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Sustainable Development: INRS Earns STARS Rating

February 6, 2024

Update : February 6, 2024

Research institution earns Gold rating in international certification.

The Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has earned a STARS Gold rating for its sustainable development performance.

STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) recognizes the sustainable actions of higher education institutions. It addresses the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability across four main categories: academics, engagement, operations, and planning & administration.

“Sustainable development is an integral part of our strategic process. It’s a common thread that guides our decisions as we work toward continuous improvement for the community of today and tomorrow. This certification confirms the reach of our collective efforts and opens up new avenues for improving our practices. ”

Luc-Alain Giraldeau, Chief Executive Officer of INRS

Flourishing projects

Whether it’s promoting recycling in laboratories, encouraging inclusion, or protecting its green spaces, INRS’ many initiatives have been well received by STARS.

“We aspire to create a research environment where innovation and discovery go hand in hand with a tremendous responsibility to society and the planet. The principles of responsible research have become part of the very fabric of INRS, in line with our mission to promote research and train the next generation of scientists to take on today’s greatest challenges. ”

Isabelle Delisle, Interim Scientific Director at INRS

INRS has distinguished itself through numerous projects, including:

  • University programs that include over 40% sustainability-related courses.
  • MosaïPlastiQ, a scientific and artistic discovery initiative aimed at educating children by creating works that raise awareness of plastic pollution in ecosystems.
  • All Variables are Included, a campaign to recognize and include people from groups that often experience discrimination.
  • A sustainable-development-oriented investment policy for endowment funds, through which INRS commits to investing in companies that have a social and environmental impact.
  • The INRS sustainable development initiatives contest (in French only), an annual competition where anyone in the community can propose concrete solutions that align with their expertise, needs, and observations.

“Earning an international certification like this truly supports the projects we have undertaken over the past few years and attests to the involvement of our entire community,” notes Delisle.

Raising awareness throughout the community

The support of all INRS members is essential to the success of promising sustainable projects. For that reason, the institution has set up a customized training program for its internal community, focusing on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the higher education sector. The initiative has allowed members to achieve excellent literacy on the subject, with a score of over 70% in a recent survey.

INRS faculty, student members, and administrative staff work together on a daily basis to bring about change. Among others, their efforts are supported by the expertise of INRS dedicated sustainable development advisor, Maxine Dandois-Fafard, as well as by the institutional sustainable development committee, which oversees the implementation of actions for the entire university.

This daily commitment is also embodied by the action committee on everyday sexism (CACSO), which fights to create an open and inclusive workplace for all. The project has received the support of the provincial Secrétariat à la condition féminine. 

Find out more about INRS sustainable development initiatives (in French only)

See the INRS STARS report