Our Actions and Goals

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
Sustainable Development Goals By The Numbers:
33 percent
In 2019, 33% of Queen’s University waste was recycled materials.

Our goals in action

Research and innovation

Leading the charge against microplastics

Researcher Dr. Myra Hird, professor in the School of Environmental Studies, is leading Canada’s fight against microplastics, which harm both the environment and living creatures. Hird, along with the federal government’s top science advisors, represented Canada at a recent G7 meeting on Microplastic Pollution, which is looking at best practices for reducing the amount of microplastics in our water and soil.

[Photo of Dr. Myra Hird holding a plastic bottle]
Dr. Myra Hird (School of Environmental Studies), Queen's National Scholar

Teaching and student life

Sustainability Chef

Queen’s has the country’s first university-based Sustainability Chef, responsible for our environmentally friendly and always tasty food options.

It pays to dine sustainably

Sustainability is incorporated everywhere at Queen’s, including in our Dining Halls. The Hospitality Services Sustainability Framework includes several initiatives that are effective in reducing waste. Community members are rewarded for purchasing coffee and tea in their own reusable cups or bringing their own cutlery to the dining halls through our BYO-ECO Card program. They can also save money on take-out orders when they purchase a reusable ECO-container.

[Photo of students at Leonard Dining Hall]

Students as partners in environmental stewardship

Student volunteers, in conjunction with Waste Management, have conducted a Waste to Resource Assessment, which audited the amount of waste at five locations across our campus. The audit report identified opportunities to improve our overall waste diversion rate and expand our recycling program. It also recommended that Queen’s continue to raise awareness and education about waste and recycling procedures on campus.

[Photo of waste diversion bins]

Take less, waste Less

The university makes special efforts to promote the 3Rs. Queen’s Hospitality Services supports initiatives to help students, staff and employees Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Community impact


Our Bottled Water Free Campus initiatives remove almost 100,000 water bottles from circulation every year.

Community recognition for our sustainability initiatives

The City of Kingston, through its Sustainable Kingston program, awarded the Queen's Hospitality Services the 2019 Organizational Sustainability Champion Award. Queen’s was recognized for its extensive efforts to champion food security, environmental stewardship, sense of community and climate action.

Moving toward zero plastic waste

Our efforts to reduce plastic use continue to pay off. As a Bottled Water Free Campus we have minimized plastic bottle waste. Because we regularly track the amount of waste generated and recycled across our campus, we also know that our awareness and recycling programs have reduced the amount of waste produced at Queen’s and diverted large amounts of plastic waste from our city’s landfills.

Moving Toward Zero Plastic Waste

Administration and operations

Respecting the environment in all we do

We believe we have a responsibility for the safety of the environment as a shared resource. As such, our Policy Statement on Environmental Management commits to exceeding all legislation and formal obligations for protecting the environment. The policy also aims to educate the university community about actions they can take to have the smallest possible impact on the environment.

[Photo of a lake in South Frontenac County]
Queen's Art of Research submission: Nature's van Gogh by Hayden Wainwright (Biology)

Sustainability at your fingertips

Sustainable Queen's is a dynamic community, bringing together campus and Kingston partners pursuing climate action and sustainability efforts in all their forms. The Sustainable Queen’s website outlines our sustainability initiatives and includes various student resources, research and reports in one handy location.

Sustainable sourcing

Queen’s University strives to create a culture of sustainability on campus that influences the way we operate. Our Sustainable Procurement Guidelines highlight criteria for items that are routinely purchased on campus, within the context of existing purchasing agreements. It also recommends products that are currently available through existing Queen’s suppliers.

Collaborating for a more sustainable Queen’s

The Sustainability Working Group, made up of students, faculty, staff and alumni, seeks to determine ways the university can meet sustainability goals and carbon reduction targets. Some of the recommendations identified through the Sustainability Working Group Annual Report included the collaboration with Sustainable Kingston on 2020 Kingston Climate Change Symposium and the creation of a Sustainability Reserve to support environmental initiatives.

2021 Announcement

1st in Canada
1st in Canada

1st in Canada
5th in the World

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

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