A person wearing a t-shirt that reads Humber Sustainability.

Kermit the Frog famously sang that it’s not easy being green.

While not always easy, it is definitely worth it for Humber. It takes a lot of work to stay evergreen and the Humber community continuously advances on the commitment to sustainability. Humber’s sustained efforts and accomplishments have been recognized by being named one of Canada's Greenest Employers for the ninth year in a row by MediaCorp Canada.

The designation recognizes employers who are leading the nation in creating a culture of environmental awareness in their organizations and who have developed exceptional sustainability initiatives.  

Lindsay Walker, director, Sustainability, said the recognition is an appreciation of the strong sustainability work that’s embedded in Humber’s culture.

“In the last decade, Humber has become a leader in sustainability within the post-secondary community in Canada, greatly reduced our reliance on fossil fuels and integrated sustainability practice into many corners of this institution. As one of the country’s largest polytechnic institutions, we are working towards transformative action through education and innovation,” said Walker.

While there were many initiatives and achievements from 2023 to celebrate, here are a few of the highlights.

Humber Cultural Hub (HCH):

• The HCH at Lakeshore Campus, with the first phase planned to open in fall 2024, is designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, Net Zero Carbon targets and the Toronto Green Standard. Indigenous design elements are woven throughout the HCH and an Indigenous Classroom and Indigenous Residence Lounge will be unique features of the building.


• This retrofit project will reduce Humber’s reliance on natural gas by switching from a steam-based system to a modern hot water system generating heat using mostly electricity. Across the buildings at North Campus, all pipes will be replaced with new machinery installed in the central plant. The project, anticipated to be completed by the end of 2025, is expected to reduce Humber’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent.

Office of Sustainability joins the Inclusion and Belonging team:

•  Sustainability became a part of the new institutional division of Inclusion and Belonging, transitioning out of the Capital Development and Facilities Management department. The move was formal recognition that the pursuit of sustainability and equity are interconnected. The move will strengthen the connection between equity and sustainability work at Humber and seeks to inspire other academic institutions to follow suit.  

A large group of people pose for a photo.


• With the help of faculty, staff and community partners, Humber was once again awarded Gold with an overall score of 79.01 as part of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). It was the highest of all associate colleges worldwide that reported to STARS in AASHE's 2023 report. STARS is a self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure an institution’s overall sustainability performance.  

Kaua’i Community College Study Abroad:

• This is a study abroad course where students experience the interconnectedness of the peoples and cultures of Polynesia, other Pacific nations, or other nations throughout the world through cultural immersion. The summer abroad experience, funded by Global Skills Opportunity Canada, has students first explore the Six Nations of the Grand River. In the second leg of the experience, students travel to Hawaii where they learn how in Polynesia voyaging on canoes has shaped people, values and relationships with each other along with the natural world.

Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery (C2R2):

• Humber belongs to C2R2, a coalition of colleges, cégeps, institutes and polytechnics focusing on developing demand-driven workforce training solutions for a clean economy. It has launched Quick Train Canada, which offers micro-credentials from select accredited institutions, including Humber, targeted at upgrading skills in crucial sectors for Canada's low-carbon economy. These micro-credentials are offered at no cost and provide workers and employers options to retrain or update their skills quickly.

Walker said they’re proud of the many achievements to date and are also paving the path ahead with the Sustainability Vision that will be released later this year.