President’s Advisory Committee on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability

The President’s Advisory Committee on the Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability (CECCS) was created in early 2017, as one of the actions proposed in the Beyond Divestment: Taking Decisive Action on Climate Change – Administrative Response to the Report of the President’s Advisory Committee on Divestment from Fossil-Fuels report released by the President in March 2016. CECCS operates on the principle that sustainability is more than a subject-area or discipline. It is a cross-cutting framework, ethic, and key component of the University of Toronto identity. 


The mandate of the CECCS is to advance coordination of the University’s contributions and objectives on climate change and sustainability pertaining to research and innovation, academic programs, community engagement, and sustainability initiatives related to our operations.


  • Sustainability a key component of U of T identity.
  • Local and International leadership in operational and academic sustainability; and
  • Recognition, sharing and aggregation of good sustainability practices across the university.

From its creation in 2017 to the decision to extend the mandate in 2021, the CECCS pursued its goals through three CECCS Subcommittees: Campus as a Living Lab (CLL), University as Agent of Change in the Community (AOC), and Curriculum Innovation (CI). The key strategies of these Subcommittees were to promote the integration of operational and academic sustainability through ‘Campus as a Living Lab’ projects (CLL), to develop partnerships on sustainability issues with the various communities internally and outside U of T (AOC), and to make sustainability curriculum opportunities available to students (CI). Across the activities of these Subcommittees, the CECCS has identified, facilitated, supported, enabled, and promoted sustainability initiatives across all three campuses. This has been accomplished through leveraging individual campus identities, fostering a sense of common purpose, and bringing together existing sustainability networks and connections at U of T and in the community. 

Organizational Framework

In 2021, a revised organizational framework for the CECCS was developed as follows:

2 Overarching Principles

  1. Regenerative Sustainability
  2. Operational and Academic Sustainability Integration

4 Cross-Cutting Themes

  1. Campus as a Living Lab (CLL)
  2. University as an Agent of Change (AOC)
  3. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  4. Student Leadership

4 Subcommittees

  1. Teaching and Learning
  2. Research
  3. Operations
  4. Engagement and Partnerships

Learn more about our revised organizational framework here