Large capital development projects have equally large environmental footprints. Materials that are required for construction (cement production accounts for 5 percent of global CO2 emissions), selection of the site and its management (e.g. loss of greenspace and habitat), the waste generated from demolition (the ICI sector generates approximately half of the total waste that ends up in Winnipeg's landfills) and, once completed, the impacts of each occupant (eg. energy use, solid waste, water consumption, etc.) all have implications for sustainability. In fact, capital development, from beginning to end, from construction to ongoing operation, arguably has the most significant environmental impact of all University operations.
However, recent progress towards “greener” buildings, mostly through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system, is improving the environmental track record of capital developments both on and off campuses.
Accomplishments at the University of Manitoba include:
The Office of Sustainability has highlighted sustainable features of campus buildings including: