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Sustainability Poster
Sustainability Forum 2015. Participants respond to the prompt, "My commitment to sustainability is..." — Poster by Ayomide Sami- Orungbe.

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  • What's your commitment to sustainability?
  • What are the possibilities at OCAD U?

Share your thoughts: contact Victoria Ho, Coordinator, Sustainability Initiatives at



"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."
- Arundhati Roy



Sustainability at OCAD U

A joint proposal to integrate Sustainability with Diversity & Equity Initiatives was developed in February 2014 by Vice-President, Finance and Administration; IT Services; and Diversity & Equity Initiatives. It was supported by the Sustainability Working Group (now the Sustainability Committee) and by the Educational and Employment Equity Committee.

This shift reflects OCAD University’s institutional commitment to developing and advancing a vision of "just sustainability" that foregrounds equity and creates new ways of understanding and acting that strengthen communities; build social capacity and economic strength; and promote positive transformation and change. Incorporating sustainability into an office that is arms-length from the administration and reports to the president will enhance the profile of sustainability and will assist in meeting the strategic priority of developing and implementing an institution-wide sustainability plan that promotes constituent engagement. 

There is a long history of sustainability at OCAD U and sustainability initiatives must be informed, shaped and driven by the subject matter expertise of faculty, staff and students. As such, ODESI welcomes your participation as we expand the work of the Sustainability Committee to ensure that key constituents and thought leaders are involved in developing and advancing OCAD U’s vision of sustainability and the mandate of sustainability in ODESI.

Our services are available to all OCAD U students, employees, visitors and volunteers. The office does not advocate for any individual or group. The office advocates for fairness and for an inclusive community, where dignity and human rights of all its members are respected and upheld.


Contact Victoria Ho (, Sustainability Coordinator, Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives with questions and/or suggestions!


Oct 8: OCAD U Repair Cafe

Sept 28: Climate Action Week Solutions Summit

Sept 20-27: Global Climate Strike, ODESI office is closed

Sept 18: Honey harvest from rooftop hive

June 26: Climate & Chill, student drop-in

May 31: Sustainability Committee Retreat - Annual Strategic Planning

Mary 14: Faculty of Art Curriculum Days - Sustainability Workshop

April 22: Earth Day

March 12: OCAD U Repair Cafe

March 12: Sustainability Committee Meeting (quarterly)

Jan 9: Research Wednesdays - Sustainability design internship



Sept 2019

Global Climate Strike
To mark the Global Strike for Climate Justice, ODESI will be closed Friday 27 and will be joining the rally and march. Learn more:

People cartwheeling on the grass under a blue sky with clean air and shining sun

Sept 2019

Experiential Learning
On-campus experiential learning placements in sustainability are now available! Students are placed with OCAD U departments to make the campus a living lab. Contact Farihah Shah ( Program Coordinator, Experiential Learning Placements for more detail!

Previous and current placements below:

Copy and Print Services
Copy and Print Services provides the OCAD U community with its copying and digital output needs. This includes operating the Digital Print Shop and managing the University’s networked black and white printers, and its fleet of multifunction copiers. From pulp to print, paper is the lifeline of their operation, with your help we can develop a sustainable and responsible outlook on this lifeline and make an impact in reduction! Are you up to the task?

Safety & Security
Hazardous wastes are wastes that can pose a threat to health, safety and the environment. Plus, its disposal is expensive! OCAD U is trying to reduce the amount of inappropriate materials that end up in our hazardous waste bins (i.e. coffee cups, paper towels, and rags). This project will help studio users minimize their production of hazardous waste, encourage the use of less toxic products, and steer them towards proper reuse, recycling, and waste sorting. 

Studio Services
Life cycle design considers the process of creating, using and disposing of materials. How can OCAD U support a circular approach to materials use? Can studio systems incorporate resources back into the production process? This project will explore how to encourage designers and studio users to minimize extraction of raw resources and support upcycling of materials. Use your art & design skills to optimize the logistics of accepting, storing, dismantling, and reintegrating materials for student use. Help conduct user research to develop organizing structures for upcycling materials, support education and awareness of circular design, and prototype designs based on upcycling.