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Operational Excellence

Alvin Baldovino, Assistant Director, Engineering Operations at McMaster University on the Ivor Wynne Centre roof top with solar thermal collectors. McMaster’s 60 solar thermal collectors on campus provide pre-heating to a large swimming pool area. 

McMaster is dedicated to transforming our administrative and operational practices to be more sustainable with a focus on the following areas:

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The Choose to Reuse takeout container program at McMaster’s Hospitality Services locations encourages students, staff and faculty to participate in closing the loop while dining on campus. 

Sustainable Infrastructure, Energy and Water 

McMaster is focusing on carbon and energy reduction, with the goal of being a carbon-free campus. To address this, McMaster will:

  • Implement a Net Zero Carbon Roadmap with options for an accelerated timeline.  
  • Increase use of renewable energy systems.
  • Re-evaluate the way McMaster builds sustainability into our infrastructure. 
  • Reduce water usage across our facilities.  
  • Manage storm water.


McMaster is committed to reducing, reusing, and recycling waste and continuing to increase the percentage of waste diverted from landfill. To do so, McMaster will:

  • Improve and standardize recycling initiatives at our sites, including traditional streams like recyclables, as well as specialized streams like IT equipment and furniture reuse and recycling. 
  • Educate and promote reuse initiatives at our sites.  
  • Expand and encourage participation in composting at our sites.

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The McMaster community diverted 780 kgs of used technology from landfill through donation at the ACCESS Tech Drive in 2021. Students helped prepare technology for donation to Hamiltonian families in need.  

Responsible Investing and Sustainable Procurement 

McMaster University’s invested asset pools each use a responsible investment strategy. Responsible investing involves the incorporation of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations. The university also recognizes its responsibility to consider the social, environmental and economic implications of the goods and services purchased. To address this, McMaster is committed to:

  • Decarbonization and achieving net zero for the investment pool as soon as possible. 
  • Sustainable procurement practices and ensuring suppliers meet our standards.  
  • Aligning with UN Sustainable Development Goals throughout its financial affairs processes.  


Collaborating to develop metrics that indicate our progress will be a key part of delivering on this strategy. To develop quantitative metrics that support decision-making in pursuit of more sustainable operations, McMaster will:

  • Collaborate across the institution to develop and integrate quantitative sustainability metrics into operations and administration.  
  • Develop time-bound goals using metrics as a benchmark.   
  • Review and update sustainability-related policies.