Skip to main content

Laurier named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers

A commitment to carbon-neutrality by 2050, advanced sustainability research and progressive green initiatives earned Wilfrid Laurier University the designation of one of Canada’s Greenest Employers. The annual competition is a part of the Canada's Top 100 Employers initiative led by Mediacorp Canada Inc.

"Laurier leads in environmental research, invests in leading-edge green technology and is committed to engaging the entire community in sustainability initiatives," said Ulrike Gross, assistant vice-president, Facilities and Asset Management at Laurier. "We set and meet aggressive sustainability goals year after year. Being named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers confirms that we are delivering on a commitment to reduce our environmental impact."

Laurier creates a culture of sustainability through projects that span the entire university, including operations, academics and community partnerships. The university is committed to advancing sustainability awareness and action on its campuses and beyond.

Solar panels
Solar panels on the roof of Lazaridis Hall on Laurier's Waterloo campus.

"We have embedded a culture of sustainability into life at Laurier," said Pamela Cant, assistant vice-president, Human Resources and Equity. "We’re proud to be recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, confirming our commitment to leading in the sustainability revolution and providing our faculty, staff and students with opportunities to make an impact in our local and global communities."

Northdale community garden
Laurier's Northdale Community Garden in Waterloo.

Highlights of Laurier’s sustainability initiatives:

  • The newest building at Laurier’s Waterloo campus, Lazaridis Hall, is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified and incorporates environmental features, including solar panels, an accessible green roof and an electric vehicle charging station.

  • The Laurier Energy Efficiency Program (LEEP) is a comprehensive, multi-phase initiative to increase the energy efficiency of Laurier’s buildings. This $50-million project includes the installation of rooftop solar panels, battery storage and a fully functioning microgrid.
  • The Sustainable Hawk Fund leverages Laurier’s entrepreneurial and community spirit to integrate sustainability practices into all aspects of student life. Every year, $30,000 in funding is committed to students, staff and faculty to implement sustainability projects at the university.

  • Laurier manages in-house waste reduction and recycling programs that extend beyond provincial minimums, including the Move Out Program, Free Store, water refill stations, Molok bins, battery and electronic waste drop-off and the donation of used office furniture. In 2018, through the Move Out Program and Free Store Laurier diverted nearly 5,000 pounds of waste from landfills.

  • The Laurier community decreases transportation-related emissions through initiatives including Wroute and Travelwise partnerships, as well as on-campus car share vehicles, multiple electric vehicle charging stations and secure bike storage.

  • The Waterloo campus Northdale Community Garden supports sustainable partnerships with community non-profits and increased access to local foods on campus. Laurier also initiates many projects to increase pollinator-supporting habitats on campus.

  • Laurier offers a Certificate in Sustainability for faculty and staff. The goal of the program is to increase employee literacy about global-to-local sustainability topics, as well as to encourage behaviour and culture change through increased use of sustainable campus programs and services.

Read Laurier’s new Sustainability Action Plan, a comprehensive outline of the university’s sustainability goals.