On September 29, the University of Toronto published its inaugural report by the newly formed President’s Advisory Committee on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability, which includes contributions from committee member Associate Professor Liat Margolis.
The Committee — struck earlier this year, after it was proposed in the President’s report Beyond Divestment: Taking Decisive Action on Climate Change — was formed to identify ways U of T can meet the “challenges of climate change and sustainability, with a particular focus on research and innovation, teaching, and University operations.”
The Committee builds off and supports the implementation of several commitments made in the Beyond Divestment report that came before it, including
1. Launching a tri-campus clean-tech challenge to encourage environment and energy related entrepreneurship
2. Providing $750,000 to be distributed over three years for climate change related academic initiatives
3. Prioritizing climate change-related themes in selected programs and curricula
4. Increasing the Utilities Reduction Revolving Fund by 50 per cent (from $5 million to $7.5 million) to encourage more extensive implementation of energy-saving retrofits in our buildings
5. Formally adopting substantially more rigorous energy efficiency standards for capital projects
6. Pursuing opportunities to use our campuses as ‘test beds’ for environmental and sustainability research and best practices
7. Investigating the potential for development of other renewable energy projects
By investing time and resources into sustainability targets, the Committee hopes to make sustainability part of the core identity of U of T. To read the full report, visit the Office of the President’s website.
Margolis’s research focuses on the knowledge transfer of multi-performance materials and technologies across disciplines, particularly understanding and articulating the emerging relevance of performative landscapes as urban infrastructure. She was central to the creation of the Green Roof Innovation Testing Lab (GRIT Lab) and serves as its Director. She is also Co-Director of the Centre for Landscape Research (CLR). Last month, Margolis was appointed as the Daniels Faculty’s Director of the Master of Landscape Architecture program and Associate Dean, Research.