McMaster welcomes a new director of sustainability

Dave Cano will join McMaster University as the director of sustainability, helping to transform campus into a living laboratory for sustainability.

Green energy and sustainability expert Dave Cano has been appointed McMaster’s director of sustainability. In this leadership position, Cano will play an essential role in executing important initiatives, developing ambitious targets and defining key metrics related to McMaster’s inaugural, campus-wide Sustainability Strategy.

“My passion is to help organizations become more sustainable, and I’m excited to bring my professional experience in all aspects of sustainability management to McMaster University,” says Cano. “I look forward to working with people from across the university to develop cohesive action plans to achieve the vision of McMaster’s Sustainability Strategy.”

Cano brings his experience as a sustainability leader with the Town of Oakville and Western University and holds a master’s degree in environment and business.

McMaster’s first university-wide Sustainability Strategy launched in 2022 to address the pressing challenges facing our planet with a collective commitment to engage students, faculty and staff in transforming our campus into a living laboratory for sustainability. The plan aligns with McMaster’s vision to advance societal health and well-being and strengthens connections to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“The director of sustainability will help grow McMaster’s commitment to promoting a culture of sustainability,” says Debbie Martin, assistant vice-president and chief facilities officer. “The role will lead McMaster’s Office of Sustainability and engage the McMaster Sustainability Advisory Council (MSAC), as well as our university’s community members and experts at McMaster, in advancing sustainability goals in areas such as waste reduction and energy management.” The MSAC has a wide range of members, including students and faculty.

The main drivers of McMaster’s Sustainability Strategy include strengthening the university’s culture of sustainability, supporting sustainable research, teaching, and learning, creating a self-sustaining campus, and transforming McMaster’s operational practices.

As the Director of Sustainability, Cano will also be involved in steering the university’s Net Zero Carbon Roadmap, “The university has a unique advantage in having faculty members at the forefront of sustainability research. I look forward to gaining valuable insights from them and other members of the McMaster community.”

Sustainability, in all its forms, matters to the McMaster community. In 2022, McMaster ranked 37th in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, which recognizes the contributions of universities worldwide as they work to make the world a safer, more sustainable place. In the last two years, the university shared annual sustainability reports (2020-21 Sustainability Report, 2021-22 Sustainability Report) celebrating the many sustainability achievements of McMaster students, faculty and staff.

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