Climate Change Charter

Lakehead University signs Canadian universities’ Climate Change Charter backed by our ongoing sustainability work

Lakehead University’s years of continued sustainability investments in our buildings and operations has laid the foundation for our decision to join many of Canada’s universities who have signed a Climate Change Charter.

The Investing to Address Climate Change: A Charter for Canadian Universities represents a commitment by its signatory institutions to become stewards of long-term investments and efforts that act proactively and constructively to address the challenges posed by climate change.

Lakehead’s acceptance as a signatory recognizes Lakehead University’s commitment to social responsibility and the many examples of initiatives we have undertaken and continue to implement as a University community for many years, including:

  • In 2022, for the third consecutive year, Lakehead University was included in the top 100 of the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. The Impact Rankings measure the societal impact of universities by evaluating an institutions’ success in delivering on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which focus on poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.
  • Lakehead University Board of Governors’ unanimous decision to work towards total divestment (fossil-free) by the end of the current Strategic Plan in 2023.
  • Articulation of commitments to advancing cultural, social and environmental sustainability in both the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan and 2019-2024 Academic Plan.
  • The implementation of Lakehead University Sustainability Action Plan (2019-2024)
  • The incorporation of Indigenous worldviews and ways of being that have a profound influence on how sustainability is understood and practiced.
  • The 2021-2022 academic year being declared Lakehead University's Year of Climate Action
  • Lakehead University’s 2022 Research and Innovation Week theme was ‘Planetary Stewardship’.
  • Establishing campus landscape management plans that foster biodiversity and reduce and prevent damage to natural habitats, including the transformation of a once-concrete-filled space on our Thunder Bay campus into a eco-friendly outdoor classroom.
  • From 2009 onwards, and in accordance with the University's Sustainable Building Policy, all builds on our Orillia and Thunder Bay campuses will be built to LEED standards. This has included all Lakehead Orillia main campus buildings, Lakehead Thunder Bay’s Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering and Sciences (CASES) building, and most recently The Wolf Den
  • Tracking research related to climate change and sustainability, and encouraging programs that recognize and support all such research across all disciplines.
  • Capital investments such as our Greenhouse Gas Reduction Projects (e.g. modernizing heating systems, cafeteria’s waste disposal and recycling systems, and installation of solar panel array).


As a signatory to the Climate Change Charter, Lakehead University pledges to further strengthen our commitment to responsible investment and acknowledges the important role Canadian universities play in establishing a sustainable future for everyone. Signatories commit to adhering by the following principles and practices, and encourage other universities to do the same:

  1. Adopt a responsible investing framework to guide investment decision-making, in line with recognized standards such as the UN-supported Principles of Responsible Investment (UN-PRI).
  2. Regularly measure the carbon intensity of our investment portfolios, and set meaningful targets for their reduction over time
  3. Evaluate progress towards these objectives on a regular basis, and share the results of such assessments publicly
  4. Ensure that the performance evaluation of our investment managers takes into account their success in achieving such objectives, alongside the other criteria for assessing their performance