Congratulations Dawson College on AASHE Gold: reactions from government, leaders and others



« Je souhaite féliciter le Collège Dawson pour son engagement dans la lutte contre les changements climatiques. Les établissements d’enseignement supérieur, en tant que lieu de formation et en tant qu’institution, sont des acteurs importants pour le développement d’une communauté plus résiliente.  L’obtention d’une reconnaissance internationale en la matière témoigne des efforts investis pour réaliser la transition écologique. »

Valérie Plante
Mairesse de Montréal


« Cette reconnaissance témoigne du curriculum avant-gardiste de Dawson, alors que nous avons tous un rôle à jouer afin de préserver notre environnement et de promouvoir le développement durable pour la génération actuelle et les générations futures.

“As a Member of the National Assembly, and as the proud parent of a Dawson student, I’m extremely proud to see a college in the riding shine on the world stage and promote important values such as innovation and leadership.”

Jennifer Maccarone
Députée de | MNA for Westmount–Saint-Louis


« Au nom du gouvernement du Canada et de tous les Canadiens et Canadiennes, je félicite le Collège Dawson pour son rôle de chef de file en matière de durabilité. Ce rôle a d’ailleurs été reconnu par une certification Or de l’Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

« En septembre 2017, j’ai eu l’honneur d’annoncer une subvention de 1 241 955 $ du Fonds d’investissement stratégique pour les établissements postsecondaires du gouvernement du Canada destinée à soutenir le projet de conservation d’énergie et de pérennité de l’environnement du Collège Dawson, l’un des volets du plan de durabilité du Collège.

“The federal investment was one component of Dawson college’s sustainability plan. Dawson College’s sustainability leadership is institution-wide and includes student happiness and wellness. Five years after the tragic shooting at Dawson College in 2011, I was present for Dawson College’s Ecological Peace Garden’s inauguration. Together with many CEGEPS across Quebec, Dawson College embraces programs that empower both students and educators to create innovative projects that develop sustainable communities.”

L’Honorable Marc Garneau, PC, CC, CD MP FCASI


“Dawson College has truly been a leader in this regard for years, acting as an early adopter of many innovative policies and practices. It is a well-deserved recognition that will, I am sure, inspire many others within Canada’s post-secondary sector. At CICan, we are committed to helping Canada achieve meaningful progress towards the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Meeting these goals will require us all to work together to tackle pressing challenges in a meaningful and positive way.

“This requires strong leadership, which I strongly believe colleges, CEGEPs and institutes can provide. They are not only preparing the next generation to build a more sustainable world, but they can have a meaningful impact within their community every day through their work with a variety of stakeholders. Dawson College is showing us that this can be done and that colleges are without a doubt some of the most powerful agents for change around. Thank you to the whole team at Dawson, and please keep it up.”

Denise Amyot
CICan (Colleges and Institutes Canada)

Michael Goldwax

“I was very proud to be part of this momentous period whereby we adopted the Dawson College Sustainability Policy and the current Dawson College 2016-21 Strategic Plan; the guiding documents for Dawson’s Sustainability Office. In 2018, the Board of Governors of Dawson College made the bold commitment to be Carbon Neutral forever. Upon making that commitment, a plan was implemented with the planting of 30,000 trees. I echo the words of our Director General, Richard Filion: ‘Dawson’s commitment to helping solve environmental and societal issues is a core value of this College: well-being for all, sustainably.’ I am equally proud to represent a community of positive action that simultaneously cultivates hope for the generation we serve.”

Michael Goldwax
Chair, Board of Governors
Dawson College


“As an Indigenous man (Kanien’keha:ka from Kahnawake), it is encouraging to see Dawson College undertake these great efforts to support sustainability in so many areas with the involvement of faculty, students and staff. These important steps to ensure a healthy environment for our children, grandchildren and future generations we Haudenosaunnee (Six Nations Iroquois) refer to this as Seven Generations thinking, being responsible today for our future generations.”

Alex McComber
Member, Board of Governors, Dawson College
Director, Quebec Indigenous Mentorship Network
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Family Medicine


“Sustainability is a target each one of us should strive to achieve in order to minimize waste, save water and help rebuild safe habitats for plants and animals to thrive and prosper and hopefully the bi-product will result in a cleaner, healthier environment for us all.

“The Dawson College Foundation is committed to being a strategic partner as Dawson continues to lead in the implementation of ground breaking innovations in sustainability. The investment team is committed to ensuring the foundation’s funds are placed into opportunities where sustainability is a major focus and will satisfy the on-going objectives of the sustainability team at the College.”

Steve Hatajlo
President, Dawson College Foundation


“Dawson’s leadership in sustainability and well-being for all serves as a beacon for all post-secondary institutions and demonstrates what is possible when sustainability is prioritized by a college and championed.”

Dr. Catherine O’Brien
President, Thinking Rock
Senior Scholar, Cape Breton University


« L’éducation doit jouer un rôle phare pour la transition écologique et la lutte contre la crise climatique. Les institutions comme les cégeps doivent ainsi proposer des environnements physiques exemplaires, en plus de faire preuve de leadership. La crise climatique exige des innovations, de se dépasser, de faire autrement, et ce, rapidement. L’engagement du Collège Dawson offre un nouvel élan et une source d’inspiration pour les établissements scolaires qui souhaitent emboiter le pas de la transition écologique. »

Catherine Gauthier
Directrice générale d’ENvironnement JEUnesse


“Given the environmental challenges that our planet now faces a key element of the developing of citizenship in our students must include knowledge, implementation and practice of sustainability. Dawson’s gold accreditation is proof that sustainability has become part of our lived lives at Dawson College. My hope is that Dawson’s graduating students will change the world into a sustainable one.”

Doug Smyth
Faculty, Physical Education, Dawson College


“I am very excited about our work on the new Environment and Sustainability Certificate, which will make innovative learning for sustainability knowledge and skills available to Dawson students from all programs. The environmental challenges headed our way demand a comprehensive, all-in response from colleges and universities; nothing less will do.”

Ian MacKenzie
Faculty, English
Sustainability Team, Dawson College

“It is important to incorporate sustainability into our courses and to share knowledge about Nature and sustainability with the Dawson community and our broader Quebec community because sharing this knowledge is essential.”

Ivan Freud
Faculty, Religion
Dawson College


“The goal in the current Dawson College Strategic Plan is to “be a leading Canadian post-secondary institution in promoting and practising sustainability in all its endeavours.” This goal helped to galvanize all sectors within the College to achieving it.”

Katherine McWhaw
Quality Assurance and Planning Office
Sustainability Team, Dawson College


“From my first day at Dawson College, I knew right away that this was going to be a good place for me to work. And the good news kept coming: the walks in the Peace Garden, the (super fresh) roof garden lettuce we could buy on site, the mindfulness sessions that are routine in some areas of the College, the zero-waste catering service, the delicious honey we received as a token of appreciation at the Ped Day. Sustainable Dawson efforts are everywhere, and they touch our daily lives as employees of the college.”

Monica Lopez, Office of Academic Development, Dawson College


“Dawson College has gone far beyond what one might consider the acceptable standard practice of sustainability for a post-secondary institution. Instead, Dawson pushes for innovation through concepts like sustainable happiness, which links sustainability with happiness. As a leader in sustainable happiness, Dawson recognizes that a focus on well-being is fundamental for building a sustainable future.”

Sean O’Brien Murray
Research & Communication Director, Thinking Rock. Inc.


“I have been at Dawson for a few years now and find the most important thing at Dawson is the connections and collaborations that are formed. I hope by people seeing all our accomplishments, it gives them hope that they too can create a better student, a better classroom, a better school, a better community, a better country…and a better world.”

Jennifer de Vera
Sustainability Office
Dawson College


“Teaching on a campus that has multiple spaces available for environmental education, applied ecology or even just for appreciating Nature, has been an absolute highlight. Students gain so much by being involved in campus projects; real application of research and knowledge.”

Brian Mader
Faculty, Biology
Dawson College


“It has been a pleasure and an honour to be part of the sustainability programming at Dawson. This type of engagement has been instrumental in my joy and pride of working at Dawson as we aim to achieve ever greater standards in social and environmental sustainability.”

Azra Khan
Human Resources
Sustainability Team, Dawson College


« Développement durable…Il y a tellement d’opportunités d’amélioration dans nos pratiques et nos habitudes, ceci offre tout un monde de possibilités et Dawson ouvre grand la voie. Bravo! Et merci de nous permettre d’aller toujours plus loin dans cette démarche. »

Véronique Paris
Ressources matérielles
Sustainability Team, Dawson College


“There are so many projects around the College that have brought a sense of pride to the daily grind: the monarch caterpillars, the Peace Garden, the waste stations, the water stations, the collaborative art pieces, the potlucks. I feel so much has been accomplished in the last three years that makes the College a better place.”

Kinga Breining
Quality Assurance and Planning Office
Sustainability Team, Dawson College


“At Dawson, sustainability is woven into classes, student projects, and opportunities to volunteer that are open to everyone. I have been fortunate to be a writer on Dawson’s first Sustainability Plan and this experience gave me insight to the quantity and quality of sustainability projects that students, faculty, and employees from departments across the college are involved in. I am inspired everyday by their impact!”

Julia Lijeron
Faculty Hub
Sustainability Team, Dawson College


“It is essential that we acknowledge the amazing role and opportunity we can play in the lives of students at an early stage, teaching them the importance of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

Julie Brosseau
Academic Systems
Dawson College


“The dedication and hard work that is led by the Sustainable Dawson department touches all of us with this recognition. I am thankful that our management team supports its employees by encouraging participation in the sustainability projects on campus. I know that our actions extend out into the broader community that we all live in.”

Billi-Jo Poirier
Campus Life and Leadership
Dawson College

Last Modified: October 22, 2021