Strategic Plan

A sustainable campus is an engaged and connected campus. It is a place where staff, students and faculty are motivated to solve sustainability challenges. Across MacEwan, we are creating the foundation for a thriving, equitable, resilient and ecologically healthy campus.

In 2009, the Office of Sustainability was created to oversee the implementation of the campus sustainability policy. This role was solidified in 2011, with the approval of our first campus sustainability plan, and again in 2016, with the approval of our strategic campus sustainability plan. Today, the strategic plan guides sustainability activities and measures our progress across the institution.


Strategic Sustainability Plan

MacEwan University's Strategic Sustainability Plan comprises four areas: 

Academic programming, teaching and research

Goal: To promote the growth of sustainability-related opportunities for student learning, faculty research and academic collaboration.


1. Academic program and teaching

  • AC 1.1 | Increase the number of sustainability-related courses

  • AC 1.2 | Ensure that graduating students have an understanding of sustainability concepts and principles.

  • AC 1.3 | Develop a sustainability credential at MacEwan University.

  • AC 1.4 | Establish multiple pathways for students to learn about sustainability-related topics in their field of study and beyond.

  • AC 1.5 | Create an environment where faculty are supported and encouraged to integrate sustainability into teaching and learning.

  • AC 1.6 | Facilitate collaborative projects that link the operational and academic aspects of the university.

2. Research

  • AC 2.1 | Encourage and support research in sustainability.

  • AC 2.2 | Promote sustainability projects and research through providing open access to the public via online tools.  

3. Academic collaboration

  • AC 3.1 | Promote and help facilitate innovative partnerships and collaboration between academic departments to research and propose solutions to sustainability challenges.

  • AC 3.2 | Provide sustainability-related opportunities in community-based teaching and work-integrated-learning.

  • AC 3.3 | Strive to connect research programs with the external community to contribute to, and learn from, sustainability solutions locally and globally.

  • AC 3.4 | Create formal partnerships with the community to help co-develop innovative solutions to sustainability related problems and accelerate knowledge transfer.

  • AC 3.5 | Encourage collaboration on research related to campus-specific and community-specific priorities related to sustainability.

Engagement, outreach and communications

Goal: To create a community where sustainability matters and is lived, shared and celebrated.


1. Internal engagement

  • EO 1.1 | Develop innovative and participatory experiences to educate staff, students, and faculty about sustainability.

  • EO 1.2 | Create opportunities for staff, students, and faculty to work together collaboratively on projects to further sustainability at MacEwan.

  • EO 1.3 | Employ campus-as-a-living-lab principles to provide interactive and experiential sustainability learning.

  • EO 1.4 | Build internal partnerships to foster collaboration through co-development and delivery of programs and initiatives.

  • EO 1.5 | Provide students with sustainability learning experiences outside the classroom.

  • EO 1.6 | Provide information and opportunities to communicate the culture of sustainability and how to get involved to new staff, students, and faculty.

  • EO 1.7 | Expand MacEwan’s sustainability programming to encourage peer-to-peer learning and mentorship for students, staff, and faculty.

2. External engagement

  • EO 2.1 | Improve the public’s knowledge of sustainability by offering accessible education and engagement opportunities.

  • EO 2.2 | Provide non-credit educational opportunities to community members.

  • EO 2.3 | Increase sustainability-related course offerings and programs through continuing education.

  • EO 2.4 | Engage the local community in MacEwan’s sustainability initiatives.

  • EO 2.5 | Collaborate with other post-secondary institutions to help further inter-campus sustainability and build a collective body of knowledge.

  • EO 2.6 | Utilize sustainability as a recruitment tool to attract and retain high-quality staff, students, and faculty.

  • EO 2.7 | Advocate for sustainability in policies on a municipal, provincial, national, and international scale.

  • EO 2.8 | Expand MacEwan’s relationships with Edmonton partners through increasing community partnerships and community service agreements.

  • EO 2.9 | Strengthen awareness of sustainability and citizenship through community service. 

3. Communications

  • EO 3.1 | Increase visibility and access of the university’s sustainability features, practices, and resources to the campus and community.

  • EO 3.2 | Engage with media channels to help enhance MacEwan’s sustainability profile.

  • EO 3.3 | Develop, promote, and distribute a variety of publications to communicate relevant sustainability information.

  • EO 3.4 | Elevate the sustainability profile of MacEwan, celebrating campus-wide collaboration and engagement, by sharing our story.

  • EO 3.5 | Create a dynamic and engaging online presence for the Office of Sustainability.

  • EO 3.6 | Communicate and celebrate the Campus Sustainability Plan’s progress through a variety of different communications mediums.

Campus operations

Goal: To create a model sustainable campus that fosters well-being for individuals, communities, and ecosystems.


1. Energy, emissions and climate change

  • OP 1.1 | Design and update buildings so they use less energy and emit fewer greenhouse gases.

2. Building design, construction and operation

  • OP 2.1 | Apply best practices in low impact development throughout the entire building process.

  • OP 2.2 | Reduce the negative impacts of the built environment and employ sustainable practices during design, construction, and operations.

  • OP 2.3 | Participate in benchmarking programs to help drive best practices and innovation in the built environment.

3. Indoor air quality and building wellness

  • OP 3.1 | Employ best practices for indoor air quality management.

  • OP 3.2 | Construct and design buildings to protect and promote health.

4. Grounds

  • OP 4.1 | Plan and maintain grounds with positive contributions to the local ecosystem health, including biodiversity, native species, food production, and pollinator habitat.

  • OP 4.2 | Reduce the negative environmental impact of hardscapes.

  • OP 4.3 | Improve social interaction and cultural expression through the installation of public art.

5. Transportation

  • OP 5.1 | Maintain a pedestrian friendly campus that promotes multi-modal transportation to campus that reduces transportation related emissions.

  • OP 5.2 | Ensure the availability of viable, safe, and convenient low-impact modes of transportation to and from campus.

  • OP 5.3 | Create a bicycle friendly campus that is connected to the larger municipal transportation plan.

  • OP 5.4 | Utilize a campus vehicle fleet that uses clean, efficient fuels, or alternate energy sources.

6. Waste

  • OP 6.1 | Reduce the amount of waste on campus.

  • OP 6.2 | Decrease the amount of hazardous waste on campus and ensure that it is safely and efficiently managed.

7. Water

  • OP 7.1 | Design and operate buildings, facilities and grounds to use less potable water though employing sustainable water management practices.

8. Food and dining services

  • OP 8.1 | Promote and support sustainable food practices for on-campus dining and catering.

  • OP 8.2 | Support innovative pilot programs that increase food security at MacEwan.

  • OP 8.3 | Promote sustainable-event management practices for all on-campus events.

9. ITS and print services

  • OP 9.1 | Ensure print services are delivered with responsible procurement, energy management and waste reduction in mind.

  • OP 9.2 | Implement pilots and programs to reduce the use of resources across campus.

10. Purchasing and assessment management

  • OP 10.1 | Support socially equitable and environmentally responsible businesses through procurement and asset management.

  • OP 10.2 | Ensure all custodial services comply with the Green Housekeeping Program.

11. Campus spaces

  • OP 11.1 | Improve energy efficiency, water conservation, sustainable purchasing, and waste management in all campus spaces.


Goal: To guide, coordinate and inspire sustainability planning, initiatives and innovation across the university.


1. Strategic planning

  • LD 1.1 | Provide institutional leadership through integrating sustainability concepts, language and criteria within strategic planning.

  • LD 1.2 | Encourage further integration of sustainability concepts and actions across campus by empowering and facilitating departmental sustainability planning.

2. Governance

  • LD 2.1 | Create an inclusive implementation framework for the Campus Sustainability Plan.

  • LD 2.2 | Include sustainability criteria in MacEwan University policies.

  • LD 2.3 | Include sustainability as an evaluation criteria in all decision making for initiatives and programs at MacEwan.

3. Resources

  • LD 3.1 | Create a Centre for Sustainability that focuses on collaboration, leadership, innovation, professional development and support for sustainability initiatives on campus and in the community.

  • LD 3.2 | Improve the resource tracking and coordination of campus sustainability resources.

  • LD 3.3 | Resource the Office of Sustainability to meet the needs of the university and the Office of Sustainability Departmental Plan.

  • LD 3.4 | Foster a new generation of sustainability leaders by providing mentorship, networking and professional development opportunities for students.

  • LD 3.5 | Leverage students' commitment to and involvement in sustainability as a resource.

4. Recognition

  • LD 4.1 | Recognize sustainability accomplishments and leadership.

  • LD 4.2 | Create and highlight opportunities for students to gain recognition for their work in the field of sustainability.

5. Finance

  • LD 5.1 | Incorporate sustainability as a key component in evaluating investment opportunities.

  • LD 5.2 | Ensure that the Office of Sustainability has diverse, secure and adequate sources of long-term funding.

6. Wellness

  • LD 6.1 | Create an environment that supports staff, student, faculty and community wellness.

7. Equity, diversity and inclusivity

  • LD 7.1 | Support diversity, equity, inclusivity and social justice initiatives for staff, students and faculty on campus and in the community.

  • LD 7.2 | Improve access to post-secondary education to underrepresented groups.

8. Measurement

  • LD 8.1 | Monitor and report progress of the Campus Sustainability Plan goals.

  • LD 8.2 | Establish commitment to sustainability as criteria in staff, faculty and administration evaluations.


Read the Plan

A holistic model

Sustainability is a big idea. It means different things to different people. That’s why the team at MacEwan University embraces a holistic approach to tackling sustainability issues and topics. Our model considers social, economic, environmental and cultural factors. We make the well-being of individuals, groups and communities a priority and invite the entire campus community to connect with sustainability in personal and meaningful ways.


Holistic Model Icon