McGill wins International Sustainable Campus Network award for Vision 2020 action plan

April 21, 2020  — 
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Morrice Hall on McTavish StreetMonica Allaby

Vision 2020: Climate & Sustainability Action Plan 2017-2020 – McGill’s second sustainability strategy and the first to incorporate climate action – institutionalized concrete initiatives to reduce the University’s carbon footprint and create a more sustainable future.

Now, this Action Plan and its associated outcomes are being recognized at the international level.

For the work completed on Vision 2020, McGill has been selected as the recipient of the Honorary Member Award at the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) Excellence Awards.

Vision 2020 Climate & Sustainability Action Plan

Vision 2020 is the product of a deeply collaborative engagement process which brought together the entire McGill community. Driven by two ambitious long-term targets – to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 and to attain a sustainability platinum rating by 2030 – the Action Plan institutionalized concrete objectives to reduce McGill’s carbon footprint and bolster sustainable initiatives on campus.

For the 2017-2020 duration of the plan, Vision 2020 defined 22 short-term priority actions and 45 associated deliverables, with the ownership and accountability of these activities distributed across the University. McGill has already made great progress towards achieving the objectives set out in the Action Plan, with 71 per cent of the deliverables already completed by the publication of the Vision 2020 progress report in 2019. A final progress report will be published in December 2020.

With Vision 2020 nearing its end this year, its legacy is that it has paved the way for creating collaborative and representative plans for and from the McGill community. There are still numerous strides that can be made when it comes to the continuous pursuit of creating a more sustainable campus and it is essential to keep the momentum going as McGill transitions to the 2020-2025 Climate & Sustainability Strategy.

ISCN Sustainable Campus Excellence Awards

The ISCN held their first Excellence Awards in 2009. Since then hundreds of nominations have been received from schools representing Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. These campuses from across the globe have been recognized in numerous categories that showcase the important role of higher education institutions (HEIs) in creating a sustainable future for our planet. The ISCN further points out that HEIs have a “unique role to play in developing the technologies, strategies, citizens and leaders required for a more sustainable future.” 

One of the award categories, the Honorary Member Award, is granted to “an institution who is not a member of the ISCN but has demonstrated their commitment to the guiding principles of the ISCN.” Last year, McGill was a finalist in this category for the Sustainability Projects Fund.

Now, in 2020, the University has been selected as the winner of the Honorary Member Award for the University’s Vision 2020: Climate & Sustainability Action Plan 2017-2020.

Promoting a culture of sustainability 

“We are thrilled to have been chosen as the recipient of the Honorary Member Award for our community’s collective work on Vision 2020,” said Yves Beauchamp, Vice Principal, Administration and Finance at McGill. “This Action Plan has solidified a culture of sustainability on campus, including in our operations, which is sure to grow stronger in the future.”

As a recipient of the Honorary Member Award, McGill has received a free year-long membership to the ISCN, a network whose mission is to provide an international forum to support HEIs in the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices for achieving sustainable campus operations and integrating sustainability in research and teaching.”

“The University is eager to start participating as an active member of the ISCN,” said Mr. Beauchamp. “This membership will allow us to grow our existing international network and tap into, and contribute to, sustainability expertise around the globe.”

The University will accept the ISCN Honorary Member Award at a virtual ceremony on May 14

Learn more about the ISCN’s Excellence Awards here. Visit the McGill Office of Sustainability website to learn more about Vision 2020 and the 2020-2025 Climate & Sustainability Strategy.


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Article courtesy of The McGill Reporter

Article courtesy of The McGill Reporter