Administration and Operations

Informing the development of sustainability practices across our administrative and operational endeavors.

Green Buildings

143,325m2 of built area certified for green building performance.

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44% reduction in water use per campus user from baseline year. 

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GHG Emissions

45% reduction of GHG emissions per campus user from baseline year.

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Climate Action

In 2019, a renewed Climate Action Plan (CAP) was released building on the 2010 plan, which identified progressive targets and strategies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting in a 30% reduction by 2018.

The CAP is an operational roadmap for the transition to a carbon neutral campus and an important tool to drive the university’s contribution to meeting the Canadian GHG emissions reduction targets. It confirms the high-level strategies that the university will act upon to reduce GHG emissions from campus operations.

UCalgary's 2019 CAP brings renewed targets and strategies to continue deep cuts in institutional GHG emissions, with an emphasis on enabling a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030 from the 2008 baseline and the achievement of an aspirational target of carbon neutrality by 2050.

SDG 13

Water use

Water use per person on campus was 49% lower in 2018-19, than in 2008. 


Zero Carbon Building

The MacKimmie Complex Redevelopment was one of 16 projects across the country selected to participate in the Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) Zero Carbon Building pilot program

SDG 9, SDG 11, SDG 13

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Built Environment

As of March 2019, the university had over 137,000 square metres throughout 11 LEED-certified projects, with one of the largest number of LEED-certified projects on a Canadian post-secondary campus.

SDG 9, SDG 11

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Over 85% of trees and shrubs on campus are native to Calgary and region.

SDG 15


The University of Calgary installs low-flow and low-flush devices in all new buildings on campus. Other initiatives to conserve water on campus include:

  • Rainwater and recycled water is used for toilet flushing in the Energy Environment and Experiential Learning Building and in the Child Development Centre.
  • Recycled water from the Central Heating and Cooling Plant is also used for irrigation throughout the main campus.

SDG 6, SDG 9

Sustainable Transportation

The University of Calgary is working to reduce impacts on the environment and surrounding communities through programs, incentives and travel alternatives to commute to campus including:

  • Over 90 bike rack locations are available on main campus, as well as two secure bike shelters available to permit holders – one in the Arts Parkade and one in the Health Science Centre.
  • Full-time students have access to Calgary transit services through the Universal Pass Program (UPass).
  • Shower facilities are available in the Child Development Centre, Clinical Skills Building, Downtown Campus, Energy Environment Experiential Learning Building, Kinesiology A and the Taylor Institute.

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SDG 11, SDG 13

CMHS Grants

Seven projects were undertaken in 2018-19 through the Campus Mental Health Strategy (CMHS) grants, helping to advance the strategy's 28 recommendations and six focus areas.


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Green Cleaning

The University of Calgary uses approximately 99% EcoLogo or Green Seal Certified cleaning products that are biodegradable, environmentally friendly and mostly scent-free, along with ergonomically designed tools to help staff reduce repetitive strain injuries.

SDG 3, SDG 12, SDG 14

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Taking Action for Mental Health

Many faculties and units have formally committed to implementing the Campus Mental Health Strategy by creating standing committees to gather information and implement initiatives that positively impact mental health.


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Clean Air

The University of Calgary was awarded National Air Filtration Association’s Clean Air Awards for several facilities on campus, including the Taylor Family Digital Library and the Child Development Centre.

SDG 3, SDG 11

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Stories to Hear keynote event

Campus Mental Health Strategy

The University of Calgary’s Campus Mental Health Strategy celebrated three years in March 2019 by welcoming two acclaimed Canadian artists, who presented their unique perspectives on identity and mental health. As a strategic focus area of the Campus Mental Health Strategy, many resources are available on campus for students, staff and faculty. SDG 3


Canada's Best Diversity Employer

For the third year in a row, the University of Calgary was named one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers. To be named this, employers must showcase diversity and inclusion initiatives in multiple areas across five groups: women, members of visible minorities, persons with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and two-spirited people (LGBTQ2S). SDG 5, SDG 10

Student learning

Mental Health Certificate

The University of Calgary's embedded certificate in Mental Wellbeing and Resilience was officially launched in Fall 2019. This certificate offers a unique opportunity that explores mental health from multiple perspectives. Students will receive individualized and interdisciplinary learning both in and outside the classroom. SDG 3


The University of Calgary Bookstore has been a Fair Labour Affiliate for four years, with over 80% of apparel meeting standards that ensure workers are safe and companies are held accountable for their operating procedures. 

SDG 8, SDG 12

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Surplus Sale

This garage-like sale managed by Supply Chain Management has been taking place on campus for the past 18 years on every second Friday of the month. Inventory includes desks, chairs, computer monitors, office supplies and more.

SDG 12

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Visiting Students

Last year, the Faculty of Graduate Studies implemented a new online process for visiting graduate students to apply and enroll, removing the need to print long paper forms and increasing efficiency.

SDG 12

The Landing

The Dining Centre reduced waste produced by over 40% with the introduction of an All You Care to Eat meal plan in fall 2018. This new system eliminated all post-consumer waste streams but compost.

SDG 12

Fair Trade

Fair Trade

UCalgary has been a Fair Trade certified campus since 2015, committed to sourcing products from small-scale farmer organizations that meet high social, economic and environmental standards wherever possible. These standards ensure the protection of workers rights and the environment, and guarantee that workers are paid fair wages. UCalgary was named Campus of the Year by Fairtrade Canada in March 2019, recognizing the university’s commitment to engaging and educating the campus community on sustainability and trade justice issues. SDG 8, SDG 12


Daily Waste

UCalgary is committed to reducing the institution’s solid waste contribution to landfills. To help meet this goal, over 900 new indoor and outdoor four-stream waste stations for compost, mixed recycling, refundable beverage containers and landfill were implemented across campus, starting November 2018. Despite growth on campus, the standardized waste bins reduced landfill waste by 5%. Overall, the 2018-19 year saw 45% of daily waste diverted from landfill, an increase of 5% from 2017-18. SDG 11, SDG 12

Construction on MacKimmie Tower

Construction Waste

The Construction Waste Management program involves the collection and analysis of construction waste and recycling data to enable ongoing tracking, reporting and performance management. This program takes an integrated approach to managing the thousands of tonnes of construction waste produced each year. The university’s efforts in construction waste management have resulted in an average diversion rate of 91% during the 2018-2019 year. SDG 11, SDG 12