You are now in the main content area

Climate Change & Energy

Two stainless steel cooling towers on the roof of the Kerr Hall South Building.

The science is clear. The risks posed by climate change to human health and our planet’s future require immediate action. Through our projects and programs, we are working to do our part to tackle climate change and reduce our campus’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  

Annual GHG emissions tracking

Each year Toronto Metropolitan University completes a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory to measure our carbon footprint and track Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions.

Scope 1

Scope 1 emissions are those produced directly by sources owned or controlled by an organization (natural gas boilers and diesel generators).

Scope 2

Scope 2 emissions are those produced indirectly by products or services purchased by an organization (electricity and district steam).

Scope 3

Scope 3 emissions are all other indirect emissions produced as a result of an organization's activities and operations (waste, commuting and business travel).

GHG emissions inventory 2010-2020

This bar graph shows Ryerson's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory from 2010 to 2020 measured in tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent).

GHG Inventory Data 2010/
2011
2011/
2012
2012/
2013
2013/
2014
2014/
2015
2015/
2016
2016/
2017
2017/
2018
2018/
2019
2019/
2020
Diesel 0 5 8 6 8 11 2 9 11 18
Natural Gas 1,674 1,339 1,560 2,306 2,715 2,242 2,187 4,010 3,126 2,868
Electricity 12,680 12,488 5,156 3,790 2,417 2,469 2,339 1,159 1,857 1,872
Steam 9,074 7,686 9,277 9,035 9,357 8,053 7,775 8,650 8,983 8,699
Chilled Water 0 0 36 27 14 27 27 22 28 10
Business Air Travel 226 477 1,129 1,097 1,286 1,473 1,424 1,894 1,951 1,759
Business Travel (Mileage+Car Rental+Taxi) 171 230 300 300 328 438 489 615 582 502
Landfill 288 355 225 366 312 453 464 297 313 330
Commuting (Faculty/ Staff/ Students Estimates) 6,690 6,910 7,192 7,549 7,959 8,321 8,724 8,944 9,211 9,253

Climate and Energy Working Group

The Sustainability Office established a Climate and Energy Working Group composed of staff, students and faculty. The goals of the working group are to develop institutional GHG emission reduction targets and a plan to achieve the recommended targets. 

Energy and emissions reduction projects

Toronto Metropolitan University has taken many steps to improve the sustainability performance of existing buildings through the implementation of carbon and energy reduction projects.  This includes  campus-wide lighting retrofits, upgrading heating and cooling systems and constructing LEED certified, state-of-the-art facilities. We are continuing to plan and implement projects that are focused on improving the energy efficiency of our buildings and reducing the carbon footprint of our campus.

Sub-metering dashboard.

Sub-meters are installed in 28 buildings on campus to track electricity, natural gas, district steam, district chilled water, and domestic water use. The data collected helps to support decisions regarding energy efficiency and GHG emissions reduction projects and initiatives and enables us to measure and verify projects that have been completed. Additionally, the building level data supports Campus as a Living Lab projects and programs through its use in faculty research and student projects related to building energy and GHG emissions profiles.

The process of retro-commissioning existing buildings is a multistage process that can result in significant energy efficiency improvements and reduce a building’s carbon footprint. It involves:

  • in-depth analysis of a building’s actual energy use and performance
  • adjusting the building’s automation control system 
  •  if needed, implementing equipment upgrades

Over the past few years, Victoria Building (VIC), George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre (ENG), Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC), the Library Chiller Plant and SLC have all undergone retro-commissioning. The work completed in MAC, VIC and ENG resulted in approximately 152 tonnes of CO2 reduced.

A significant reduction in energy consumption can be achieved by upgrading existing fluorescent lighting systems to LEDs. Upgrades have been conducted in several buildings on campus including Eric Palin Hall. Retrofits are conducted on an ongoing basis, and any new buildings or renovations are required to have high-efficiency lighting installed. Several buildings on campus also have occupancy sensors, which automatically turn off lights when no one is using the space.

Toronto Metropolitan University’s maintenance and operations and sustainability teams work hand in hand to execute a Demand Response plan that helps reduce the IESO electrical grid demand, which turns into financial savings for the university and a reduction of Carbon Emission on the electrical grid.

Optimal operation of steam traps is crucial for a campus like Toronto Metropolitan University, which makes use of district steam for most of its heating requirements. Malfunctioning steam traps can result in significant amounts of wasted energy due to steam leaks. This often leads to comfort issues within buildings as well. The results of the annual steam trap audit were used to identify steam traps in need of maintenance or replacement to avoid increased consumption of steam.

An array of 40 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels was installed on the roof of the SCC building in 2011. Electricity produced by the solar panels is sold back to the Ontario electricity grid as part of the MicroGrid Program, contributing to an increase in the use of renewable energy on the electricity grid. Annually, the solar panels produce approximately 10,000 kWh of electricity.

Energy conservation and demand management plan

An updated Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan was published in 2019 to help guide Toronto Metropolitan University’s efforts to reduce campus energy consumption, operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The plan also fulfils the Ontario Regulation 507/18, external link reporting requirement.

Participation in Earth Hour

Toronto Metropolitan University is pleased to participate in Earth Hour, external link, an initiative that shines a light on climate action and symbolizes a collective commitment to address climate change. Facilities Management and Development turns off all non-essential lighting in and around university campus buildings during Earth Hour each year.

Additional Toronto Metropolitan initiatives 

Featured below are some initiatives from groups across campus working to advance sustainable energy solutions at the university.

Centre for Urban Energy
A research innovation centre dedicated to solving urban energy challenges by bringing together industry and government partners with top researchers

Clean Energy Zone 
An incubator focused on clean, sustainable energy innovations including electric vehicles, renewable energy, energy storage and distribution, microgrids and net-zero city building.