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Net Zero before 2049

Our goals align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 13 – Climate Action.

We all leave footprints everywhere we go. We love to follow footprints in the sand or in the snow but the footprints we don’t want to follow are the ones we hear most about today—carbon footprints, or emissions. Like all the other footprints, we can’t help but leave these behind too; when we take a shower, drive a car, charge a phone, or order something online. The daily operations of businesses leave them behind too. Our carbon footprints are everywhere and growing—fast.

So, if footprints are just a part of being alive, you might ask what the big deal is. It’s simple. More carbon in the atmosphere makes for a warmer planet. The earth isn’t used to being this warm and it’s getting warmer every year! Ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, weather events are becoming more extreme and more frequent, ecosystems and wildlife are dying… it’s a pretty big deal.

The good news is, it’s not too late to do something about it. We’re working harder than ever to help solve the problem of climate change. One of the ways we’re doing this is to take account of our carbon emissions and make concerted efforts to reduce them. As a leader in sustainability, we commit to achieve net-zero emissions before 2049.

Our goals align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 13 – Climate Action, and to the University’s Academic Plan 2020-2025 University-wide challenge which is focused on creating an impact on the SDGs to create positive change, locally and globally, for York’s students, the communities we serve, and the world around us.
Here’s how we’re going to meet those goals:

Measure Our Footprint

Measure our greenhouse gas emissions and ecological footprint to assess and manage reductions. Report on broader sustainability goals in collaboration with the Ecological Footprint Initiative.

Energy Management Plan

Implement an Energy Management Plan to accelerate greenhouse gas emission reductions from the University’s central utilities and deep retrofits to buildings.

Community Partnerships

Partner with other stakeholders such as the City of Toronto and the Green Will Initiative, a network of property owners working together towards achieving Toronto’s net-zero emissions target.

Climate Awareness Campaign

Generate community engagement, action and research, using York’s campuses as ‘living labs’ through experiential education.

Interested in learning more?

If you have any questions or suggestions, or if you would like to get involved by becoming a sustainability champion, please email sustainability@yorku.ca.