SSMU BACKGROUND ON MCGILL
Environmental Policy McGill is consistently ranked among the top
Adopted by the SSMU Council in April 2002, the Environmental Policy Canadian universities and is a world leader in
contains SSMU’s pledge to: academic research. In contrast, when it comes to
• Minimise energy use, consumption of environmental and social sustainability, our
resources and production of waste. beloved university lags behind many other less
prestigious universities in the country. The fault
• Adopt purchasing policies which favour
does not rest on the shoulders of the administration
alone; as students, we play a crucial role in the
biodegradable and non-toxic products.
positioning of McGill as a leader or a detractor. Through our everyday
• Take the environment into consideration in
habits, our involvement in campus groups and the pressures we put on
future building renovations and constructions.
our student society, staff and administration, we can contribute to
• Apply the principles of this policy throughout the planning, making our school greener and more equitable!
organisation and operation of special events.
Policy on Equity
Adopted in April 2005, the policy promotes diversity and equality MCGILL CAMPUSES
and rejects discrimination on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation,
Founded in 1821, McGill has two campuses hosting over 35,000 faculty,
religious belief, disability, age or financial status. SSMU will not:
staff and students. A Task Force on Campus Planning was recently
• Publish, distribute, endorse or fund any written or graphic material created to draft the University Master Plan, a guide and reference
which discriminates against any member or group within the document for the physical development of the McGill campuses
Society. (www.mcgill.ca/masterplan). Guiding principles of the plan include:
• Endorse or fund discriminatory activities.
• Permitting external organisations that are discriminatory to do Buildings and Landscapes
publicity in the Shatner building. • Every new building and major
renovation shall be fully accessible
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSIONER & COMMITTEE and built according to state-of-the-art
sustainable design criteria.
The Environmental Commissioner advises the SSMU on • The Master Plan’ landscape plan
environmental issues, helps implement the SSMU Environmental Policy should safeguard the unique ecology
and assists the Society in minimising its negative environmental impacts. of the campuses, preserve the
The Commissioner also chairs the Environmental Committee, which natural environment and expand existing green space.
has the mandate to initiate green changes within the SSMU.
www.ssmu.ca/environment/drupal Circulation and Transportation
• Development of paths for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
STUDENT EQUITY COMMISSIONER & COMMITTEE • The University wishes to limit vehicular traffic on downtown
campus to improve safety and to develop the campus as a place of
The Student Equity Commissioner ensures the awareness rest & refuge. On-campus parking will be limited to persons with
and respect of student rights as well as the advocacy of disabilities and approved visitors.
equity at McGill and at the SSMU. The Commissioner also
conducts research on equity issues and chairs the What you can do
Push for the implementation of those projects in the Master Plan that you support.
Student Equity Committee, which engages in active Sign the petition for a car-free campus, complete the Taskforce’s online questionnaire
public education about actions, attitudes and (www.mcgill.ca/masterplan/questionnaire) or attend the Principal’s Town Halls.
assumptions that foster bias and oppression.
UNIVERSITY POLICIES GROUPS & BODIES
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY SENATE SUBCOMMITTE ON THE ENVIRONMENT
A few years back, a group of dedicated Under the Senate Committee on Physical Development
students camped out several days in the cold, SCE’s role is to monitor the implementation of McGill’s
demanding that McGill adopt an Environmental Policy (www.mcgill.ca/rethink/group/sce) and to:
environmental policy. After mounting • Inventory and review relevant University practices to ensure
pressure from the student body, consistency with the Environmental Policy;
McGill’s Senate finally approved on 18 April • Measure McGill’s performance relative to relevant
2001 the Environmental Policy: indicators, including policies & actions of other universities;
www.mcgill.ca/rethink/policies/policy) • Receive suggestions from the university community and refer
environmental issues to appropriate services or committees.
Accompanying principles include:
• Preventing the overconsumption of ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE GROUPS
energy and other resources and
reducing the production of waste; • Campus Climate Challenge: firstname.lastname@example.org
• ELM (Environmental Law McGill): environmentallawmcgill-
• Having purchasing policies which
favour environmentally-benign, post-consumer, bio-degradable,
• ERC (Environment Residence Council):
and non-toxic products wherever possible;
• Encouraging all members of the McGill community to Rethink, • Gorilla Composting: email@example.com
Reduce, Reuse & Recycle.
• Greening McGill: firstname.lastname@example.org
• MAEG (Mac AgroEcology Group):
PAPER USE POLICY email@example.com
As a result of the Recto Verso campaign, a student-led • MESS (McGill Environment Students’ Society): mess@planet-
campaign to reduce the environmental impact of paper save.com
use in Quebec universities, the McGill Board of • Midnight Kitchen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Governors executive committee approved a paper use • Net Impact: email@example.com
policy in June 2005 and it came into effect in Sept. 2005. • Organic Campus: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.mcgill.ca/rethink/policies/paperuse • PGSS (Post Graduate Students’ Society) Environment
Highlights: • QPIRG McGill: email@example.com
• Purchasing paper with greater recycled and post-consumer • SSMU Environment Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
content, when economically feasible; • SUS Green Week: email@example.com
• Printing and copying double-sided, when appropriate; • Sustainable McGill Project: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Allowing and encouraging students to submit double-sided • Union for Power Engenderment: email@example.com
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH & SAFETY
Did you know? The EHS provides safety information & training services to the McGill
McGill University consumes over 75 million sheets of paper annually at an community. McGill’s only full time staff devoted to the environmental,
expense of over $540,000 (based on 2004 expenditures). the Environmental Officer, works under EHS. www.mcgill.ca/ehs
What you can do
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have observed cases of violation of the Did you know?
policies (e.g. professors refusing double-sided assignments). McGill’s Waste Management Program, located in the McIntyre Medical Building,
Room 129, collects alkaline batteries, old computers and electronic
equipment. Information: (514) 398-5066 or www.mcgill.ca/wmp
SIMPLE THINGS TO DO WASTE MANAGEMENT
BOOKS & PAPER HISTORY OF RECYCLING
• Buy used books at cheap prices at a second hand bookstore: Recycling started at McGill in the 80s, largely as the
o Bibliomania: 460 Ste-Catherine W., (514) 933-8156 result of student initiatives. In Jan. 2003, the
o Cheap Thrills: 2044 Metcalfe, (514) 844-8988 university launched a revamped recycling system to
o Colisée du livre: 1700 Berri, (514) 845-1792 both campuses in accordance with its Environmental
o Dog-Eared Books: 30 Westminster N., (514) 487-6855 Policy. increasing the number of recycling stations
o Encore Books and Records: 5670 to 120 and diversifying the types of materials accepted.
Sherbrooke W., (514) 482-5100 Did you know?
o Ex Libris: 2159 Mackay, (514) 284-0350 Former students Jodie Martinson & Emmanuel Cappellin directed a recycling
o La Bouquinerie: 799 Mont-Royal E., documentary in 2006 called “In the quiet and still air of delightful studies: The case
(514) 523-5628 of recycling at McGill”. Find the film at:
o L’Échange: 713 Mont-Royal E., (514) • The McGill School of Environment
523-6389 / 3694 St-Denis, (514) 849-1913 • The McGill Libraries
o Librairie Astro: 1844 Ste-Catherine W., (514) 932-1139 • Gorilla Composting
o S.W. Welch: 3878 St-Laurent, (514) 848-9358 • Midnight Kitchen
• QPIRG library
o The Word: 469 Milton, (514) 845-5640
• TV McGill website: www.tvmcgill.com/tvm/index.php?l=2
• Look up the McGill Classified Ads: www.mcgill.ca/classified
• Find free e-articles in indexes, databases, journals & newspapers
available thru the McGill library network. www.mcgill.ca/library HISTORY OF COMPOSTING
• Borrow books from the McGill or municipal libraries Since 2005, Gorilla Composting has been composting organic waste
(http://catalogue.mcgill.ca; www.ville.montreal.qc.ca/biblio): from several campus food providers, laying the ground for a campus-
o Grande Bibliothèque: 475 Maisonneuve E., (514) 873-1100 wide compost collection. The group makes two weekly collections
o Plateau Mont-Royal Library: 465 Mont-Royal E., (514) from cafeterias & public drop-offs across downtown campus and
872-2270 transport it to a dumpster where it is temporarily stored before being
o Westmount Library: 4574 Sherbrooke W., (514) 989-5300 sent to Quinn Farms, where it is composted and turned into the soil.
• Photocopy and print your work on both sides.
• Write on used paper which you can collect from DATA FROM WASTE AUDITS
computer labs and recycling boxes.
• 1994: 90% of waste could be recovered.
• Buy reused notebooks from Greening McGill,
Sustainable McGill & Gorilla Composting. • 2002: Based on data from 1997 to 2000,
only 20,24% of waste was being recycled at
Did you know? McGill.
About 70% of McGill’s daily waste stream is recyclable paper. That’s equivalent to • 2005: The Sustainable McGill Project
about 1,400 metric tons of paper a year.
(www.sustainable.mcgill.ca) completed a sustainability
assessment which showed a 130% increase in the annual qty of
IN THE CLASSROOM waste collected from 1997 to 2005.
• Take an introductory environment class: • 2006: 50% of the waste found in the “garbage” compartment of
o ENVR 200: The Global Environment recycling stations was recyclable.
o ENVR 201: Society and the Environment Did you know?
o ENVR 202: The Evolving Earth Used inkjet cartridges may be dropped off at:
o ENVR 203: Knowledge, Ethics & the Environment • McGill Computer Store, McGill Bookstore, 2nd floor.
• If you’re the last person to leave a classroom, turn off lights, • University Bytes, University Centre, 3480 McTavish.
projectors, computers, monitors, etc. • Macdonald Campus Bookstore, Centennial Centre.
-UN-ETHICAL INVESTMENTS SOME AWESOME EVENTS
THE CAMSR SEPTEMBER
The Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Car Free Day
Responsibility (CAMSR), a body of the McGill Board of World Carfree Day is an annual
Governors, is in charge of receiving petitions regarding investments celebration of public life free from the
but does not actively look into the ethical practices of the companies noise, stress and pollution of cars. Each
McGill invests in. The CAMSR’s general guideline is to take action on year on September 22, people around the
investments causing “social injury” (environmental injury is not world organise events to showcase
explicitly mentioned). When it receives a petition it can either alternatives to the automobile.
recommend shareholder action, divestment, or no action. www.worldcarfree.net/wcfd
At McGill: On Sept. 22, the main street on
BURMA downtown campus is closed off to cars. Student groups reclaim the street
for a day of arts & crafts, sports, info booths, workshops, etc.
Since 1962, Burma has been ruled by a brutal military
dictatorship whose human rights record has been Radical Frosh
decried by the international community. Violence & For those freshmen who are not into drinking games paid for by multi-
repression are common and those who dare speak out national beer companies, Radical Frosh offers an alternative orientation
against the regime are arrested & tortured. week. New students get to know the city and learn about social & political
McGill passed a resolution in April 2006 prohibiting
investment of endowment funds in companies whose
activities cause social injury in Burma. As a result, DECEMBER
Ivanhoe Mines Ltd and Total S.A. have been blacklisted. However, Buy Nothing Day
McGill is still invested in other companies in Burma which may not cause It is a day of protest against consumerism, where
enough social harm to meet McGill’s requirements. Companies that participants refrain from purchasing anything for 24 hrs to
provide currency to the military regime, for example, may not qualify as raise awareness about society’s wasteful consumption
causing “social injury”. The Burma Solidarity Collective, a McGill habits. http://adbusters.org/metas/eco/bnd
student group that led the divestment campaign, is still doing research At McGill: Campus groups organise carolling around campus and in the
into the issue. email@example.com mall (Christmas songs with anti-consumerist lyrics), free vegan lunches,
clothing swaps, etc.
Since Feb. 2003, Sudanese government forces and JANUARY
government-backed ethnic militias (janjaweed) have Campus Climate Challenge Week of Action
committed large-scale war crimes and ethnic During 5 days of demonstration, American & Canadian youth are called
cleansing in the Darfur region of Sudan. The to take action against climate change. www.climatechallenge.org/woa
deterioration of the situation has led the UN to call it At McGill: Multiple screenings of An Inconvenient Truth.
“the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.”
The McGill Chapter of STAND (Students Taking Action in Darfur), is APRIL
hoping that the Burma campaign will set a precedent for McGill Fossil Fool’s Day
investments in Sudan. STAND has filed a freedom of information This international day of action promotes energy conservation and
request to find out where McGill’s investments lie and plans to argue for alternatives to the use of fossil fuels.
divestment from specific “highly questionable” companies, notably those At McGill: Activities include selling smoothies made by a bike-powered
involved in oil extraction and whose profits likely fund the purchase of blender, selling energy-efficient lightbulbs and distributing information
arms. www.standcanada.org about energy alternatives.