Case Study: Dawson College

Who are Dawson College?

Dawson College is a large, long-established post-secondary educational institution which sits on 12 acres of green space in the heart of downtown Montréal and is directly accessible via the Atwater Metro Station. It was the first English-language institution within the cégep network in Québec, opening its doors in 1969. Since then, thousands of students have graduated from the 31 technical and pre-University programs offered at Dawson College. Despite the size of the campus and an enrolment count of approximately 10,000 students, offering personalized classes has remained a priority.

Dawson College has been one of the leaders in sustainability in the educational sector of Québec for years. Since completing their first assessment in 2012, they have striven to establish one of the best sustainability strategies around by considering not only Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions, but also connection with nature, well-being, happiness, and healthy/sustainable lifestyles among their staff and students.

What they wanted

Dawson College is a long-standing client of Ecometrica, completing their first assessment in 2012 with the help of experienced analysts.

The following challenges were brought to Ecometrica’s attention by Dawson College as they sought to take their sustainability reporting efforts to the next level:

  • Creating an initial plan to help them achieve their goal of obtaining a Carbon Neutral Certification
  • Transitioning from the manual spreadsheet system they used previously to a robust, efficient platform with the capability to report on chosen scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions sources in a unified manner
  • Including historical data from 2008 onwards for energy use and waste to gain valuable historical context and inform potential targets and initiatives
  • Enhancing reporting and analytical capabilities, and increasing efficiency to be able to spend less time collecting and calculating data

Ecometrica’s award-winning, user friendly platform has allowed Dawson College to report on consumption and emissions data in real time, reducing the effort required to produce sustainability reports, and improving transparency of their sustainability data and efforts.

From the beginning, Ecometrica has striven to streamline data collection and emissions calculations across geographically diverse locations, and to pioneer best practices in GHG accounting that are in line with the GHG protocol.

How we helped

In 2022, Dawson was named Sustainability Institution of the year by the International Green Gown Awards and in 2021, the college won the Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal climate action award. In 2020, the college was awarded a GOLD level certification in the Sustainability Tracking and Assessment Rating System (STARS) classification of the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the global leader in the recognition of sustainability in higher education. The extensive reporting process of the STARS certification allowed Dawson College to systematically evaluate the integration of sustainability in its academics, student services, operations, governance, and operations.

Being the first cégep in Québec to receive this award, they have undoubtedly become leaders in Canada’s educational sector, even inspiring fellow Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCan) members to follow suit. With this news, they hope to not only accelerate the momentum of their own sustainability efforts, but most importantly, to inspire other schools, communities, organizations, and employers in their work for the well-being of all.

The following are just some of the projects that were implemented by Dawson College:

  • Through their Living Campus platform, Dawson College aims to promote the use of high-impact educational learning practices, and provide experiential, collaborative learning opportunities which help reconnect people, community, and nature. At its core, the program aims to advance the understanding and teaching of sustainability in a well-rounded manner by integrating it in every aspect of campus life.
  • Dawson College hosts the Sustainable Happiness (SH) Certificate Programs which are offered to students, employees, as well as members of the community. Participants in the programs are introduced to the concept of sustainable happiness and explore its implications, both personally and professionally. Strategies to integrate this concept into curricula are continuously developed.

Ecometrica are very proud of the supporting role they have played in helping Dawson College obtain a GOLD level certification in the STARS system.

Dawson College found that the main advantages of using Ecometrica’s software were:

Flexible solutions to custom data needs

Analyst support with data entry, quality assurance of data, and any other technical expertise required

Year over year reporting that is compliant with WBCSD/WRI Corporate GHG Protocol

Identification of key trends via our online platform

A simplified third party verification process that provides full visibility of data, emissions factors, and supporting evidence

Dawson College

“Dawson’s climate action work is recognized as innovative across the country and we chose Ecometrica because we wanted to work with a leader in the field. They are accurate, efficient in report generation and always available to answer questions. We are most pleased with our continued relationship on our journey toward carbon responsibility.”