Mohawk College - 2018-2019 Sustainability Report
2018 - 2019

Sustainability Report

Learning. Living. Leading. Sustainability at Mohawk

By the Numbers

2,000+ annual participants in local food programs
167,705 ft2
167,705 ft2 of LEED® and Zero Carbon certified green buildings
63% diversion of waste from landfill
18 campus sustainability initiatives implemented from student ideas
100% of academic departments offer sustainability courses
65% of trips by sustainable modes of transportation
63% reduction in absolute GHG emissions (Scopes 1 & 2) since 2007
1st college in Ontario to receive AASHE STARS® Gold rating

Letter from the President

Mohawk College committed to being a leader in environmental sustainability when we adopted our first comprehensive Environmental Management Plan (EMP) in 2011.

The plan was the first of its kind for an Ontario college. It set bold targets for energy and waste reduction, and included a call for a 20% reduction in 2007 baseline carbon emissions by 2020. We exceeded this target in 2014, six years ahead of schedule. A second plan, EMP 2.0, followed in 2015 and committed the college to a 30% reduction in 2007 baseline emissions by 2020.

We've come a long way since then. Today, we have reduced our direct carbon emissions by 63%. At the same time, we have taken aggressive action to reduce waste and introduce policies and initiatives that encourage sustainable practices among students, employees and the community. We also built Canada's largest and the region's first zero carbon institutional building, The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation.

These successes have established Mohawk as a climate change leader and innovator within the community and the education sector, and have helped to develop strong connections with government and industry that are leading to new and exciting opportunities for our students and community.

The following report highlights the work that has been done to improve the sustainability of our campuses and the success of EMP 2.0, with a special focus on 2018 and 2019. It was during these years that Mohawk celebrated a number of key milestones, including becoming the first college in Ontario to achieve a Gold rating through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS®) of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

One of the achievements that contributed to the STARS® Gold rating was the opening of The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation. At 96,700 square feet, The Joyce Centre is an example of what can be done to fight climate change. It is also a unique living lab for our students, faculty and staff. In its first year of operation, the building exceeded its design goals, generating 115% of the energy it needed to operate through renewable sources, and quickly becoming a case study in zero carbon building operations.

The report also provides a snapshot of sustainability initiatives and progress in campus operations, student engagement, and curriculum and research. While we've made great progress, we know that much work remains to be done, and new challenges present themselves each day. That's why we're launching EMP 3.0 in 2020. Building on our successes, EMP 3.0 will help us continue the transition to a low-carbon future for our students and for the region.

Our Timeline


Mohawk establishes the Sustainability Office and the Go Green Committee (GGC).

Main Topics

About Mohawk

Mohawk College has been providing a quality, higher education experience to students in Hamilton, Ontario and the surrounding area since 1967. The college educates and serves more than 31,700 full-time, part-time, apprenticeship and international students at three main campuses, and at learning hubs across Hamilton.

Mohawk is among the leading colleges in Canada for applied research. It has been named one of Canada's greenest employers for six years in a row, and is also home to the country's largest net zero energy institutional building. More than 120,000 people have graduated from Mohawk since it was founded.

Land Acknowledgment

Mohawk College derives its name from the Mohawk Nation, one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The Confederacy marks a union of peace and friendship, and Mohawk College honours that union by recognizing the Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

We acknowledge that the territories on which Mohawk College and its campuses are situated are governed by the Between the Lakes Treaty, the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Agreement, and the Upper Canada Treaty Agreement. These agreements are binding to this day and represent our mutual commitment to maintain healthy, reciprocal and respectful relationships with the many Indigenous nations and peoples of this area. We acknowledge this and iterate our dedication to inclusivity, to friendship and to valuing the ongoing contributions of Indigenous peoples and communities.

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