York University has undertaken a variety of energy management programs over the past 10 years, including the installation and expansion of the building automation system, implementation of two cogeneration units, modifications to the district heating and cooling plants, implementation of energy efficient lighting technologies, motor replacement, and installation of green roofs. These programs have yielded good returns on investment, and the University is now planning to expand on these successes to implement a broader, more comprehensive energy management program to further reduce operation costs, improve environmental performance and to help renew aging infrastructure.


The Yorkwise program is investing $39.5 million in building and infrastructure renewal, design technology and training solutions, to promote energy conservation and reduce utility costs. The university completed an energy audit of all campus buildings in 2008, and has since been retrofitting and replacing lighting, HVAC (heating and cooling) and water fixtures across campus. The reduction target by 2012 is a 25% reduction in the University’s overall utility bill from 2006-2007, which is equivalent to 275,000 GJ of energy or 18,900 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. For more information, please visit


The process of co-generation uses a single fuel source, natural gas, to simultaneously produce electricity and heat, thereby increasing our resource efficiency and lowering operating costs. Co-generation is a cheaper alternative than simply purchasing electricity and heat separately, because it makes use of the “waste” heat that would normally be expelled in the process.
The cogeneration plants at York generate nearly 60% of the Keele campus energy requirements, with a capacity of 10.3 MW. For more information, please visit

Printing Services

Printing Services has taken a number of steps in greening the printing process at York. York University is the first Canadian postsecondary institution to make its course kits "carbon neutral". This means that kits are produced using environmentally responsible printing practices that include incorporating locally produced papers manufactured using sound forestry practices and increased recycled fibre content. York is also contributing approximately 10 cents per kit to the not-for-profit organization Zerofootprint, to purchase local renewable energy and support other projects such as tree planting. When factored together, the changes effectively bring the net carbon footprint of each course kit to zero, making the course kit program carbon neutral.

In addition, York University's Printing Services is one of the first in-plant printers in Canada to receive Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. FSC certification means that York community members can now choose to lighten their ecological footprint by selecting FSC-certified paper for their printing needs. FSC-certified printers are authorized to apply the FSC logo and product label to printed materials such as reports, brochures, invitations, and stationery. For more information, please visit

Res Race to Zero

The Res Race to Zero is an annual competition in which residences across campus face off to determine who can minimize their energy consumption the most over the month of March. The winning residence receives an award of $4000 toward a sustainability themed initiative in their residence (i.e. low flow shower heads in the residence building, energy saving light bulbs, motion sensor light switches, etc). This program complements York’s 5 year energy management plan to reduce energy usage on campus by 25%. For more information please visit

Process Re-engineering and Service Enhancement (PRASE)

PRASE is intended to assist the University in developing more effective services and use of resources in support of its core mission in teaching, learning, research and public service. In the context of significant budget pressures facing the University, improved services and more efficient uses of resources are especially critical to the University’s ability to achieve its strategic planning objectives. The PRASE program will contribute to York’s energy reduction goals by reducing the acquisition of certain goods and equipment that are deemed to be in excess of the University’s current requirements. Please see for additional information.