Environmental Steering Committee Terms of Reference

Mission Statement:

The University is committed to sustainable development and the preservation and enhancement of natural ecosystems on campus and integrating human activities with these ecosystems.

Problem Statement:

The aim of McMaster's environmental policy is:

  • to identify and establish environmental principles, objectives and goals
  • to provide a framework for developing environmental procedures and initiatives
  • to communicate its approach to all stakeholders
  • to respond to concerns as raised by the McMaster community
  • to partner with students to recognize groups on campus or in the greater community who preserve and enhance the natural ecosystems on campus and contribute to environmental sustainability


The issues to be studied include, but are not necessarily limited, to:

  • solid waste
  • hazardous waste
  • indoor and outdoor air quality
  • energy use
  • transportation
  • water
  • groundskeeping methods

The committee's authority and power come from the Board of Governors through the Office of the Vice-President (Administration) in accordance with relevant legal and moral obligations.  Those matters outside its jurisdiction will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Desired Outcomes:

The policy has three desired outcomes:

  • Short-term: compliance with McMaster's legal and social obligations under Canadian and provincial legislation
  • Medium-term: substantial movement toward meeting the sustainability mission
  • Long-term:  become a university leader in our community, nationally and internationally with respect to moving toward a sustainable future


  • Assistant Director, Physical Plant
  • Vice-President (Administration)
  • McMaster Students Union representative
  • Alumni Association representative
  • Graduate Students Association representative
  • Manager, Purchasing
  • Representative from All-Modes Commuting and Transportation (ACT) Office
  • Representative from MACgreen
  • Landscape Designer/Grounds Manager
  • Faculty/Research Representative
  • Faculty of Health Sciences Representative
  • Inter-Residence Council Representative
  • Environmental and Occupational Health Support Services Representative

Membership Term:

  • Two or three years (flexible).


  • The Environmental Policy Committee will report to the Board of Governors through the Vice-President (Administration).


  • Frequency: quarterly.
  • Meetings are open.