Call for Nominations — Committee on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability (PDAD&C #10)

From: Meric Gertler, President
Date: October 7, 2022
Re: Call for Nominations — Committee on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability (PDAD&C #10)


The President’s Advisory Committee on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability (CECCS) was created in 2017, with the goals of making sustainability a key component of the University of Toronto identity, achieving international leadership in the integration of operational and academic sustainability, and coordinating sustainability activities across the three campuses. Since then, the Committee has extended its reach and impact across new cross cutting themes and subcommittees and supported the work of sustainability leaders across and beyond the university. In light of the university’s commitment to sustainability and increasing urgency of the climate crisis, the Committee’s work to accelerate our action on the sustainable development goals is more crucial than ever.

Call for Nominations – Committee on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability

I am seeking nominations for the following CECCS positions for a one-year term, ending December 2023:

One member of the undergraduate student community (full or part-time)

One faculty member (divisional appointment St. George Campus)

Members of the University community are invited to submit nominations or expressions of interest to serve on the CECCS by October 31, 2022. You may submit nominations on your own behalf or nominate another individual. The submission should demonstrate knowledge of U of T’s sustainability efforts, express an interest in the field, and include a brief CV/résumé.

Additional information on the Committee and its work may be found in the Terms of Reference, included below.

Submissions or inquiries should be addressed to:
Kristy Faccer, Director, Secretariat
Committee on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability

Terms of Reference
University of Toronto
Committee on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability

Mandate and Context

In February 2017, the CECCS was created with a mandate to advance the University’s contributions to meeting the challenges of climate change and sustainability, with a particular focus on research and innovation, teaching, and University operations.

Over the five years of operation, the CECCS has developed a footprint at the university by helping to develop and embed a wide range of impactful initiatives, relationships, and outcomes at the university and elsewhere that contribute to the ultimate vision of a transformed, sustainable, and a just future for all. 

To deliver on this aim, the CECCS committees and Secretariat employ a range of strategies that promote the integration of operational and academic approaches to sustainability, develop partnerships on sustainability issues with the various communities internal and external to U of T, and create meaningful sustainability curriculum and leadership opportunities available to all students. Across the activities of these subcommittees, CECCS identifies, facilitates, supports, enables, and promotes sustainability initiatives across all three campuses by leveraging individual campus identities, fostering a sense of common purpose, and bringing together existing sustainability networks and connections at U of T and in the community.

The overall goals of CECCS are the following:

Sustainability as key component of U of T identity

Local and international leadership in operational and academic sustainability

Recognition, sharing and aggregation of good sustainability practices across the university

Since 2021, the organizing framework for the CECCS has included the following components:

2 overarching principles

  • Regenerative Sustainability which looks for net positive ways to increase both human and environmental wellbeing, instead of simply focusing on reducing environmental damage
  • Integration of Operational and Academic Sustainability which looks at ways to combine research, teaching, partnerships and operations

3 cross-cutting themes

  • Campus as living lab which brings together faculty members, students, staff, and, external partners to collaborate on developing sustainability projects that contribute to both operational and academic outcomes
  • University as Agent of Change which supports the University community to work more actively with private, public, and civil society sector partners on sustainability issues, with a particular focus on student engagement
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which CECCS uses to orient our understanding of the many dimensions of sustainability across the campus, in keeping withs its conception of regenerative sustainability as including both environmental and human well being

4 subcommittees

  • Teaching and Learning
  • Research
  • Operations
  • Engagement & Partnerships


The CECCS is co-chaired by Professor John Robinson, Presidential Advisor on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability, and Ron Saporta, Chief Operating Officer, Property Services & Sustainability. The members include:

  • Academic leaders and scholars in relevant fields from across the University’s three campuses and multi and single departmental Faculties
  • Individuals from each of the following constituencies – teaching staff, non-teaching staff, undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni; and
  • Three individual members designated by the Vice-President and Provost; the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives; and the Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships

All members will serve on at least one subcommittee.


When the Committee reaches a consensus on any matter on its agenda in deliberation with members, it may make recommendations to the President and the relevant Vice-Presidents.

The full Committee and the four Subcommittees normally meet at least once per semester.

The Secretariat provides administrative support to the Committee and subcommittees.

The current CECCS term is up for review at the end of 2023. 

Annual Report

The Committee submits an annual report to the President, describing its activities over the previous year and the progress of the University in implementing the commitments. The CECCS Annual Report 2021 can be found here.