill’s student union collects a voluntary fee from 90 percent of undergraduate students each semester in support of a green fund for environmental initiatives.
McGill's fleet includes two hybrid, one electric, and one diesel vehicle converted to run on vegetable oil. Free shuttles are available to the school community for transport between the downtown and MacDonald campuses. The McGill Bike Loan Program offers 10 bikes for free rental.
The university makes a list of external managers, pooled funds, equity- and fixed-income holdings available to the public on request, as per open record law. The university does not make a shareholder voting record publicly accessible; this information is available only to trustees and senior administrators upon request.
The university aims to optimize risk-adjusted investment return and is currently invested in renewable energy funds.
In certain cases, the university provides its investment managers with specific environmental and social guidelines that determine its proxy votes. These votes are made in accordance with recommendations from the Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility, composed of student, board, faculty, and staff representatives.
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