Sept. 22, 2021 The Division of Human Resources & Equity is now called the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

University of Toronto recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2016

U of T joins the list of employers that lead the nation in creating a culture of environmental awareness in their organizations.

“These employers have developed exceptional earth-friendly initiatives – and are attracting people to their organizations because of their environmental leadership.”

MediaCorps Canada Inc.

This is the 3rd year that U of T has made the list which is announced each Earth Day.

Each employer is evaluated in terms of:

  • The unique environmental initiatives and programs they have developed;
  • The extent to which they have been successful in reducing the organization’s environmental footprint;
  • The degree to which their employees are involved in these programs and whether they contribute any unique skills; and,
  • The extent to which these initiatives have become linked to the employer’s public identity and whether they attract new people to the organization.

Here are some of the reasons why University of Toronto was selected as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers (2016):

  • U of T’s many initiatives to reduce, reuse and recycle has helped it achieve an impressive waste diversion rate of over 72 percent, which includes the capture of everything from batteries to organics to asphalt and concrete — additionally, the university continues to build on its past accomplishments, recently launching the “Green Ideas” program to encourage employees and students to share ideas on how to further reduce the campus footprint — ideas that will help to shape future projects of the Sustainability Office
  • U of T operates a unique “Swap Shop” at its St. George campus where members of the university community can drop off and pick up items such as furniture and office equipment throughout the academic year, with over 40 tonnes of gently used items processed — additionally, the university operates the unique not-for-profit “Bikechain” shop which acts as a hub for the organization’s large cycling community, offering affordable repairs and educational opportunities for students, faculty and staff
  • Across Canada’s largest university, U of T boasts numerous environmentally-focused student groups, covering a range of green subject areas to suit practically every interest, from urban agriculture to sustainable engineering to the green chemistry initiative — the university also provides an incredible range of environmentally focused courses and programs across its many faculties, including the School of the Environment interdisciplinary academic program


Major Canadian hiring locations Toronto ON, Mississauga ON, Scarborough ON
Full-time employees in Canada 9,167
Employee green team Sustainability Office (three offices at each campus comprised of dedicated personnel and volunteers) and a number of student led groups across the university (too many to mention!)
Senior executive title Assistant Vice-President, Facilities and Services
Formal green program name University Environmental Protection Policy (first developed in 1994)
Unique green initiatives Tri-Campus Sustainability Board and Sustainability Offices (at each of its three main campuses), Bikechain (not-for-profit bike shop for the university’s large cycling community), Swap Shop (drop-off and shop for used furniture and equipment), The FreeStore (collects everything students leave behind for either re-use or proper recycling), Envirolympics (hosted at the Mississauga campus to award teams who collect the most and most interesting litter), Ban the Bottle (student-led initiative to stop the sale of bottled water on campus), Lug-A-Mug (initiative that provides a 25 cent discount on beverage purchases using a reusable container), Local Food Challenge (awareness campaign and program to increase the number of local food options), Fair Trade (the University’s Scarborough campus recently became a fair-trade designated campus)
Extended recycling initiatives batteries, light bulbs, organic composting available across campus
Commuter amenities transit subsidies, car-pool sign-up program, secure/sheltered bicycle parking
In-house environmental audit yes
External environmental audit yes
Publishes sustainability report yes
Green community initiatives Smart Commute, City of Mississauga’s Cycling Advisory Committee, Canadian Green Building Council, OASIS (distributes donations from the FreeStore to community groups)
In-house energy reduction initiatives yes
Head office LEED Gold
Other location LEED Gold
Building footprint includes PV solar panels, rainwater collection, solar water heating, geothermal HVAC, adopted a sustainable roofing standard (use of long-lasting lightweight concrete), use of Green Seal Certified cleaning products in all facilities, other building accreditation (BOMA etc.)



Full list of 2016 Canada’s Greenest Employers at: