Our progress

2023 Environmental Sustainability Report

Published: Fall 2023
Scope: All campuses, 2022 calendar year

Waterloo's 2023 Environmental Sustainability Report includes case studies, key statistics, and evaluation of progress towards established objectives. As of 2023, 20 out of 27 objectives have been completed or are mostly complete, and the remaining 7 are in progress and on their way to completion. 

This report also maps out the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across various performance indicators, and includes a status update for the Shift:Neutral climate action plan.

Some highlights from this year's report include:

  • >680 academic courses related to the UN SDGs
  • >360 researchers exploring the UN SDGs
  • -4.4% GHG emissions (from Scope 1/2 sources)
  • 5% reduction in water intensity since 2015
  • 34% food sustainably sourced or certified
  • 22% departments Green Office Bronze certified or higher
  • 28.2% waste diverted from landfill 

The 2024 Environmental Sustainability Report is anticipated in November 2024.

Details and data

Waterloo's data and progress indicators from the above reports are also available in greater detail, including methodologies used to calculate the numbers in the report, interactive dashboards, and downloadable data sets.

UN Sustainable Development Goals report

In addition to Waterloo's core reporting on its progress against the Sustainability Strategy, Waterloo also launched in April 2022 its first report tracking activity that supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a global development framework agreed to by all countries, to guide social, environmental, and economic sustainability for all from 2015-2030. 

Waterloo's standalone SDG report tracks how the campus is taking action to support the SDGs through teaching, research, operational practice, and community engagement. 

STARS reports

Waterloo is also rated Silver through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS), developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

STARS is a comprehensive sustainability reporting framework specifically for higher education institutions that tracks efforts and performance in academics, operations, engagement, and planning and governance related to sustainability. It is transparent, democratically developed, and enables comparison between over 600 campuses who have submitted and received more than 1,000 ratings.

Report history 

Year of Submission Points Earned Overall Rating
2021 (current) 53.92 SILVER
2018 45.51 SILVER

Past sustainability reports

Waterloo's Environmental Sustainability Reports include case studies, key statistics, and evaluation of progress towards established objectives in the Environmental Sustainability Strategy. The reports are prepared by the President's Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability.