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Sustainability Strategy 2022 – 26

David Farrar

President’s Letter

President and Vice-Chancellor

Transforming McMaster’s campus into a living laboratory for sustainability, accessibility, and inclusion is a university priority. 

This was clear from the many discussions I engaged in to develop McMaster’s institutional priorities and strategic framework in 2020. 

To lead by example and respond to our community, McMaster is determined to address some of the most pressing challenges facing our planet, including those concerning sustainability in all its forms.

McMaster’s first university-wide Sustainability Strategy aligns with our vision to advance human and societal health and well-being. To develop this strategy, we engaged our community, asking them to provide input and feedback on how we can become a living laboratory for sustainability. 

Sustainability Strategy

Operational Excellence Read More

Strategic Driver 4:

Guiding Principles

In the summer of 2021, engagement sessions took place with various student, faculty, and staff from across the campus community and from this a set
of principles to help guide the strategy were developed. 

In an open survey, the majority of students, faculty and staff who responded agreed with the proposed guiding principles. 

The following principles will guide us as we transform our campus into a living laboratory for sustainability:

We look through a lens of Indigeneity in our sustainability efforts 

We focus on equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion in our sustainability efforts

We see sustainability work as a collaborative, evolving effort

We strive for innovative solutions tailored to our community

We share and recognize our sustainability progress and achievements across our community

Sustainability Strategy Development Timeline

Summer 2021: Engagement begins

The Office of Sustainability holds interviews with 130 McMaster community members, conducted over 89 engagement meetings with student groups, faculty members and staff. In alignment with the President’s Strategic Priorities Framework, they provide feedback on how McMaster can transform into a living laboratory for sustainability.

Fall 2021

Call to shape the sustainability strategy

A digital survey is shared with the McMaster community, including all students, faculty members and staff. The survey seeks to clarify potential elements of the strategy based on the feedback from the previously held interviews. Over 2,600 responses come in.

Test and reflect

All information collected is distilled into strategic drivers and themes. Students, faculty members and staff participate in focus groups to test, explore, and revise the strategy. Feedback is incorporated and the strategy takes shape.

Winter 2021: Stamp of approval 

Review by McMaster University leadership and Board of Governors.  

Spring 2022: Strategy Launch

McMaster’s inaugural, university-wide Sustainability Strategy is shared with the community.

2022 to 2026: ...and Beyond

Some of the strategic drivers will include themes where goals could be set and achieved in the time period of this strategy. 

Others will require continuous effort moving forward. Future timelines will be shaped and shared in upcoming annual sustainability reports.

Survey Results

A digital survey was developed by the Office of Sustainability and coordinated with the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis. The survey collected the experiences and opinions of the university community with respect to McMaster’s sustainability efforts to help inform McMaster’s inaugural Sustainability Strategy. The survey was administered from October 14th, 2021 to November 8th, 2021 and it was directed to students, faculty members and staff at the university. The collective number of completed surveys was over 2,600. 

Sharing Progress

McMaster University will share the progress of its Sustainability Strategy in multiple ways. Most notably, the university will continue to produce an annual Sustainability Report.  

The inaugural university-wide Sustainability Report developed in 2020 offered a glimpse into McMaster’s collective ambition to create a more sustainable campus and world.
The next report will make connections to this strategy and every year provide more progress on how the strategy is being implemented.  

Along the way, McMaster will share accomplishments and recognize milestones by telling the stories of those who are living the sustainability strategy.  

If you are interested in learning more about this strategy, wondering how to get involved, or are aware of a sustainability related story you think should be told,
please connect with the Office of Sustainability at McMaster.

Connection to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

McMaster’s Sustainability Strategy is in alignment with multiple United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The annual Sustainability Report will detail how this strategy’s progress is connected to the UN SDGs, by topic area and initiatives.

1: No poverty
2: Zero Hunger
3: Good Health & Well-Being
4: Quality Education
5: Gender Equality
6: Clean Water and Saniation
7: Affordable and Clean Energy
8: Decent work and economic growth
9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
10: Reduced Inequalities
11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
12: Responsible Consumption and Production
13: Climate Action
14: Life below water
15: Life on Land
16: Peace, Justice, and strong institutions
17: Partnerships for the Goals