Sustainable cities
Getty Images

Oct. 24, 2023

UCalgary highlights impacts in 2023 Institutional Sustainability Report

Innovation in research, teaching and learning, and operational excellence continue to nurture global leadership in sustainability rankings

The newly released 2023 Institutional Sustainability Report highlights the University of Calgary’s positive social impact at local, regional, national and international scales, made possible through academic excellence, collaborative partnerships and transformative action.

“At the University of  Calgary, sustainability is deeply ingrained in our identity,” says President Ed McCauley. “We take pride in our responsible practices: building energy-efficient infrastructure, championing sustainable options and inspiring our community to think about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. UCalgary will continue to lead by example, inspire others and work collaboratively to make a meaningful impact on the global stage.”  

The report is part of UCalgary’s Institutional Sustainability Strategy and summarizes accomplishments in six thematic sections: Education, Gender and Equitable Societies; Health, Well-being and Demography; Energy Decarbonization and Sustainable Industry; Sustainable Food, Land, Water and Oceans; Sustainable Cities and Communities; and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

These objectives align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and are integrated into UCalgary’s new strategic plan, Ahead of Tomorrow. Watch for more stories in the coming weeks about progress in each of these six sections.

Report insights

UCalgary's sustainability strategy has been a catalyst for an abundance of sustainability research publications. The university has contributed to over 20,000 sustainability research publications in the reporting period, with an impressive tally of 2,300 publications in clean energy and climate action.

Remarkably, UCalgary’s dedication to fostering peace, justice, strong institutions, and community engagement has yielded over 12,000 publications, highlighting sustainability across diverse areas of study.


In an ongoing effort to increase access to impactful and future-focused education, over 16,000 UCalgary students have taken at least one or more sustainability-related course in 2022-23. Access to experiential learning for sustainability increased, with over 1940 students undertaking projects to enable positive change on campus and in the community.


UCalgary also continued to reduce its environmental impact. Campus community efforts enabled over 62 per cent of daily waste to be diverted from landfill. Furthermore, UCalgary has reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by implementing initiatives and programs that make energy supply and buildings more efficient. As of this year, the university has achieved a 39 per cent reduction from a 2008 baseline, eliminating more than 92,500 tonnes in annual GHG emissions.


UCalgary is shaping a sustainable future through teaching and learning, research and innovation, community engagement and campus operations. This commitment to advancing the UN’s sustainable development goals has earned UCalgary a spot in the top two per cent globally in 2023 and in the top five per cent each year over the past four years in the Times Higher Education Impact ranking.

Read the 2023 Institutional Sustainability Report.

Sustainable survey


Want to play a part in shaping sustainability at UCalgary? Participate in this short survey to help inform the next steps for sustainability and climate change initiatives! Participants will have a chance to win one of 10 prize packs, which includes five $50 gift cards to the UCalgary Bookstore and UCalgary branded merchandise.


About the Institutional Sustainability Strategy  

The University of Calgary’s Institutional Sustainability Strategy provides a road map for continuous improvement in our pursuit of excellence and leadership in sustainability. We aim to be a Canadian post-secondary education leader in sustainability in our academic and engagement programs, administrative and operational practices, and through supporting community and industry in their aims for leadership in sustainability. Learn more about UCalgary’s leadership in sustainability.  

Sign up for UToday

Sign up for UToday

Delivered to your inbox — a daily roundup of news and events from across the University of Calgary's 14 faculties and dozens of units

Thank you for your submission.