Governance, responsible management and economic viability
The University is committed to ensuring the longevity of its mission, specifically by establishing short-, medium-, and long-term economic viability. To do this, it plans to strengthen local and international perception of the University as an organizational model for sustainable development; strengthen the University’s economic resilience with an eye toward responsible, sustainable management.
a) STARS accreditation score
|Targets||a) Achieve 5th place worldwide|
b) Maintain balanced budget
|Results as of April 30, 2017||a) Achievement of 2nd world ranking in December 2016|
b) Balanced budget for 2016-2017
|Key action||Major campaign – Sustainable impact|
|How to get involved||Collaborate on the sustainable development approach by proposing innovative projects|
STARS Gold Rating
Université Laval’s sustainability efforts earned a gold rating as part of the international STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™) program administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Even more impressive is the fact that UL scored the top rating among Canadian universities and ranked 2nd among 800 institutions who completed the evaluation process, with a score of 82.53%.
Our STARS score reflects the effort that members of our university community make every day to tangibly include sustainability in their activities. Thanks and congratulations to all involved!
In the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (or STARS) process, institutions of higher education present data that is evaluated to rate their advances in sustainability on the dimensions of training, research, organizational operations, and community outreach. Each report reflects numerous performance and support criteria and receives a specific score. To view Université Laval’s STARS report, go to www.stars.aashe.org.
Universities are grouped in one of five categories based on the data they submit: reported (no results), bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Data that supports the ratings is available at all times on the STARS portal, ensuring transparency of the process and allowing third-party verification. In the event that the veracity of results is questioned, STARS performs validations.
STARS implementation is provided by AASHE, a U.S.-based international organization with over 800 university members from around the world.
STARS was designed to:
- provide a framework for comparing sustainability performance among institutions of higher education;
- allow comparisons over time and between institutions by using common measurements;
- create incentives for continuous improvement in sustainability;
- facilitate the sharing of information on sustainability performance and practices;
- build a strong yet diversified community of institutions that are committed to sustainability.
Significant sustainable development achievements since 2011
STARS accreditation shows that Université Laval is seriously committed, in a tangible, disciplined way, to an overall sustainability approach in everything we do. Our gold STARS rating attests:
- The sustainable development (SD) course and program recognition process, where more than 383 courses were identified as contributing to the development of key SD competencies
- The strength of our SD research and creation activities: 58% of recognized research chairs, institutes, centres, and groups incorporate SD-related research activities. 403 professors carry out work associated with SD research
- Achieving campus carbon neutrality and being the first university in Canada to do so voluntarily
Commitments for the future
STARS accreditation also enables participating organizations to continuously improve their SD practices. Starting now and in the years ahead, Université Laval will take concrete steps to improve in two key areas—food and responsible investment.
- With respect to food, Université Laval plans to work with its food services partners to make positive changes to every facet of their operations by reducing food waste and food loss at the source, offering eco-friendly products (e.g., local), optimizing resource use (e.g., water, electricity), and more. The university also intends to step up efforts to nurture and support university community initiatives to produce food on campus.
- With respect to investment, the university plans to maintain its SD leadership role and undertakes to divest its endowment funds from fossil fuels, progressively switching them to other types of investments such as renewable energy. Université Laval is the first university in Canada to make this commitment.
To help with this process, the university will form a responsible investment advisory committee, including student representatives, who will be tasked with recommending methods, practices, and actions. Furthermore, an annual progress report on the investment transition will be released.