About George Brown – Sustainability Recognition


George Brown College has achieved a silver rating as part of a global higher education tracking system that reviews social, economic and environmental sustainability.

George Brown is the first Ontario college to receive silver status based on the Sustainability Tracking and Assessment Rating System Open New Browser Window (STARS) version 2.0. Higher education institutions around the world use the self-reporting system to track their progress.

Here are some highlights of George Brown's rating:

  • A curriculum sustainability audit showed that 84 per cent of programs already contain at least one learning outcome related to social, environmental and/or economic sustainability.
  • The work of the college's Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Services garnered significant credits as part of the STARS rating.
  • The college's sustainability research activities and initiatives received credits because of the high percentage of faculty and students involved.
  • The college earned credits for its commitment to green building, design and construction as demonstrated by our Waterfront campus which has achieved gold LEED certification.
  • We also received extra credits for innovative programs including the School of Design's post-graduate certificate-program in Interdisciplinary Design Strategy, the Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt) and research in Denturism to recycle wastes such as dental acrylic resin and non-clinical wax.

Check out our report Open New Browser Window


George Brown College has achieved gold status as a Smart Commute Employer. The College encourages its employees to reduce their carbon footprint by walking, cycling, taking transit or carpooling to work. Metrolinx—the provincial transit agency—recognized our efforts by awarding us our gold status as part of their Smart Commute Open New Browser Window program. The college's green team used the results of an employee commuting survey to launch initiatives to promote greener ways to get to work. The team hosts cycling maintenance workshops every spring and fall, works to increase bike parking at campuses, facilitates carpooling Open New Browser Window and is hoping to launch prioritized parking for hybrid vehicles at Casa Loma campus.

Ontario Chamber of Commerce logoFinalist for Ontario Business Achievement Awards (2014)

George Brown was a finalist for the 2014 Ontario Chamber of Commerce's sustainability award. The Sustainability Award is awarded to a business that has demonstrated that being a leader in sustainability makes good business sense. The college's broad commitment to promoting sustainable practices in three key areas-employment, environment and economics-was recognized by the group.

The College has established a triple bottom line for initiatives that are customized for the education sector. Here’s a list of the three E’s that drive their triple bottom line:

Employers – Meeting Canada’s demand for sustainability – savvy graduates and, as an employer, providing a place of work that attracts and retains the best employees.

Environment – Transforming the physical space for teaching and learning, minimizing the environmental impacts of facilities, and supporting sustainability practices.

Economics – Implementing initiatives that are financially feasible and sustainable.


Gold LEED Certification:

Waterfront Campus is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified. Sustainability was a focus when shovels went in the ground in 2009 and remains a priority as thousands of students converge there for classes. The building minimizes water and energy consumption with the use of low-flow plumbing fixtures, occupancy sensors, reduced lighting density, and high-efficiency mechanical equipment, among other systems. The green roof helps to keep the interior cool and to manage storm water.

Good Design is Good Business Award:

In May, Architectural Record magazine named Waterfront Campus among nine winning projects from across North America and Europe as part of its 2015 Good Design is Good Business Awards Open New Browser Window

Architectural Record highlighted the campus for its design that provides plenty of common areas for students from the four different Health Sciences schools to mingle, collaborate and learn.

2015 Canadian Green Building Award:

The campus received a 2015 Canadian Green Building Award  for its "high level of environmental performance," that the jury concluded is achieved "without overt expression of sustainable systems." The facility "is a rare example of an institutional building that is also welcoming to the public and exciting to explore." The Canadian Green Building Awards are a joint program of SABMag Open New Browser Window, a sustainable building publication, and the Canada Green Building Council (www.cagbc.org).