Departmental support

Staff members holding newly planted pots from Engineering planting event

What departments or units can do

All units have a role to play in Waterloo’s sustainability action.

Some actions are common for every department, simply because day-to-day activities contribute to sustainability impacts. Most departments also have unique ways to support that will look different across the campus.

Common actions

Every unit on campus will need to align practices with Waterloo’s goals. In areas such as employee engagement, day-to-day operations, and planning, actions at the unit level have a cumulative impact that will support or detract from progress for everyone. Key day-to-day areas of activity include:

  • Planning: Integrate sustainability into departmental goals, objectives, and action planning
  • Engagement: Create communications, support employee development, and build networks that allow and encourage employee participation in sustainability efforts
  • Processes: Update rules, processes, and standard operating procedures to align with institutional goals
  • Physical spaces: Change parts of the physical office environment to support sustainability impacts, within the context of departmental operations

While the above four actions are broad, the Sustainability Office has programs in place to support departments in getting much more specific. Through the Green Office, Green Labs, and Sustainability Certificate, there is a wealth of information about how to identify and implement unit-level changes, from simple to complex.

Four line icons representing departmental support: planning, engagement, processes, and physical environment

Unique actions

Departments also have clear distinctions driven by their specific mandate – no two units operate identically, so their actions and the type of decisions they have authority over will be unique. This means, by definition, that each unit will need to navigate this with the support of the Sustainability Office.

To learn more and schedule a 1:1 discussion with the Sustainability Office, please contact

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